Drug consumption rooms important part of reducing harm, Strasbourg Symposium hears

CoE/Pompidou Group

Drug consumption rooms – special facilities that provide safe and hygienic environments for supervised drug use, protecting users from risk – are an essential element in increasing public health and safety and promoting safer drug use patterns, an expert symposium heard today.

Organised by the Council of Europe’s anti drug Pompidou Group as part of its 50th anniversary programme and bringing together around 300 participants from 15 European countries, the symposium assessed existing support for drug consumption rooms with a view to developing similar risk-reduction mechanisms throughout Europe.

In his opening speech Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Bjorn Berge stressed how the system put human rights at the core of drug policy.

“These rooms put people first. But reaching and helping highly marginalized groups also depends upon experience and the myriad of complicating factors that exist on the ground,” he said.

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