Controversial proposals considered to tackle drugs in Brighton
A report issued today will recommend that “safe rooms” where drug addicts can go to inject themselves under the supervision of trained nurses to ensure their safety should be opened throughout Brighton and Hove.
Safe injection rooms are now present in a number of countries around the world including Australia, The Netherlands and Canada. Research studies have shown that there can be positive sides to these rooms, such as a decreased risk of overdose or infection, as well as helping to prevent drug related crime within society.
The proposal is one suggested by the Independent Drugs Commission for the city, which was formed to help target drug problems in the city. Among others, the group includes the family members of drug addicts, police chiefs and drug experts.
The MP who asked for the group to be produced, Caroline Lucas, said: “A lot of good work has been done to tackle this problem in the city, but this was all about a fresh approach. I think we could be on the cusp of a change in the way people think about tackling drugs.”
One of the main arguments of critics is that condoning drug addiction in any way is a bad idea, and all efforts should be focused solely on the prevention and treatment of drug use.
However, Dr Lucas said: “Some of the recommendations will be controversial but we want decisions to be made on evidence, not how they play out in the tabloids.”
Other important issues the report will suggest tackling include an improvement in the education of health workers and police officials when it comes to dealing with addiction issues, and a more detailed analysis of coroner and social services reports in order to determine the circumstances of drug related deaths more clearly.
In the coming weeks the report will be shown to the Safe in the City Partnership Board.