Government moves a step closer to allowing injection centres

Proposals for drug-taking facilities will be included in a new bill on drugs next year

Newstalk, drug, injection, centre, Aodhán Ó Ríordán, minister, bill, proposals, legislation, government, cabinet

File photo: Portland, Maine, US needle exchange progreamme. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

The Government has moved to include controversial injection centres in a new bill on drugs.

Last night the proposals moved one step closer to becoming reality - after they were added to the Misuse of Drugs Bill - which is to be published next year.

Minister of State with responsibility for Drug Strategy, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin says the centres can help reduce the number of deaths among drug users.

Tony Duffin of the Ana Liffey Drug Project says once up and running, the units will have multiple benefits:

"It will have a positive impact on the individuals who find themselves with no choice but to inject in public. Nobody has ever died of an overdose in a drug consumption room or a medically supervised injection centre across the world. And indeed there are many other benefits in terms of lowering the chances of blood-borne viruses."

Figures released this week show at least one person dies in Ireland each day due to drug and alcohol overdose.