Green Party leader welcomes establishment of first consumption room in the UK

Reacting to news that Glasgow has become the first UK city to establish a Drug Consumption Room Green Party Leader Mal O’Hara has warmly welcomed the news.

“I am delighted to see this news today. Campaigners have fought long and hard to establish the drug consumption service in Glasgow. These facilities are already operational in 14 countries around the world. Drug consumption rooms are spaces where people use drugs, but are supervised by trained medical professionals. The evidence for their positive impact is clear. They help reduce drug debris in the area, improve public safety and most importantly, save vulnerable lives. In 2018, Glasgow City Council supported calls for a drug consumption room. It is frustrating that it has taken 5 years to get to this point.

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 means that using drugs, even in this environment would be a criminal offence. Scottish Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC earlier this month stated that it would "not be in the public interest" to bring proceedings in such cases meaning that the establishment of a drug consumption room could proceed. The hard work in Scotland means that other cities that are losing too many vulnerable lives should be able to move quickly on setting up these vital services.”

Mal continued:

“Earlier this year I worked hard to get cross party support for a drug consumption room in Belfast. I hope we don’t have to wait 5 years and lose hundreds of vulnerable lives before we see one established in Belfast. Drug deaths in Northern Ireland have doubled in the last decade and Ministers for Communities, Justice and Health have done precious little to address that. Once again as we have no Executive, I hope that the Attorney General in Northern Ireland can make a similar decision as to her counterpart in Scotland. If we can save lives, why are we hesitating?”