Green Party Councillor Brian Smyth has said that recent discussion on needle exchange services shows that we should treat drug addiction as an illness not a crime.
Brian Smyth said: “The effects of addiction may be visible in the city centre and other pockets but addiction is ravaging lives behind closed doors in homes in every part of our city.
“Stigmatising and dehumanising people who are addicted to drugs does nothing to reduce the harm of misuse. It merely discourages people from seeking help and perpetuates the misery of addiction.
“Treating drug addiction as a crime doesn’t work - our criminal justice system is not set up to deal with addiction and it’s consequences.
“Rather, we need to treat drug misuse as an illness and provide the help and support needed to ease the effects of addiction on drug users and their families.
“This is about bringing new ideas to the table while leaving behind old stereotypes and labels.”