Dublin will get it’s first supervised drug injection centre within 18 months
Drug users will be able to use “supervised injecting rooms” in Dublin next year, followed shortly afterwards by Cork, Galway and Limerick, according to the Minister in charge of the National Drugs Strategy.
The legislation was agreed to be drafted in mid December 2015 by the cabinet. This will enable licences to be issued for the establishment of supervised injecting facilities.
Last month, Ó Riordáin gave a speech in London where he backed the decriminalisation of possessing small amounts of drugs and called for a “radical cultural shift” in Ireland’s drug laws because they are failing so badly.
He told the Irish World “We are not decriminalising drugs, we are decriminalising the individual – of course we are maintaining the illegality of substances, but addicts should not be criminalised.”
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) December 15, 2015
The Government has approved additional heads for inclusion in the Misuse of Drugs(Amendment) Bill 2015 to allow for Supervised Injecting Facilities.
Speaking following the decision, Minister of State with responsibility for Drug Strategy, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD said:
“I was delighted today to get Cabinet approval for my proposal on Medically Supervised Injecting Centres.
“Last month I gave a speech at the London School of Economics where I announced that Ireland needed to take a new approach to dealing with drug policy including the establishment of Medically Supervised Injection Facilities.
“These facilities can help in harm reduction and alleviate some of the complex needs of a vulnerable and hard to reach group of addicts. They are not the only solution to addressing drug addiction but will play a significant role in reducing street injecting and drug related deaths.
“Research published by the Health Research Board today demonstrated quite clearly that 387 people died in 2013 due to drug poisoning and 1 in 5 of these deaths was caused by Heroin use. The establishment of supervised injecting facilities will allow for earlier medical intervention in the case of overdoses and can also act as a gateway to treatment for drug users.
“I want to thank all of the agencies and bodies that have worked on bringing this proposal to fruition, in particular the Ana Liffey Drug Project.
“I look forward to this proposal being developed further in the New Year when the Bill is published.”
— Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD (@AodhanORiordain) December 16, 2015
Read more about the intentions of the move in our previous article here: www.theirishworld.com