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  1. source
    Brighton is set to be the first British city to offer official "drug consumption rooms" where addicts can use heroin, crack and cocaine under supervision without fear of prosecution. The city's public health leaders will meet this summer to "give serious consideration" to the plan in order to save lives.

    Brighton has one of the UK's highest drug-related death rates, with 104 fatalities between 2009 and 2011. An estimated 2,000 people in the city have a serious abuse problem. A report published this week from an independent drugs commission led by the crime author Peter James and Mike Trace, a former UK deputy drugs tsar, is expected to say that drug consumption rooms "significantly reduce overdose death rates" and do not encourage further use.

    The commission will ask the local council to launch a feasibility study, and Brighton's health and wellbeing board – the local authority agency given responsibilty for public health under the government's recent NHS reforms – has agreed to examine the proposal at its next meeting in June. Its chair, Rob Jarrett, said: "I think from our perspective we see the health benefits of accepting drug use is going to happen and it might as well be happening in a place that can be monitored.

    "Our primary concern is the health of the people to make sure they don't kill themselves. I believe in Switzerland, where it has been tried, it has worked. Up until now we have had policies that have been based on emotional knee-jerk reactions that haven't solved the problem at all."

    More than 90 drug consumption rooms have been set up worldwide, including in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. They do not provide drugs to users but there is evidence that they allow health workers an opportunity to treat addicts.

    Charlie Lloyd, from York's mental health and addiction research group, said a study in Vancouver showed that public injections were reduced by 50% near the city's drug consumption room. He said there had never been an overdose in such a facility anywhere in the world.

    Trace, vice chairman of the commission, said it believed eradication of illegal drug use was not now a realistic aim and management should now be the priority. He said: "A lot of drug partnerships around the country are doing good things but none of them have been able to get the drugs market under control. So we need to look for realistic objectives: ways of managing the market rather than eradicating the market. It is difficult for political leaders and executives within the police but you have to be honest about the situation. We are not going to do anything to make illegal drug use go away but there are things we can do to resolve health and crime problems."

    The commission was established following the prompting of local Green MP, Caroline Lucas. She told the Observer that while the facilities would push at the fringes of the law, it could be an important innovation.

    "Prohibition isn't working," she said. "This is a government that often says it wants to be guided by evidence and yet drugs policy is more or less an evidence-free zone."

    Daniel Boffey
    The Observer, Sunday 14 April 2013

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/apr/14/brighton-drug-consumption-rooms

Comments

  1. Cash.Nexus
    Agreed if I personally had the choice, injecting at home or at least in private premises is best, natch. Supervised injection rooms are OK in theory, and I would've used such a place rather than buses, parks and public toilets.

    But watching one operate in a documentary (think it was Vancouver) I was shocked to see a staff member 'save' some cat on the nod by banging him full of Narcan. His eyes snapped open and got bigger and bigger; as his high got ruined. So to hell with that.

    Harm reduction is great etc but I'm not into being "monitored" and you can bet the cops would keep eyes on the place and clock faces...no matter what they say. Well, maybe Brighton is cool but not some other places.

    Also unsavory types could hang out nearby and it may feel edgy. I recall the tension going to pick up needles from a crisis-centre and exchange. Users would hang out and tax something, a new needle or a coin at least. They know you have drugs or money (otherwise you wouldn't be there) and it's a hyper vibe, getting out of that desolate zone to the safety of a locked door and a cup of tea.
  2. Booty love
    Hot dog! Its about time a country did more to help drug addicts instead of shunning them. People are gonna do the drugs either way, so you mine as well make it as safe as possible. I think places like this should also sell the drugs, legal and clean. That way you take the criminal element out of drug use, all together. The tax payers will thank you in the long run.
  3. source
    Selling the drugs at these places would be a neat idea, no chances of getting a bad cut, no waiting in the pouring rain, no walking for miles with a dodgy stomach... the list of pros is endless!

    I've been thinking a bit more about these 'drug consumption rooms' (jacking up joint) and there is one upside to them that I have finally thought of.. new IV users... if they don't have any friends that can teach them and show them the safe way of injecting then this would be a good place for them to visit a few times to learn how to do it properly.

    Apart from that I am still stumped as to who would actually use them.
  4. kailey_elise
    I totally would've used a SIR when I was an IDU & homeless.

    The Syringe Access Program I used to utilize had a 'drop-in' center and a few years ago, they got some nicer couches & a flat panel television; they don't just let you watch random television shows, but if nothing's going on you can watch movies they have available.

    Anyway, even when I had an apartment, I'd probably have used a SIR at times, just so I didn't have to wait until I got home every time. Or I might use it if I got stuff from a new batch and/or dealer, just in case (although I carried Narcan, you can't Narcan yourself!).

    I can't picture wanting to inject cocaine or smoke crack in such a place, though! I mean, you can do your shot of heroin & be on your way - not so with cocaine/crack!

    ~Kailey
  5. Moving Pictures
    Sounds like a great place to get robbed.

    I mean, if I was homeless and it was freezing outside, yeah, I'd go do my shot in there and then leave. But I'd be having to look over my shoulder the whole time. I hate using around other junkies and crackheads. And you know everyone is going to be trying to bum a hit or a wet cotton. To me, it sounds horrible.
  6. Booty love
    Thats why there will be secuity and rules, if you dont follow he rules then your back to scoring your dope on the street. Which would be a disaster if the place sold drugs also. Idk about you but if i had a legal hookup for dope, i would burn the rules on my arm, so i would never forget them.
  7. Booty love
    America had a place like that for a moment. The super dome in new orleans after katrina came through. That is a good example of what moving pics was saying, could happen if the rules werent enforced by armed guards.
  8. Craig_93
    They've been shown to be great in the USA. I've seen + heard about people who've had OD's in there and they have people there within 5 seconds to save their life. Aswell as that the mirrors they have mean that once the person comes back to the world they see their reflection and the people who work there say that's often the time they realise the dangers of it.

    So basically, people will jack up more safer and it increases the chances of them quitting a little bit aswell.

    Keeping drugs illegal and taboo is just ridiculous in my opinion. If you want heroin you'll find it. Want coke? You'll find it. Weed? You'll find it. Anything else? You'll find it. And at the same time you may (or may not) be supplying some arsehole somwhere along the line with cash.

    How the government can still think the war on drugs is needed or effective in any form is stupid.
  9. Cash.Nexus
    The mirrors^ are to facilitate monitoring of clients' condition. It does make it safer in so much as a client will promptly get naloxone should they look too relaxed.

    IME my reflection in mirrors hasn't so far had any bearing on deciding [how much] to use. I recently regarded myself in a mirror while washing food off my scalded face (while assisted to stand since my legs had ceased working) [see my most recent blog entry] and it had no consequential bearing on my consumption.

    Sure I don't like to see me wasted, in photos especially, but it's way down my list of 'reasons to totally stop.' Although such images top my list of 'reasons to avoid straights while high'...

    If fixing centers ever do get constructed in the UK, heroin will never be legally sold there IMHO. We don't even have 'coffee-shops' or marijuana dispensaries yet (AFAIK)...and I bet we won't in the foreseeable future. Pity, but there it is... Dream on!
  10. source
    That's some good points that I had completely forgotten about! After walking to the meet point and waiting there feeling as sick as anything - would be good if this place was just round the corner so I wouldn't have to still walk home feeling rough. Chances of it being situated between my house and my dealer would still be pretty slim though!
    You're also right to mention about new batches, the risks and not being able to give yourself that life saving dose of naloxone. I normally inject probably two thirds of my usual dose if I have scored off someone different or my dealer has a different batch but in all honesty even that might still be too much if the purity is spot on.
  11. Moving Pictures
    It didn't say they sold drugs there. And I'm sure if any of the "visitors" were caught selling drugs, they'd be banned or have the cops called on them.

    The way I think about it is this though: say a junkie has like a couple gs and whips out the baggie and does a shot in there. As soon as the motherfucker leaves, I can promise at least one other junkie is going to follow him out and jump him as soon as he's a block away and steal his shit.

    I mean, y'all are forgetting the reality of junkie life, it's full of thieves and dirty motherfuckers. I don't want to go to a place to shoot up and have other junkies know I have dope on me.

    It just feels like these places would turn into hangouts for dopesick addicts looking for a fix and predatory addicts looking to rip people off. I'd much rather use in my own home or even in the bathroom at McDonalds that use in a room full of junkies. Even if it does mean a greater risk of overdose. Plus, like someone said, the staff would probably be trigger happy with that Narcan. If I just had a good nod going and someone tried to fuck it up by giving me that shit, I'd start swinging.
  12. Booty love
    i will never forget junkie life, MP!
  13. source
    The following is a snippet from another article on the BBC online news website:
    If Brightons council/NHS are going to set up a system that completely mirrors those in the Netherlands then they would be dispensing heroin free of charge as well.
    If this ends up being the case it would definitely make the place more comfortable to be in. Like MP states, there are some pretty dodgy characters on the heroin scene, most lie through their back teeth just to get their hands on some gear or will thieve it off anyone who is too opiated to know what's happening. Unfortunately it's just the nature of the drug, it turns the majority of people into greedy, dirty, scheming, self-absorbed, lying bastards.

    So that being said it will be interesting to see what happens.
  14. Maca1
    Makes more sense to supply drugs than to bring drugs there. None of the problems with crime would be fixed if they brought their own drugs. The place would exist only to protect the addict.

    Hard to imagine supplying free crack there.
  15. Hey :-)
    Brighton and Hove ''not ready'' for drug rooms say former top cop

    Brighton and Hove is not ready for controversial drug consumption rooms, a former police chief has warned.

    [IMGR=''white'']https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=37594&stc=1&d=1104887470[/IMGR]Graham Bartlett, who retired from Sussex Police in March last year, said the centres in which medical staff help users inject free from fear of prosecution, would not be viable in the city, but could be an option for the future.

    The former chief superintendent spoke to The Argus after a visit to Frankfurt, Germany, for a BBC documentary.

    His warning comes as a Brighton and Hove City Council prepares to publish a feasibility study on the use of drug rooms.

    He said: “My personal view is that it is not a viable option for Brighton at the minute. Maybe in the future.

    “They are necessary for Frankfurt, but things are a lot different over there.

    “They need to be seen as part of a wider framework of support to be successful.”

    Mr Bartlett, who is now a director at a management company, travelled to the city last month.

    He spent time with drugs users, staff and police at one of the four consumption rooms in the city to find out how they work.

    He said: “It was based in quite a run-down area and it was very sad. There were a lot of people there who were suffering.

    “Unfortunately the centres do attract drug dealers as well and there are issues with crime. But they are incredibly safe for users to take drugs. They get clean needles and conditions, and support if they need it.

    “It’s not a nice place to be, it was pretty sad but if they weren’t there they would be out of the streets or in car parks with dirty needles.

    “From a health benefits point of view, it’s a far better option.”

    The documentary, which was shown last night, explained how the city had been blighted with a drug problem for many years.

    Mr Bartlett said: “Users had taken over this municipal park. It was a no-go zone for locals, they were openly injecting so there wasn’t much opposition to the opening of the centres.

    It got to a stage where people were prepared for them.

    “It still took them 15 years.

    “I don’t think it has got to that stage in Brighton and Hove yet.”

    He added: “They are certainly no silver bullet. You can’t just have a drug consumption room and expect everything to be better.

    “They need to be seen as a way of accessing people who need help.

    “But they need to be part of a wider framework of support. As everything is at the moment, they are just not feasible.”

    The council-backed feasibility study is due back later this year.


    Photograph The Argus; Graham Bartlett
    Tuesday 4 March 2014
    The Argus
    http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/1105...ot_ready__for_drug_rooms_says_former_top_cop/

    Documentary; part of 'Inside Out South East' 3/3/14 bbc iplayer. Didn't put into video section as it is not the whole of the program.
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