The UK’s first drug consumption room could be open by next summer, the Scottish Government’s drugs policy minister has said.
Elena Whitham said there will be “robust” consultation with people who live near the facility in Glasgow.
The plans for a safe consumption room on Hunter Street were approved by NHS and council officials in Glasgow in September.
The green light came after Scotland’s Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC announced it would not be in the “public interest” to prosecute users of such a facility.
The Hunter Street centre already provides a heroin assisted treatment service.
Whitham was asked about the consumption room plans as she opened a new forensic lab for toxicology work on Wednesday.
She told the PA news agency: “There’s actually a project board that’s been set up to deliver that, we’re hoping it will be up and running by the summer time.
“There’s a huge amount of work to be undertaken between now and then.
“Part of that is really robust community consultation with residents and businesses in the area, and also working through the logistics of how the service will operate.”
Those who currently inject drugs in public spaces are expected to use the facility.
Whitham said: “It’s to give some dignity back to people but also to reduce harm, not just from the drugs themselves, from things like HIV.”
The UK Government has said it is not in favour of drug consumption rooms, but despite the Misuse of Drugs Act being reserved to Westminster the Home Office has indicated it will not stand in the way of the pilot scheme in Glasgow.
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