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Drug abuse

Government rejects drug consumption clinics

Its decision not to introduce clinics where drug users can take illicit drugs in a safe environment goes against the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs’ proposition.

Uniting Medically Supervised Injection Centre drug consumption clinic

Source: Uniting Medically Supervised Injection Centre

This supervised injection facility in Sydney, Australia, has eight booths where users can inject their drugs

The government has rejected recommendations by its advisers on dangerous and harmful drugs that drug consumption clinics should be introduced.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs recommended in its report last year ‘Reducing opioid-related deaths in the UK’ that the government should consider introducing these clinics in areas with a high concentration of injecting drug use.

These are rooms where drug users can take illicit drugs, supervised by healthcare professionals. The main aim of these rooms is to tackle health risks associated with using drugs on the streets, and to introduce users to addiction services.

However, this month [July], the government said it had “no plans to introduce drug consumption rooms (DCR) for those who wish to use intravenous drugs which have been illicitly obtained”.

The government added that “people using drugs they have bought on the street is not part of a structured treatment plan”.

In 2016, The Pharmaceutical Journal reported that while evidence to support the use of drug consumption clinics was “growing” that they “are not universally accepted”, and that there was “little political will” to support these rooms.

The article reported that drug users living in Sydney, Australia, have had access to a safe place to inject their drugs. The DCR, housed by the Sydney Medically Supervised Injection Centre, is supervised by trained medical staff and provides clean syringes and medical care for anyone in danger of overdosing.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203303

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