There is a convincing evidence base for Drug consumption Rooms. We fully support them. Please Download 114 page Drug Consumption Rooms Literature Review by clicking here DCRlitsearch


There are many pathways to recovery and all are a cause for celebration. 


PHE’s Knowledge & Library Services have published an Evidence Briefing titled “What is the current evidence for the efficacy of drug consumption rooms?” which is available online here DrugConsumptionRoomsEvidenceBriefing20190329


This briefing summarises the evidence on the efficacy of drug consumption rooms from 1st January 2003 to 11th March 2019. The key messages are:


  • Research has found consistent evidence of effectiveness of drug consumption rooms (DCRs) in reducing harms associated with drug use, particularly high-risk injection behaviours. Provision of sterile equipment to reduce infection transmission is a core function.
  • DCRs have contributed to lower rates of fatal overdoses.
  • Areas where DCRs are operating have had reductions in public drug consumption and publicly discarded drug-related litter, e.g. syringes.
  • People who use drugs are more likely to use a DCR if they are homeless, or without a fixed address.
  • DCRs have been used to provide people who use drugs with education on safer drug use, access to medical services and referrals to other health and social care services. Staff build harm reduction principles into all their conversations with clients.
  • Some studies have shown that DCRs have decreased incidences of syringe and pipe sharing, though this is not consistent across all research.
  • Ambulance call-outs for overdoses are generally reduced in the vicinity of a DCR.
  • Crime rates have not increased in areas where DCRs operate.
  • DCRs are generally predicted to be cost-effective, in terms of net saving and life-years. However, more economic evaluation studies would complement the current literature.
  • Local police gained a mechanism to address public injection drug use in a way that promotes public safety.



The PHE official line on DCRs remains:


There is international evidence that drug consumption rooms can be effective at addressing problems of public nuisance and reducing health risks in a very specific set of circumstances (e.g. where open drugs scenes present a significant risk to public health). There is a risk that such facilities would be at the expense of other, more relevant, evidence-based drug services for local areas.


The Government has no plans to introduce drug consumption rooms. It is for local areas in the UK to consider, with those responsible for law enforcement, how best to deliver services to meet their local population needs.