One local council and its NHS health board in Glasgow are about to get final approval to open up a special clinic just for heroin addicts, where the actual drug -- kitemarked as pure by being declared medical grade -- will be offered to addicts to stop them having to squeeze it out of a toothpaste tube into their foot veins in underpasses.
The concept is to get the approximately 500 regular users off the streets and into a cleaner environment, where they can be offered a trusted product, clean injecting equipment, and the supervision of a medical person while the deed is done. It's the very latest effort by our country to turn itself into one massive, interactive, neverending, even grimmer episode of Black Mirror, with significantly less attractive lead actors.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are the ones to direct your praise or fury at, as it's their idea, one that they hope might stop the flood of used needles clogging up some of the darker doorways and bus stops of the city.
Dr Emilia Crighton from the Glasgow and Clyde trust said of the scheme: "Nowadays we see that actually that most of Europe is providing addiction services. There are safe consumption rooms -- Switzerland has a model where there is heroin-assisted treatment and opiates-replacement treatment that satisfies the needs of the population. So we really have to find a solution that brings the solutions elsewhere in the world to Glasgow." [Telegraph]