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France to Introduce Supervised Injection Sites

France looks to be the latest European country to embrace the harm reduction practice of providing supervised injection sites for hard drug users, according to France 24 TV. Facilities could be open by year's end, said Health Minister Marisol Touraine.

c client at the supervised injection site in Vancouver (vch.ca)
Since the first supervised injection site opened in the Netherlands in the 1970s, they have since spread to Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, and Spain, and the Danish parliament approved them earlier this year. Supervised injection sites also exist in Vancouver, Canada, and Sydney, Australia.

Supervised injection sites are credited with lowering overdoses, reducing the spread of blood-borne diseases, improving client health and public health, providing entrée to drug treatment and other medical and social services, and reducing public disorder. They have also been linked to reductions in neighborhood crime.

President Francois Hollande campaigned on a promise to establish the first supervised injection sites in the country, and Paris Deputy Mayor Jean-Marie Le Guen endorsed the idea in August. Several French cities are ready to test the practice, Touraine said.

The conservative opposition party UMP criticized the plan, saying in a statement that allowing such facilities "trivializes drug use and legalizes the use of the hardest drugs at the taxpayer's expense."

In moving forward with supervised injection sites, the French government is going against public opinion, but with science. While an August 2010 Ifop poll found 53% supported the sites and 47% opposed them, a similar poll by Ifop last month found only 45% in favor and 55% opposed.

France
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Free Market

 

While it's nice to see some positive moves being made really there’s nothing short of full legalization that will go all the way to solving the problem all of which stems from the war itself not the drugs. The raw forms of cannabis, opium and cocaine are potent medicines, stimulants and relaxants yet smoking cannabis or opium resin or drinking coca leaf tea are far safer than chemically concentrated versions on offer so they can help people to cut back on hard drug and alcohol use. There is nothing wrong with allowing for a culture of herbal drug use. It certainly couldn’t be worse than the mess we have now. It will cost a lot less in policing, and save a lot in health care and create legitimate business and put money back in the rural community and a whole lot more like ending the funding for the opium cartels of Afghanistan. 

Reform good but could do better if they tried.

 

While it's nice to see some positive moves being made really there’s nothing short of full legalization that will go all the way to solving the problem all of which stems from the war itself not the drugs. The raw forms of cannabis, opium and cocaine are potent medicines, stimulants and relaxants yet smoking cannabis or opium resin or drinking coca leaf tea are far safer than chemically concentrated versions on offer so they can help people to cut back on hard drug and alcohol use. There is nothing wrong with allowing for a culture of herbal drug use. It certainly couldn’t be worse than the mess we have now. It will cost a lot less in policing, and save a lot in health care and create legitimate business and put money back in the rural community and a whole lot more like ending the funding for the opium cartels of Afghanistan. 

Good move in the right

Good move in the right direction. MaryJ.

grow

Well done France. Now if only the British government would grow some balls and allow the same type of thing over here. vicky

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