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Drugs: Misuse

Question for Home Office

UIN 11461, tabled on 7 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 27 May 2020 to Question 6165 on Drugs: Misuse, what the evidential basis is for suggestion that drug consumption clinics encourage drug use; what assessment she has made of the consistency of her policy on drug consumption clinics with the findings of the reports entitled (a) Reducing opioid-related deaths in the UK, published by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in December 2016 and (b) What is the current evidence for the efficacy of drug consumption rooms?, published by Public Health England in March 2019, that there was no evidence that drug consumption clinics increase drug use; and what her policy is on evidence-based approaches to reduce the health-related harms of drug misuse.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

11 June 2021

Drug Consumption Rooms are not legal in the UK. A range of crimes would be committed in the course of running such a facility, by both service users and staff, such as possession of a controlled drug, being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug, knowingly permitting the supply of a controlled drug on a premises or encouraging or assisting these and other offences.

The Government is aware of the differing views on Drug Consumption Rooms and that they are subject to much debate. We will give due consideration to any new evidence on the harms and benefits of Drug Consumption Rooms including the extent to which they condone or encourage drug use or otherwise.

We continue to support a range of evidence-based approaches to reduce the health-related harms of drug misuse, such as maintaining the availability of needle and syringe programmes to prevent blood borne infections and widening the availability of naloxone to prevent overdose deaths. Heroin assisted treatment is also an option open to local areas under the existing legal framework subject to obtaining the relevant licences from the Home Office.

The Government is focused on improving the quality of, and access to, drug treatment services to support individuals to recover and turn their lives around. That is why, on 20 January the Government announced £148 million of new investment to cut crime and protect people from the scourge of illegal drugs. This package includes £80 million for drug treatment services across England, which represents the largest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years.

Answered by

Home Office
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Interests declared
The Member has declared that they have interests which may be relevant to the subject matter of this question.