Merchant’s Quay Ireland (MQI) has submitted additional information to Dublin City Council as part of its application to open Ireland’s first facility for injecting drugs under medical supervision.
The proposed facility was initially expected to open by the end of 2017 but was delayed after the council sought further detail on the proposed centre.
Merchant’s Quay, a voluntary organisation that helps people with addiction and accommodation issues, said it was keen to see the supervised injecting facility up and running as soon as possible “as the number of drug-related deaths is too high for the service to be delayed further”.
Ireland has the fourth-highest level of drug-related deaths in Europe, with 700 deaths in 2016, about half of which were caused by overdoses, an MQI spokesman said.
Last February, the Health Service Executive said MQI was the preferred bidder to operate the facility. Based on a survey of users of the needle exchange already provided by MQI, it is envisaged that 50 to 60 people a day could use it.
The sale and supply of illegal drugs will remain illegal inside and outside the facility.
The council has yet to make a decision on the application.
Source: Sorcha Pollak, The Irish Times, 4th July 2019