Press Release

Ó Ríordáin welcomes Government Approval for Medically Supervised Injection Facilities

The  Government  has  today  approved additional heads for inclusion in the Misuse  of  Drugs(Amendment)  Bill  2015  to allow for Supervised Injecting Facilities.

Speaking  following the decision, Minister of State with responsibility for Drug Strategy, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD said:

“I was delighted today to get Cabinet approval for my proposal on Medically Supervised Injecting Centres.

“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.

“Research  published  by the Health Research Board today 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.

“I  want  to  thank  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.”