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Heroin and cocaine can be injected safely in UK’s first ‘mock drugs room’

The UK’s first ever mock drugs-consumption room has been created, which would allow heroin and cocaine addicts to inject safely while under supervision.

The controversial room has been set up by two Bristol charities.

In it, users would sit side by side in separated booths, each containing clean syringes and a bright light to allow them to inject safely.

Image: The controversial room has been set up by two Bristol charities

Supervisors are on-hand to administer life-saving drugs should someone overdose.

Similar such rooms have been used for decades in other countries – including in Europe, but have never been allowed in the UK.


Deb Hussey, from the Bristol Drugs Project, says the point of them is to reduce harm.

She said: “People are injecting drugs, people are using these drugs, let’s let them do it as safely as possible and while they’re accessing a service like this we can talk to them about making changes around their drug use.”

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Bristol has an interest in tackling drug use – the death rate from drugs in the city is 60% higher than the national average.

If the rooms were allowed in the UK, users would also be offered advice and help to stop their habit.

Image: Illegal drugs are often taken in back streets and wastelands Image: The risk of infection is much higher when drugs are taken in unclean places

Martin Powell, from the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, says at the moment users are injecting in filthy conditions such as back streets and wastelands, which increase the risk of infections.

“It’s particularly dangerous for them to inject in a place like this because a) it’s filthy and unsanitary and they risk getting infections and b) because no one can see what happens,” he said.

The Scottish government has called for the introduction of safer drug consumption rooms, but drug policy remains the control of Westminster, which says it has no plans to trial them.

One man who does support the idea is Brian Reed, whose daughter Lydia died from a heroin overdose in 2016.

Image: Lydia Reed died after an overdose in 2016

He said: “You have to embrace the idea. If your children or other loved ones are unfortunate enough to develop a dependency on drugs you’re not going to get them off it just like that.

“They’re not going to stop just because you say so. The only thing we can do is to ensure that if they are so desperate to get a drug for whatever reason at least it’s not going to kill them.”

The government says it has commissioned an independent review of drugs to look at a wide range of issues, but told Sky News there are no plans to introduce drug consumption rooms.

“Illegal drugs devastate lives and communities and those who sell drugs will face the full consequences of the law,” said a spokesman.


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