Thursday, 18 April 2013

Brighton Drug Taking Rooms

It is being proposed that Brighton (council? NHS?) look at providing 'safe houses' (or at least rooms) for drug users  to take their (own) drugs in a clean environment under medical supervision.

While this sounds like a motherhood/apple-pie proposal - it is potentially hugely expensive and it really isn't clear what it actually offers addicts that they don't already have access to. I believe clean syringes/needles are freely available and an ambulance is only a 999 call away from anyone in an emergency.

I understand the expense and quality of drugs are the biggest problem for drug users - risking themselves to get money for their habit and getting impure (random strength, contaminated) doses.

Unless the service will provide quality control on the drugs used it seems pointless.

However, even this is fraught with problems, if the users drus were tested would staff allow a user to take a dose known to be contaminated? Surely not, and If not what is the addict to do? Be told to take it elsewhere (so much for being safe!)? Have it confiscated so they have to go and try to find another dose (if they have the money...)?

The only 'solution' to avoid contaminated drugs would be for pure drugs to be made available in the drug-room itself. Then the question is whether they are 'sold' to users by the medics (state becomes monopoly narcotics dealer - what if the addict has no money?), or whether the drugs are simply given free to users (state issues free drugs for all, from huge menu, on demand!).

This doesn't even start to address addicts and dealers being attracted to the area (unless it is an EU wide scheme).

So simply providing a 'venue' seems to solve nothing, but creates a whole new raft of problems... but it does provide more jobs and 'prestige' for medics etc 'working' in the area of drugs and addiction... so you can see why they would like it.

1 comment:

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