A tender process has gone live for a pilot supervised injecting facility in Dublin city centre.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has published an invitation on eTenders for service providers to submit tenders "to provide a medically supervised injecting centre".
The pilot phase will be for an 18 month period, with an evaluation at six months and again at 18 months.
The HSE says tenders must be submitted by September 25th.
The provider and the proposed location will be known by the end of October this year.
It says the Supervised Injecting Facility (SIF) aims to:
- reduce drug-related overdose deaths
- reduce the risks of disease transmission through shared needles
- reduce public health risks such as needle-stick injuries
- connect the most vulnerable and marginalised people who use drugs with treatment services and other health and social services
Dr Eamon Keenan, HSE national addiction lead, said: "A SIF is an important health service aimed at reducing drug related overdose deaths and will connect adults who inject drugs with the wider health and social services to help improve their lives.
"The facilities typically consist of a reception area, a drug consumption area and a recovery area.
"The exterior of a SIF looks like any other health or social care premises."
There are over 90 of these types of facilities across the world in Europe, Canada and Australia.
The HSE says research carried out in these countries shows there is "clear evidence of the benefits that such services can provide both for people who use drugs and the wider society".