STAGE 4. Selecting the theoretical approach

What steps should be completed?

Step 1: Select the theoretical approach or approaches on which the intervention will be based


What are their bases?

Supervised drug consumption rooms are legal areas that offer a safe and clean environment in which drug addicts can use drugs they have previously acquired, in hygienic conditions and under professional supervision, in a non-judgmental environment. These mechanisms are aimed at accessing and addressing the problems of populations of high-risk drug users, especially those injecting and using drugs in public. They are linked to intravenous heroin users, but they are often also available for other forms of drug use.

The basic goal of these rooms is to reduce certain hazardous practices when injecting drugs. They also make it possible to achieve other complementary goals, such as establishing contact with drug users who are not accessible by other means, reducing the mortality and morbidity associated with drug use, promoting access to social and health benefits and treatment services or reducing the public use of drugs and the nuisance that is causes the community.

Practical implications

The services offered vary from one room to another, and may include:

  • Cubicles for venipuncture.
  • Room for inhaled consumption.
  • Delivery of sterile injection material.
  • Exchange of used syringes for sterile material and recovery of the materials used.
  • Delivery of material for inhaled consumption.
  • Advice on correct venipuncture techniques.
  • Condom distribution.
  • Basic health care (remedies and sutures requiring immediate attention, monitoring of concomitant disease, vaccinations, directly supervised treatments for HIV, hepatitis or mental health problems, etc.).

These rooms should ensure access to single-use sterile consumption material, a physical space for drug use with minimum guarantees of hygiene and safety, as well as personnel able to cope with possible accidents and adverse reactions or overdoses.



The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). (2004). European report on drug consumption rooms. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.