Drug Consumption Rooms Associated With Reduced Injection Equipment Sharing Among People Who Inject Drugs in France

Drug consumption rooms (DCRs) are part of a continuum of harm reduction strategies for people who use drugs. DCRs are available in limited jurisdictions due to legal and regulatory barriers, and concerns that they promote risky substance use. Available data suggest that DCRs may reduce drug use behaviors associated with the risk of injection-related infections and engage people in treatment. However, most studies of DCRs have lacked robust control groups. This controlled cohort study enrolled 665 people who inject drugs across four sites in France: two DCRs in Strasbourg and Paris, and two harm reduction programs in Bordeaux and Marseille, where no DCRs existed. The outcomes were injection equipment sharing, HCV testing, and opioid agonist treatment engagement at 12-month follow-up, adjusting for significant correlates.

  • Self-reported sharing of injection equipment was 1 percent for participants exposed to DCRs, compared with 10 percent for those not exposed.
  • Participation in DCRs did not impact HCV testing or receipt of opioid agonist treatment.

Comments: These data suggest that DCRs may reduce injection-related infection risk behaviors among people who inject drugs, compared with standard harm reduction programs in France. The results add to literature supporting the benefits of DCRs as part of a comprehensive public health approach to reduce the harms of injection drug use.

Marc R. Larochelle, MD, MPH

Reference: Lalanne L, Roux P, Donadille C, et al. Drug consumption rooms are effective to reduce at-risk practices associated with HIV/HCV infections among people who inject drugs: Results from the COSINUS cohort study. Addiction. 2024;119(1):180–199.

Listen to our interview with an author of the article summarized in this study,  Marie Jauffret-Roustide, on our “Behind the Evidence” podcast.

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