Drug Comsumption Rooms could be introduced to Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON City Council could create drug safe zones for the use of illegal drugs.

The scheme, could see Drug Consumption Rooms (DCRs) placed in Southampton which will be modelled after the European style ‘drug-taking rooms’.

They aim to reduce the harm done by drug use in Southampton.

The programme was suggested after 7,000 drug related items, mostly discarded needles, were found within the city centre last year.

Drug use in Southampton has had multiple affects. Credit: Southampton City Council.

DCR can connect high-risk users with the necessary services, reduce disease transmission, and prevent drug-related overdose deaths.

The help necessary in Southampton will be created through the help of drug assessments, surveys, and drug related death reports.

Critics of this programme have said that the introduction of these ‘shooting galleries’ could promote criminality.

This centre will be the first of its kind within the UK, although, plans have been made in the UK before for these types of rooms but were stopped by legality concerns from the Home Office.

Communications officer, Avinash Tharoor, said to the Daily Echo: “Across the 10 countries in which DCRs operate, not a single person has died of an overdose in one”.

Drug use in the UK has risen in recent years
Drug use in the UK has risen in recent years. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

According to the city council’s strategy, many plans for this have been put in place including considering “providing alternatives to public injecting and methods of reducing drug-related litter”.

Drug-related education is already given in Southampton, however, this programme will help educate and help people who are already using.
Nationally, the amount of drug-related deaths is the highest that it has ever been, Southampton and surrounding areas have seen the same rise, which has matched the national trend.

With this idea already being criticised, we asked the people of Southampton what they think about the plans.

by Leanne Revell (@Leanne_revell96), and Noor Merza (@n_ajeely)