More lives will be lost without injection centres

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
29 August 2022

Labour TD for Dublin Bay North, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said today (Monday, 29th August) said the Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and National Drugs Strategy Frank Feighan must now immediately intervene to deliver mobile injection centres and said that the failure by Government to deliver injection centres is costing people their lives.

Speaking follow the decision today of An Bord Pleanála to delay planning permission for a pilot safe injection centre in Merchant’s Quay, Dublin, Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“Drug injection centres, the world over, are an attempt to put humanity back at the heart of drug policy. More lives will be lost without injection centres and there is no real sense of urgency to protect vulnerable drug users. It is not acceptable. Injecting centres save lives. They prevent fatal overdoses. They prevent the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C and while we accept that mobile injection centres are not perfect, their introduction even on a temporary measure basis would be worthwhile. The Minister has the power to make it happen so he needs to get on with it. People are dying on our streets.”

“The Citizens’ Assembly on drugs set for early 2023 needs a definite date. As a nation, we should embrace a broader conversation about our approach to drug policy, one which engages people from every section of society. Having a comprehensive drug policy is not just good for users, but for society at large.

“’If cattle were dying, not humans, there would be more urgency from the government. Those who need these services deserve humane and compassionate treatment. If someone is crippled by addiction they deserve the care and compassion of this state. We need to mature as a nation in terms of drug-law. We need to protect vulnerable users. We now need urgent action from the government to help save people’s lives.”

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