Brighton considers ‘consumption rooms’

The provision of drug consumption rooms is being considered by Brighton and Hove’s Safe in the City partnership and health and wellbeing board. 

The proposal is one of a number in a report from the Independent Drugs Commission for Brighton and Hove, which was commissioned by the city council. 

Among the other recommended measures are more training in naloxone administration and improved data collection on drug use patterns and supply routes. The report also calls for a more creative use of social media as part of education and support services for younger people, and urges that young people’s services be kept separate, so that younger users ‘don’t have to mix with older, more established users’. 

The proposals were discussed at a meeting of Brighton and Hove Safe in the City partnership board at the end of April, and will be followed by any feasibility studies considered necessary before recommendations are made for committee politicians to vote on. There was ‘no set timeline other than that around the commission coming back to look at what has been taken up in 12 months time,’ a council spokesperson told DDN. 

There are around 2,000 problem heroin and cocaine users in the city, according to the commission, with almost 1,500 people attending drug treatment services in Brighton in 2011-12. ‘We have a relatively high number of drug users in the city, and in the past we have had high numbers of drug-related deaths,’ said Brighton and Hove director of public health, Tom Scanlon. ‘We have come a long way from the peak in 2000 when 67 Brighton and Hove residents died from drug use. While this has fallen to 20 deaths, each of these still represents a personal tragedy for the person concerned and for families and friends.’