The UK government is so adamant they don't want to encourage drug consumption rooms because they're so conservative and can't acknowledge the positive results such facilities / services have had in other countries - that some poor guy has had to do it out of his van despite the possibility he could get arrested for saving people's lives.
Former addict praised for setting up safe space for injecting in city dubbed Europe’s drug deaths capital
It’s lunchtime on a sunny Friday and there are two queues on Glasgow’s Parnie Street. At Street Level Photoworks gallery, one group waits to enter an exhibition of the work of Oscar Marzaroli, famous for photographing the city’s postwar working classes amid social upheaval and division. Opposite, a line forms outside a white Ford Transit van emblazoned with “Safe Consumption” as some of the city centre’s drug-dependent population wait for access to take illegal drugs.
“It’s a lifesaver,” says one visitor to the van, which is kitted out with sterile seat and table covers, needle bins, injecting kits and Naloxone, used to reverse the effects of overdose. “Without it I’d be using a dirty alley and stepping all over broken glass and old needles.”
A friend of his recently overdosed around the corner and had to be saved, he adds, pointing to an alleyway where a 17-year-old girl also died days earlier: “Why can they not just make this van legal?”
The question is a complicated one that has been at the centre of efforts to curb fatalities in the city, dubbed Europe’s drug deaths capital. Scotland’s drugs death rate is three times higher than that in any EU country, with the majority of fatalities occurring in Glasgow.
While the city council, backed by the Scottish government, has long called for the establishment of supervised drug consumption facilities in the city, these are interpreted as contravening the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and have therefore been repeatedly blocked by the Home Office.
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