Injection centres vital to save lives

18 May 2023

Labour justice spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has called on Government to implement much needed injection centres nationwide.

Following a report published by the Health Research Board (HRB) published yesterday that noted of the 84 homeless people who died in 2019, 55% of these deaths were as a result of drugs.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“The conservative coalition are running scared of drugs – rather than saving lives, they’re more interested in criminalising repeat users at a huge cost to the State and with no value to the person or their community.

“These statistics are a damning inditement of this failure of politics to face up to the drugs crisis that is affecting every corner of the country.

“Labour are calling for supervised injection centres, along with a range of harm reduction measures, as a way of helping addicts and saving lives.

“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. Drug injection centres, the world over, are an attempt to put humanity back at the heart of drug policy.

“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 of State with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton, has the power to make it happen so she needs to get on with it.

“People are dying on our streets while Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil pretend to know it’s not happening.”

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