By Cormac O'Keeffe / Irish Examiner
Supervised centres where marginalised people can legally take drugs should be seen as “key instruments” in reducing the harm caused by substances, the head of the EU drug agency has said.
Alexis Goosdeel, director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, said this was from seeing the work of drug consumption rooms (DCRs) across the EU, with some 100 centres now in operation.
His comments, made at an Emcdda-webinar, comes amid unconfirmed reports that An Bord Pleanála may decide soon on a court-ordered re-examination of proposals to set up Ireland’s first supervised injection centre in Dublin.
Permission given by the planning authority to the pilot centre, to be operated by Merchants Quay Ireland, was rejected by the High Court last July.
The ruling came after St Audeon’s primary school, which lies adjacent to MQI buildings, lodged a judicial review of the decision.
The court ruled the planning body had failed to take into account the concerns of the school in its decision to grant permission.
Speaking at the webinar, Mr Goosdeel said experiences from DCRs, including staff from three centres that spoke at the webinar, highlighted the need for “strong community work”.