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What is the Drug Consumption Rooms?

Drug Consumption Rooms (DCRs) is a tool of the harm reduction approach. It is a collective approach to health, rather than the elimination of the use of psychotropic drugs (or other risk behaviors or "addictive"), that key stakeholders can develop ways to reduce the negative consequences related to their behavior and perverse effects of controls on these behaviors for themselves, their family and society, health, economic and social.

The DCRs are professionally supervised healthcare facilities where drug users can use drugs in safer and more hygienic conditions. The first DCR opened in Bern, Switzerland in 1986   . There are now more than 90 found in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, Canada, Norway, Luxembourg and Denmark. France has opened the experimental DCR in Paris and Strasbourg in 2016.

The DCRs are highly specialized services integrated into a larger network of health services available to drug users. DCRs is based on consensus and active cooperation between professionals in the field of health, police, local authorities and local communities. The scientific reports show that the DCRs able to establish contact with a highly problematic group of drug users and to promote access to these primary health care they so desperately need and the services social and treatment. Morbidity and mortality risks, as well as nuisance about the abuse of drugs in public, are reduced through access of drug users to clean injection equipment and secure environment.

The DCRs aim to:

1. Reduce health problems arising from drug use:

  • Reduce the number of fatal overdoses;
  • Reduce the risks of contamination by hepatitis C, HIV and other blood-borne infections;
  • Reduce the development of abscesses, infections and other health problems resulting from drug use when it takes place in a non-hygienic framework (stairwell, building entrance, squats, public toilets, trucks, square ...).

2. Reduce the nuisance associated with drug use in public and semi-public places:

  • Reducing drug use in public and semi-public places;
  • Crime Reduction;
  • Reducing the number of syringes discarded in the environment.

3. Improving access to social, health and therapeutic services to consumers the most marginalized drug:

  • This is to improve access to care, particularly access to alternative treatments and weaning and reach consumers who do not use health and social services and / or therapeutic.
  • But also to promote access to testing and blood tests, in the idea that preserved venous system causes the person to be tested more regularly, because less pain.

4. Promote education about the risks associated with drug use:

  • The DCRs provide education and information on safer practices "in vivo" at the time of consumption. Essential that education is suited to the observation of the practices of people, as opposed to broadcast in the needle exchange programs that can not be precarious situations where users inject their drugs or alternative treatment into account posts eg in hygiene unfit.

5. Reduce costs of health services related to drug use:

  • The introduction of DCRs offers a cost-effective, which should encourage policymakers to action: In addition to the tragic and costly loss of human lives, some harm may be avoided or mitigated. This would lead to benefits in terms of Health Economics (treatment for chronic diseases, emergency services ...) like the needle exchange programs to reduce the spread of HIV. The costs of implementing repressive laws against crime and drug abuse can also be reduced: these resources could be devoted to the prevention, treatment and care Health.