Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, has today welcomed progress on the introduction of a Safe Injecting Facility (SIF) in Glasgow.
The decision to approve a site and commence planning applications for the supervised injecting facility was taken today at a meeting of the Glasgow City Integration Joint Board. It follows several months of consideration, research and scrutiny of the proposal for an SIF by the Alcohol and Drug Partnership, which received approval in principle by the Integration Joint Board in October 2016.
Today’s approval of the plan means that leasing of a site for the SIF will now go ahead, alongside a range of measures to engage local residents and businesses regarding the implications of the SIF and obtain the planning permission required for the facility.
Speaking after today’s decision, Alison Thewliss MP said:
“The issues of drug injecting and needles being discarded in Glasgow are not going to go away, without serious steps being taken to address them. These issues have been raised with me regularly in the 10 years I’ve represented Glasgow, both as a councillor and now as an MP; with the recent increase in drug deaths and infections I support action to tackle this difficult and sensitive issue head-on. The status quo leaves people injecting in dirty back lanes, on waste ground and in closes, which is unsafe for everyone.
“It is evident from research and the experiences of other countries that have opened such facilities that safe injecting facilities save lives, take drug injecting off the streets and reduce the amount of needles being discarded. These facilities often open up vital conversations between drug users and support services, which is the all-important first step in promoting recovery from drug addiction. It’s for these reasons that I believe that a safe injecting facility is the best option to reduce deaths from overdose and reduce the risk of harm to the public from needles being left in closes and lanes.
“I welcome the progress that has been made today by the Integration Joint Board to take the action needed to reduce harm to both drug users and the general public. I hope that the SIF will make a significant contribution towards improving the health of the drug-injecting population and reducing the amount of drug-related litter on Glasgow’s streets.”