VolteFace, a drug policy think tank, has published a new report on the feasibility of establishing drug consumption rooms in the UK. The report, ‘Back Yard’, states that drug-related deaths and drug-related litter have risen to unprecedented levels in the UK and concludes drug consumption rooms (DCRs) are a viable policy alternative which could address these harms.

DCRs are medically supervised healthcare facilities where people can consume drugs in safer conditions and access further support for their needs. The report looks at the current plans and developments in relation to two proposed DCRs which are hoped to open in Dublin (Safer Injection Facility) and in Glasgow (Safer Drug Consumption Facility).

Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership is currently identifying a suitable site, and the Irish Health Service Executive is undergoing a tendering process for a service in Dublin city centre. The report states that drug consumption rooms are effective in reducing self-reported risk behaviours associated with injection; such as syringe sharing, reaching and staying in contact with highly marginalised target populations, reducing drug-related deaths, increasing uptake of detoxification and drug dependence treatment and decreasing public injecting.

Thumbnail: VolteFace