Bring Back the Opium Den, Say Drug Campaigners

By Gary Cutlack on at

A drug policy pressure group is asking the government to think about bringing back the concept of the opium den, suggesting that a network of modern equivalent "drug consumption rooms" across the country would massively reduce the costs associated with drug use.

This suggestion is contained within a report compiled for the Drug, Alcohol and Justice Cross Party Parliamentary Group by drug awareness group Volteface, which says the government should consider running a trial of special drug-taking rooms to see what happens. At the very least it would be safer, they say, plus it would mean they could all put their syringes in a bin instead of leaving them under the swings or at the bottom of the slide.

Volteface's Lizzie McCullogh said: "We know the evidence shows that drug consumption rooms can reduce drug-related deaths and drug-related litter and we know that both drug-related deaths and drug-related litter are on the rise. Now we have to turn to feasibility and what our report shows is that drug consumption rooms can be introduced in the UK and there are viable policy options."

The government says it has no plan to consider the idea. [Sky News]