Paris is the next European capital to inaugurate the function of the first supervised drug consumption room in the country. This facility, fully funded by the national health system, opens for a six-year pilot period as approved by the relevant legislation, which was adopted last year by the socialist government. It is expected that the service will be used daily by about 100 – intravenous drug users (IDUs) – starting from Friday 14 October, where the room will open officially its doors to the beneficiaries. The facility is located in a busy area in northern Paris near the Gare du Nord Train Station, which also according to the authorities is the main point of sale and consumption of illegal drugs in the French capital.
Unfortunately, in Greece, so far it seems to lack the necessary political will to reopen the site. Examples like that of France, is encouraging and enhancing dissemination of knowledge in this area with a view to developing and extending corresponding Harm Reduction programs.
You can read more here (in Greek)
Commenting on the Commission’s Communication “Towards a stronger European response to drugs” the Association Diogenis, notes that the Commission’s proposals are not in conformity with the principle of a balanced and integrated approach. There is a disconnect between theory and specific measures proposed in the Communication. This contradiction is one of the most vulnerable points of the Communication which the Commission must necessarily correct. It is disappointing, notes the Association Diogenis, that the European Commission wants to focus its activities mainly on repression, supply reduction and law enforcement, and little on demand reduction, prevention and treatment and programs to help citizens to choose healthy life styles and behaviours, protect their health and actively participate in society.
The new impetus to European policy on drugs that the European Commission plans to promote does not meet the requirements of our times. We need to follow new ways of dealing with drugs. There are interesting proposals to try other ways of control , such as consumer safety or medicines legislation to stop, for example, the open sale of so called “legal highs”. The same applies to regulation of cannabis the most used controlled substance. The main advantage of such solutions is that they avoid criminalisation of the users while the objective to limit the availability remains the same. In this context, users are not confronted with the criminal law, punishment and imprisonment but the main point of reference is the protection of their health.
You can read more here.
In a communication published in late October 2011, the European Commission presented its proposals for a stronger European Union response to drugs. This is the strategy that the European Commission proposes to be followed by EU in the next two years in order to face the new challenges in the supply of illegal drugs, where new methods have been introduced through the use of modern technologies. This requires from the competent authorities different approaches in order to limit the diversion of chemical precursors used to produce synthetic psychotropic substances. Harm reduction and reduction of drug use is the other priority area of the commission’s proposals.
The text of the communication on the new strategy is summarized in the following: