Fianna Fáil TD and Spokesperson for National Drugs Strategy, Jack Chambers has said that the introduction of a supervised injection facility in the inner city 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 legislation to allow for the Pilot Injection Centre is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks. Fianna Fáil will be supporting the Bill.

“Ireland has the highest proportion of intravenous heroin users in Europe and the rate of drug related deaths in Ireland is three times higher than the EU average, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. These are startling figures that require a targeted response,” explained Deputy Chambers.

“A supervised injection centre is a small step towards effective treatment, rehabilitation and intervention aimed at harm reduction for those suffering from addiction.

“If successful in tackling drug-related harm, this pilot centre has the potential to become a broader term viable public health measure which seeks to provide a safe and supervised space for people to deal with their addiction. Although the finer details must be clarified during the forthcoming Dáil debate on the legislation, available evidence suggests that they have an overall positive impact on the communities where they exist.

“The centre and services on offer will need to be closely monitored and continually evaluated to ensure that is functioning effectively. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a collaborative effort which requires the full co-operation of all stakeholders including the Gardaí.

“At the very least, an injection centre will give individuals ravaged by addiction the opportunity to retain some small piece of dignity while we work to try to help them beat this terrible addiction.”