The Government has rejected a call by a parliamentary committee to open so-called safe consumption facilities for drug users across the UK.
Responding to a Home Affairs Committee report which recommended piloting heroin shooting galleries, the Government said: “There is no safe way to take illegal drugs”.
Advocating a ‘harm reduction’ approach, the Committee also backed downgrading the classification of ‘magic mushrooms’ and waiving prosecution for “low-level” possession of hard drugs.
Illegal drug use
The MPs specifically recommended legislation to allow a ‘drug consumption room’ to operate in Glasgow, and said that “if the UK Government is unwilling to support this, the power to establish a pilot be devolved to the Scottish Government”.
There is no safe way to take illegal drugs.
But a Home Office spokesperson said that illegal drugs “devastate lives, ruin families and damage communities” and the Government “have no plans to consider this”.
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners said that many of its members will not feel able to “support approaches that they see as facilitating illegal drug use, such as drug consumption rooms”.
Only last month, Westminster rejected Scottish Government proposals to decriminalise all drugs for personal use and introduce facilities where addicts could inject themselves without fear of arrest.
In 2019, the Lord Advocate stated that drug consumption rooms are not permissible under current law, but since 2021, police officers in Scotland have been allowed to issue warnings to those caught with Class A drugs instead of prosecuting them.
Drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2022 topped a thousand for the fifth year in a row.