Planned introduction of drug injection rooms welcomed

New Programme for Government includes commitment to legislate for centres

The Programme for Goverment, which was officially published on Tuesday, has confirmed that the new Dáil will introduce injection rooms. 

The document commits the Fine Gael-led administration to supporting "a health-led rather than criminal justice approach to drugs use, including legislating for injection rooms".

The move was first spearheaded by former Labour TD Aodhán O’Riordáin as Minister of State in charge of the national drug strategies.  

Injection centres are already in operation in countries such as Germany, Spain and Australia, allowing addicts to take drugs in a clean, supervised environment.

Tony Duffin of the Ana Liffey Drug Project told Newstalk.com that he welcomed the move.

"There is strong evidence for such an approach. Needless to say, Ireland has a very serious and complex drugs problem," he said.  

"We need to accept that we can’t solve the problem of drugs in society; rather we can better manage the situation to reduce the problem and improve the situation for all.

"To achieve this we need brave ministerial leadership to continue on the path of progressive drug policy; and to do that Ireland needs a Minister of State who is solely focused on the drugs issue.”