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One person a day is dying of a drugs overdose

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Tony Duffin of Ana Liffey

Tony Duffin of Ana Liffey

Tony Duffin of Ana Liffey

ONE person a day is dying from a drugs overdose, a charity group that helps people with addiction problems has said.

The Ana Liffey Drug Project, which works with 2,500 people with addiction problems, has asked for a suitable premises so it can run a "low threshold residential stabilisation" service.

It has also asked for the introduction of medically supervised injecting centres.

The call comes as it emerged that there have been scores of objections to plans to open a "wet hostel" - in which alcohol is allowed to be drunk - in Dublin city centre.

The city council is pushing ahead with plans to convert an old hotel in Fitzwilliam Street into temporary accommodation. It paid €7m for the property in 2007.

However, local business owners and residents have objected to the plans.

Tony Duffin, the director of the Ana Liffey Drug Project, said that with a suitable property the organisation could accommodate up to 20 people at a time on a pilot project to help them to stabilise.

demands

This, he said, would help them to stay off the streets as well as reduce the demands on other health services.

According to Mr Duffin, the operating costs for such a facility would be around €1.5m a year.

He said research had shown that every euro spent on treatment saves counties up to €2.50 in other costs.

These included public health benefits and crime prevention.

"It would be Ireland's first residential stabilisation service of its kind for people with addiction problems," said Mr Duffin.

"It would provide the direct access, medical stabilisation, clinical assistance and mental health care that these people need as they present to the service.

"In return, we are confident that the local community will see a reduction in crime, anti- social behaviour and drug- taking in the streets and alleys of the city."

Referring to the proposed medically supervised injection centre, the charity said this resource would allow an addicted person to inject themselves safely, away from public gaze.

hnews@herald.ie


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