Drug consumption rooms (DCRs) are expected to be introduced in Iceland, as MPs and the Minister of Health have backed calls for an amendment to the national drug law.
Svandís Svavarsdóttir, the health minister, told Parliament on March 21 that her government would like to amend existing drug legislation so that DCRs could legally open and operate in the country.
A DCR in Iceland, she said, would be a “legally protected environment where eighteen-year-olds and older can consume [illegal drugs] under the supervision of healthcare professionals. Where care is taken to ensure full hygiene, safety, and infection control.”
DCRs prevent deadly overdoses from taking place, as healthcare professionals oversee people’s drug use and are therefore able to administer naloxone – a medication that reverses opioid overdoses – when necessary. Among the nine European countries operating DCRs, there has never been a fatal overdose within a facility.
DCRs also provide sterile equipment and safer environments for drug use, thereby reducing the spread of blood-borne diseases for service users, as well as reducing antisocial behaviour associated with public drug use – including the discarding of drug litter, and public intoxication.