Supervising drug consumption at a needle exchange program in Boston would save three to four lives a year, and more than $4 million, according to a new report.
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), a group that compares benefits and cost-effectiveness of medical treatments, concluded it would cost $511,000 to add supervised drug consumption to a needle exchange program in Boston. The cost would be offset by savings from fewer ambulance rides, emergency room visits and hospitalizations after an overdose, WBUR reports.
In its report, ICER concluded there would be similar or greater benefits to adding drug consumption supervision to needle exchange programs in Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.
In a news release, ICER said the evidence does not suggest that supervised injection facilities (SIFs) are correlated with an increase in crime. “Some communities have reported increases in needle litter near a SIF, but we do not believe that these possible harms outweigh the benefits in overall harm reduction,” the organization stated.
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