Glasgow gets go-ahead to open UK’s first drug consumption room | Glasgow

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Cities throughout Scotland are contemplating establishing their very own protected injecting services after authorities in Glasgow gave the official go-ahead to the UK’s first drug consumption room.

“All eyes are on Glasgow,” mentioned Allan Casey, Glasgow metropolis council’s addictions convener, after the plans had been accepted on Wednesday morning by a joint committee of NHS and council officers.

“We all know from expertise that networks of protected injecting services are what is required and we’d be more than pleased to work with different cities. I’m already having questions from totally different cities across the nation trying to be taught from us about opening one.”

He added: “Glasgow has an enormous accountability to display the idea works right here in Scotland.”

The proposal – which might enable addicts to take their very own medication in a clear and protected setting beneath the supervision of well being professionals – had been mentioned for years, however can now be piloted after Scotland’s most senior legislation officer confirmed customers wouldn’t be prosecuted.

Casey mentioned the pilot was “the lacking jigsaw piece within the full suite of companies required to essentially make a distinction in decreasing medication deaths within the metropolis”. However he acknowledged funding was additionally wanted for wider companies corresponding to restoration cafes and residential rehab.

The committee additionally revealed it hoped to supply voluntary drug testing on the facility, the place individuals might verify the standard of their street-bought medication earlier than utilizing them.

Campaigners consider such a pilot might play a vital position in efforts to deal with Scotland’s power and epidemic drug fatality charges, which stay nearly thrice increased than for the UK as a complete. Glasgow metropolis council’s space had the best charge of drug misuse deaths in Scotland over the previous 4 years.

Susanne Millar, the chief officer for Glasgow Well being and Social Care Partnership, mentioned after the committee assembly that the necessity for a protected injecting facility was first critically thought of in 2015.

“I’m delighted about the place we’ve obtained to immediately,” she mentioned, including that international proof for the potential optimistic influence of such a facility, particularly in tackling drug deaths, stored rising.

The council mentioned it hoped to have workers in place on the well being centre on Hunter Avenue within the east finish of the town by April subsequent yr after constructing work and additional public engagement.

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Saket Priyadarshi, affiliate medical director of Glasgow alcohol and drug restoration companies, mentioned there was convincing proof of neighborhood profit from consumption rooms and that many native companies and residents had been “asking why hasn’t this been progressed”.

Priyadarshi already runs Glasgow’s pioneering enhanced drug therapy facility – which supplies addicts with pharmaceutical-grade heroin – out of the identical well being centre.

He mentioned the council had recognized a inhabitants of 400-500 individuals who had been injecting medication in public areas within the metropolis centre and that the elevated recognition of injecting cocaine in addition to heroin was leading to extra discarded needles and syringes, in addition to extra frequent wound infections.

Priyadarshi mentioned the brand new facility would come with about eight injection cubicles and a relaxed aftercare space the place individuals might interact with help employees. The Scottish authorities has assured funding up till 2027, when the pilot might be evaluated.

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