Pilot injection centre is only a step towards broader solution for drug addiction

Published on: 07 February 2017

Fianna Fáil TD and Spokesperson for National Drugs Strategy, Jack Chambers has said that the introduction of a supervised injection facility on a pilot basis will help to avoid drug induced deaths but is only part of the solution to the overall drug problem in Dublin.

The Government today approved legislation that will allow for the establishment of a medically supervised injecting centre in Ireland.
The legislation is expected to be brought before the Dáil in the coming weeks and the first pilot centre should open in Dublin’s city centre this autumn. Fianna Fáil look forward to studying the Bill in detail.

“There are too many drug addicts and not enough is being done to support detox centres.A supervised injection centre is a small step towards effective treatment, rehabilitation and intervention aimed at harm reduction for those who are particularly vulnerable and suffering from addiction. While I understand some of the legitimate reservations raised, a centre will provide safe space for drug users to help ensure they use clean needles and dispose of them properly,” explained Deputy Chambers.

“The centre has the potential to become a broader term viable public health measure to encourage interaction with medical practitioners and other service providers. The Minister has yet to confimr where this pilot centre will be located and it is important it is not near any school.

“Given the level of opposition following today’s Cabinet approval, specific details must be clarified during the forthcoming Dáil debate on the legislation. Concerns such as the centre’s proximity to schools and children must be clarified to ensure full public confidence. Working closely with the Gardaí is also crucial.

“For the pilot centre to be successful there will have to be a collaborative effort to closely monitor and continually evaluate the centre when operational. This effort will require the full co-operation with all stakeholders.

“The main objective of the initiative is to save lives as too many addicts are dying from drug overdose. We need to make an effort to minimise the harm associated with injecting drugs by providing a controlled environment. At the very least, an injection centre will give those devastated by addiction the opportunity to seek support while we work to establish more long term solutions to help them beat this terrible addiction.”

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