Call for more trials for controlled drug taking

2 minute read

One of Australia’s former top police officers wants to increase the number of drug injecting rooms


One of Australia’s former top police officers has added his voice to calls for an increase in the number of drug injecting and consumption centres around the country

As well as injecting rooms in all capital cities, former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer would like to see trials of consumption rooms for users who inhale their drugs or swallow pills, according to a report by ABC Radio’s current affairs program PM.

Once critical of programs such as these, Mr Palmer now believes it is time to consider alternative approaches to the one we have now.

Supervised injection and consumption rooms would get drug users into controlled environments and into contact with healthcare professionals and rehabilitation programs, proponents say.

They would also move people away from potentially dangerous situations such as using on the streets or in the family home.

It is now nearly 15 years since the first medically supervised injecting centre opened in Kings Cross, Sydney. There has not been a single death in the centre after almost one million injections.

“I am convinced in my own mind that we might surprise ourselves through the positive outcomes that we might achieve if we were to consider things like consumption rooms where drugs other than heroin could be consumed,” Mr Palmer told PM.

Marketing was a problem, however. The war on drugs was a more palatable option for politicians to support than less punitive approaches, Mr Palmer said.

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