Daily Opinion: It is time for us to look again at drug consumption rooms
A REPORT in The Argus this week was a stark reminder of our city’s struggle with the harms related to drug abuse.
It was also a reminder of the urgent need for alternative approaches to keeping everyone safe.
When shop owners are finding the streets splattered with blood and needles, we know something is wrong.
I believe that our city should revisit the idea of drug consumption rooms – safe and supervised places where addicts can inject or inhale illicit substances without fear of prosecution and with a much reduced impact on the community too.
Similar schemes operate in ten other countries and Glasgow is soon set to be the first British city with such a project.
These supervised spaces increase the chances users will access support services – from those designed to protect injecting drug users infected with HIV, to help with housing and other needs.
And with Public Health England saying that a large number of heroin-related deaths are among people not in treatment, we urgently need better ways to reach out.
The Government’s own advisory board agree and has recently recommended medically-supervised drug consumption clinics be considered.
I know that many experts in Brighton would like our city to learn from Glasgow’s example.
Following the evidence is key, and I’ll be working with organisations and fellow politicians to ensure we continue to learn from best practice and keep drug users, our streets and the community as safe as possible.
Source: The Argus