Ireland's drugs minister Aodhan O Riordain announced that the country aims to become the latest European nation to legalize supervised heroin injecting rooms by the first quarter of next year.
O Riordain said, "It will effectively mean a diplomatic immunity to inject heroin in a safe, secure, passionate environment. It will limit the dangers of contracting HIV and Hepatitis C and also takes away the street injecting phenomenon. The first center is to be opened in Dublin in 2016."
‘With an aim to limit the dangers of contracting HIV and Hepatitis C, Ireland plans to legalize supervised heroin injecting rooms. The first center will be opened in Dublin in 2016.’
If introduced as planned, Ireland will follow similar models already in place in Australia and parts of Europe, such as the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. O Riordain said, "Essentially people come, they bring in their own material but they are provided with a medically supervised space. I want a 'cultural shift' and a 'national conversation' in Ireland on decriminalizing small amounts of drugs for personal use, following the example set by Portugal."
O Riordain further added, "I am acutely aware of the devastating consequences of drug abuse. It's my intention to start a national conversation to move us towards the Portuguese model with decriminalization across the board which I think is the proper way we should go. We're trying to change the entire context in which we discuss this issue from a moralistic one to one which is actually much more realistic and compassionate."