Opened in 2003, located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Insite is North America’s first legal supervised injection site, operating under a constitutional exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
Vancouver Coastal Health operates, and provides all the funding, senior administrative and health care workers for the facility. We get the bulk of our funding from the BC Ministry of Health Services. We contract
PHS Community Services Society to provide administrative and peer support services at Insite.
Insite was designed to be accessible to injection drug users who are not well connected to health care services. It's part of a continuum of care for people with addiction, mental illness and HIV/AIDS.
Insite is the first rung on the ladder from chronic drug addiction to possible recovery; from being ill to becoming well.
Many of our clients are older and have been using drugs for a long time. Their long-term drug use and chaotic lives have seriously compromised their overall health. About half of the people who use Insite are marginalized, which means they are homeless or living in shelters or have significant mental health issues.
Through Insite, clients develop trusting relationships with our health care and social workers, making them more likely to pursue withdrawal management (detox), addiction counselling and other addiction treatment services.