Thursday 20 September 2018

Proposed injection centres for Dublin could look like this

An injection site in Sydney
An injection site in Sydney

THIS is what the proposed supervised injection centres for drug addicts in Dublin could look like.

The Ana Liffey Drug Project has been championing the notion of medically-supervised injection centres in the capital since 2012.

Tony Duffin, the director of the Ana Liffey group, recently spent time in a supervised centre in Sydney.

He took some snaps to show people at home what the centre consisted of.

The stainless steel tables are partitioned to allow some privacy.


A hazardous waste bin is provided to allow addicts to dispose of their used needles and other paraphernalia safely.

Colourful signs adorn the walls in the Sydney centre advising best practise on injecting, including the use of syringe filters.

"Only particles like chalk and wax are trapped in the filter while your drug passes through," reads one sign.

The centre is located in Kings Cross in Sydney.

It is legal to shoot up inside these centres and there are nurses and healthcare workers on hand to intervene if things go wrong.

Just this week the Ana Liffey handed over draft legislation to the new Minister for Drugs Aodhan O Riordain which could allow for the setting up of such centres.

There are a number of legal issues to be ironed out if the centres are to be opened here as the proposed bill makes it legal to inject heroin and other drugs on site.

The Sydney centre is supervised by Dr Marianne Jauncey, who is only on-site part time.

Mr Duffin explained how the centres worked on a practical level in Sydney.

"A person comes into a reception area, if they aren't registered they do so, and they're asked what they have taken today and what are they here to take now.

"They go through and get the equipment from a member of staff - up to 16 people can inject themselves at one time and I did witness 16 people inject themselves.


"They do what they would normally be doing, in either the privacy of their own home, if they had a home, or in the street but they are doing it with medical support.

"All being well they simply tidy up and go through to the aftercare area where they engage with staff further.

"The alternative is that something does go wrong and there is staff there to administer oxygen or whatever is needed," he added.

Since 2001 the Kings Cross centre has dealt with 4,700 overdoses but none of these has been fatal, Mr Duffin said.

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