The cabinet has approved a pilot scheme for a medically supervised drug injection facility in Dublin.
The facility was proposed by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the Minister in charge of the National Drugs Strategy.
Additions to the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2015 will make provision for the establishment of supervised injection facilities.
Mr Ó Ríordáin said last night he was delighted to get cabinet approval for his proposal. “Last month I gave a speech at the London School of Economics where I announced that Ireland needed to take a new approach to dealing with drug policy including the establishment of medically supervised injection facilities.
“These facilities can help in harm reduction and alleviate some of the complex needs of a vulnerable and hard to reach group of addicts. They are not the only solution to addressing drug addiction but will play a significant role in reducing street injecting and drug related deaths,” said Mr Ó Ríordáin.
He said research published by the Health Research Board yesterday demonstrated quite clearly that 387 people died in 2013 due to drug poisoning and 1 in 5 of these deaths was caused by Heroin use.
“The establishment of supervised injecting facilities will allow for earlier medical intervention in the case of overdoses and can also act as a gateway to treatment for drug users,” said.
The Minister thanked all of the agencies and bodies that have worked on bringing this proposal to fruition, in particular the Ana Liffey Drug Project.
“I look forward to this proposal being developed further in the New Year when the Bill is published,” he said.