What is a Safe Consumption Space?

Safe Consumption Spaces (SCS) are facilities where people can use drugs under the supervision of trained personnel, and which provide an alternative to public injection. The SCS model is an evidence-based approach to promote safety, public health, and connection to supportive health and social services.

These spaces additionally offer platforms for community-based health research. More than 100 sites are operating worldwide and there has never been a fatal overdose at an SCS facility.


Why does Portland need a Safe Consumption Space?

  1. SCSs improve access to medical treatment and mitigate harmful injection-related behaviors

  2. Homelessness and unstable housing are associated with a host of high-risk injection behaviors including reusing needles and improper disposal

  3. People who inject drugs are at greater risk of overdose as well as contracting infectious diseases like hepatitis B, C & HIV.


The Local Facts

  • In 2015, there were more than 500 overdose responses in Multnomah county

  • 103 of those 500 overdose responses resulted in a fatality, a rate of more than 1 in 5

  • OVER HALF of responses to overdoses occurred in public places or in local businesses

  • In a poll of syringe exchange clients, 77% reported experiencing homelessness or unstable housing in 2016

  • More than 50% of heroin users surveyed wanted to quit or cut down their use, but report many barriers to treatment

  • In 2015, 3 million used syringes were properly disposed by Outside In & Multnomah County syringe exchanges; a program which has been in operation since 1989.


Who is Safe Spaces PDX?

We are a coalition of Portland residents, parents, business owners, health professionals, and current and former users advocating for Safe Consumption Spaces in order to promote public health, community safety, and respect for the people of Portland.

How can I get involved?

Come volunteer with us! For opportunities, please e-mail us directly at scs4pdx@gmail.com and be sure to like our Safer Spaces Portland Facebook page to stay up to date with the most recent news, events, and information!