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Language Matters: Safe consumption sites versus overdose prevention sites

Feb 14, 2020

We recently came across a fascinating article that we thought was worth sharing. The Recovery Answers website wrote an article describing a research report that was published back in 2018 titled “Language Matters in combating the opioid epidemic: Safe consumption sites versus overdose prevention sites.” The article describes a research project that included a web-based survey of 2014 people, who were given three facts about opioid and opioid-overdose deaths. Half the group were then given a definition of a safe consumption site (sometimes known as a medically supervised injecting centre), while the other half were given the same definition except the term “safe consumption site” was changed to “overdose prevention site.” The study found significant difference in levels of support for “overdose prevention site” (supported by 45% of respondents) compared with “safe consumption sites” (supported by only 29% of respondents). 

Go to the Recovery Answers article “Language Matters: the specific terms used to describe harm reduction services may make a big difference in the public’s acceptance and support of them.”