What the latest evidence on supervised consumption sites tells us

Monday, October 2, 2023 16:00to17:00

Dimitra Panagiotoglou, PhD

Assistant Professor | Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health | McGill University

Where: Hybrid | 2001 McGill College, Rm 1140 | Zoom

NOTE: Prof Panagiotoglou will be presenting in-person from 2001 McGill College, Rm 1140


Between 2016 and 2022, 36,233 Canadians were hospitalized and 36,442 died from opioid-poisoning (Quebec excluded). As part of the public health response, supervised consumption sites (SCS) were implemented to mitigate the harms of illicit substance use. While some researchers have concluded these harm reduction sites reduce mortality and health service use, they remain politically controversial. The effects of supervised consumption site and their variants (e.g., overdose prevention sites, consumption and treatment services) remain unclear, particularly in contexts where the population is geographically diffuse, services are not restricted to people who inject drugs, mobile rather than fixed sites operate, and other interventions (e.g., drug checking, naloxone dispensation) are concomitantly implemented. In this talk, I will present our latest findings evaluating the effects of supervised consumption sites across a variety of Canadian settings and contexts.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this session, attendees will:

  • Have a better understanding of econometric methods they can use to evaluate public health interventions;
  • Become acquainted with underused data sources;
  • Understand the ethical challenges of evaluating politicized interventions.

Speaker Bio

Dimitra Panagiotoglou is a health services researcher and economist focused on the impacts of harm reduction interventions and opioid prescribing policies on populations’ health and well-being. She designs studies that quantify the intended and unintended consequences of provincial and federal responses to the opioid epidemic, with an interest in the spillover effects on other populations. Her work is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Fonds de recherche du Québec. She has a BASc in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto, an MPH in epidemiology from Columbia, and a PhD in health services and policy research from the University of British Columbia.


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