Glasgow & West Scotland

'Fix rooms' for addicts in Glasgow to cost more than £2.3m a year

Heroin Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption There are estimated to be 500 drug users who inject on Glasgow's streets

A controversial scheme to allow addicts to take drugs safely in "self-injection rooms" will cost more than £2.3m a year to run, according to a new report.

The proposed service allowing drug-users in Glasgow to consume drugs under supervision would be the first of its kind in the UK.

A business plan identifies potential sites in the south-east of the city.

It argues that money would be saved in the long-term by improving health and reducing offending in the city.

Members of the health board, city council and police agreed the proposals in principle last October in a bid to address the problems caused by an estimated 500 users who inject on Glasgow's streets.

A report to the Glasgow City Integration Joint Board reveals that the costs of the facility (SDCF) and a separate heroin assisted treatment (HAT) service are estimated at £2,355,680 a year.

It said it would be funded by redirecting existing resources and using contingency funding for three years.

'Injecting booths'

Under the HAT service, some heroin users would be prescribed diamorphine by specially-licensed doctors.

The report also reveals that the facility would house 12 individual "injecting booths" and possibly a small drug inhalation room. There would also be a reception and an after-care area.

It argues that the facility is needed in a city where 90 new HIV cases have been diagnosed in Glasgow since 2015 among people who inject drugs.

Susanne Millar, of Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, said: "The need for a safer consumption facility is about improving the health of those involved in public injecting.

"Our aim is to provide a route to recovery for a group of people often disengaged from support services and improving the general amenity of Glasgow city centre.

"Public injecting of drugs places considerable financial costs on the health, social care and criminal justice systems.

"Existing research suggests the average monthly spend on health, addictions, housing and criminal justice service for people in Glasgow with complex needs ranges from £1,120 and £3,069 per individual per month.

"These proposals are backed by evidence indicating SDCFs not only improve health outcomes for people who inject drugs, but are also highly cost effective and contribute to savings for health and social care services."

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