NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 6:13 AM
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the minister in charge of National Drugs Strategy, has said that there is a “strong consensus” that drug use should be decriminalized in Ireland.
Drug users in Ireland will soon be able to inject heroin in supervised rooms as the country considers the decriminalization of hard drug use.
Plans are in place for users to “bring in their own material” and be provided with safe rooms where they can inject heroin under medical supervision in Dublin from 2016.
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the minister in charge of National Drugs Strategy, has said that there is a “strong consensus” that drugs should be decriminalized throughout the country.
Ó Ríordáin said that the centers would “effectively mean a diplomatic immunity to inject heroin in a safe, secure, passionate environment.”
“Research has shown that the use of supervised injecting centers is associated with self-reported reductions in injecting risk behaviors,” said the Labour Party minister, according to ITV.
There are hopes that the cities of Cork, Galway, and Limerick will open similar rooms shortly after Dublin does, the Irish Times reports.
Ó Ríordáin said that the plans will limit the dangers of contracting HIV and Hepatitis C, and that the centers will provoke discussion about how to deal with hard drugs.
“I am firmly of the view that there needs to be a cultural shift in how we regard substance misuse if we are to break this cycle and make a serious attempt to tackle drug and alcohol addiction,” he said.
Heroin users will be provided with safe rooms where they can inject under medical supervision in Dublin from next year.
There are already comparable models in place in Australia and parts of Europe, including the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.
But Ó Ríordáin said it would still remain illegal to sell, distribute, or profit from illicit drugs.
The issue of decriminalization will be left to Ireland’s next government to discuss after the general election which is due to be held by April 2016..