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Supervised consumption services for acute care hospital patients (Dr. Peter Centre, SPH)

Consumption booth in the supervised consumption service at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo credit:


  • Access to supervised consumption services is recommended across the treatment continuum for people with opioid use disorder.
  • The hospital environment can place patients with ongoing substance use at risk.
  • Embedded supervised consumption services in acute care hospitals have the potential to improve safety and engage patients in addiction treatment.

To our knowledge, worldwide there are 5 supervised consumption services based in acute care hospitals. Three are in Europe — 1 is located in an outpatient addiction treatment program within a hospital in Barcelona7 and 2 others are located within, but administratively separate from, hospitals in Paris and Strasbourg in France; these are designed for community, not patient, access.8 In early 2018, the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, opened the first supervised consumption service for inpatients in North America (Box 1). Shortly after, an overdose prevention site was established on the grounds of St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.9 Additionally, the Dr. Peter Centre, an integrated HIV/AIDS outpatient and residential care facility, is located close to St. Paul’s Hospital and has been offering supervised consumption services to its registered clients, including those admitted to hospital, since 2002.

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