Brighton to consider ‘consumption rooms’

The provision of drug consumption rooms will be considered in a meeting of Brighton and Hove’s Safe in the City partnership board at the end of this month, as well as by the city’s 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 the collection of ‘real time’ data on drug-use patterns and drug supply routes, to allow treatment, education and enforcement agencies to ‘respond more quickly to changing trends’. 

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 separate, so that younger users ‘don’t have to mix with older, more established users’. 

There are around 2,000 problem heroin and cocaine users in the city, according to the commission, with almost 1,500 people attended 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.’

The city intended to work closely with key partners to ‘make sure that the ideas in the report complement our work on helping people fully recover,’ he stated.