Wednesday , August 10 2022

Safe injection rooms are key to stopping the rise in drug deaths – expert | Company



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The Home Office must abandon its opposition to safe injection chambers if it wants to reduce drug-related deaths, now at record levels, a former government chief of drugs said.

David Nutt, who was chairman of the Drug Abuse Counseling Council, said failure to respond to last week's revelation that drug deaths were at most because records began in 1993 would amount to "willful disregard of evidence." Statistics have shown that deaths from drug treatment increased by 16% last year, which represents the most additional year-on-year increase. The Home Office, however, refuses to sanction safe injection rooms – spaces where addicts can inject under medical inspection.

Nutt was sacked as a drug czar in 2009 after saying that ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol. Now chair of the charity drug science, he told the Observer: "Safe injection rooms work. Not only do they save lives, they are also a gateway to rehabilitation and remove needles and other paraphernalia from our streets and parks. They are a triple win."

"Repair rooms" have dramatically reduced drug deaths in many countries, including Denmark and Canada, but the Home Office has blocked attempts to prosecute them in the UK. The NHS was blamed for seeking permission to test them in Glasgow – drug-related deaths are higher in Scotland than in any other European country. In March, the Labor Party also called for drug use laws to reduce deaths.

A document written by the Home Office's legislative team last year and sent to Glasgow councilors acknowledged that there is "evidence on the effectiveness of drug use chambers and addressing the problems of public nuisance associated with open drug scenes and in reducing health. risks to drug users. ”

Campaigners point out that overdose rates have fallen in European countries that have adopted the policy, while in Britain they have increased.

The latest data show that there were 4,359 deaths from drug poisoning in England and Wales last year, with more than half with opium as heroin.

Martin Powell, of the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, which seeks to reduce the harm caused by drugs by reforming evidence-based policies, said: "When thousands of families are kidnapped each year by preventable drug deaths, it is indisputable that the government should continue to make block controlled drug use chambers – especially when they recognized a Glasgow council, where the NHS is screaming that they have the right to open one that works. We call on the home secretary to recognize this as a people's health crisis and take action now. ”The latest research, released in June, found that the facility has saved 230 deaths in 20 months in British Columbia.The Canadian province has a similar population and drug problem to Scotland.

The past year trustee visited a safe consumption facility in Denmark where 800 overdoses were recorded without a single death as nurses quickly administered antidotes and revived the person before calling an ambulance. Campaigners say drug-related deaths in the country have stabilized since 2011 while there have been no recorded deaths in a drug-use room in Europe, of which there are at least 78.

The British Government's Drug Abuse Advisory Council itself has stated that safe injection rooms in Vancouver, Canada and Sydney, Australia, have managed to cut overdose deaths.

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