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rte.ie, may 28, 2013

Dublin: Call for injection centres for drug addicts

Drug treatment groups in Dublin want addicts to be given injection centres as a way of combating anti-social activity in the city centre.

A report also calls for better detox and medical treatments as 45% of addicts are testing positive for Hepatitis C.

The report from Merchants Quay and Ana Liffey Drug Project comes as a rise in drug-related activity in Dublin city centre is expected to rise during the summer.

It finds that 14% of addicts say they take drugs in public areas.

Tony Duffin from Ana Liffey says the idea of Medically Supervised Injecting Centres (MSIC) have proven to be successful in Madrid and Sydney.

The report "A Safer City for All" also points out that there is no crisis detoxification centre in the country.

Addicts have to be stablised before they are accepted for detoxification or medical treatment.

Tony Geoghegan of Merchant's Quay said the "bar is set too high" for many of the addicts.

The report found that of 125 addicts who tested positive for Hepatitis C only 18 were in treatment.

It said that there is a high-risk group of intravenous drug users showing a high incidence of unsafe injecting practices.

The report shows also low rates of testing for Hepatitis C and HIV.

The report calls for greater medical and testing facilities in drug treatment centres to help the addicts and reduce the spread of disease.

Minister of State Alex White is due to attend the report's launch today at the Merchant's Quay centre.

Source - Merchants Quay Ireland

A safer city for all: Medically supervised injecting centres for Dublin (Tony Duffin)

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