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16 November 2016, 06:19
The North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner has suggested drug addicts in Wrexham should be given a special space where they can safely inject themselves.
It's claimed the "fix room" would reduce the spread of infections and tackle the number of drug related deaths, and comes after concerns about the number of discarded needles that have been found in the area.
A similar idea has recently been suggested in Glasgow where addicts are allowed to inject heroin under medical supervision.
PCC Arfon Jones thinks drug addiction should be treated as a public health issue rather than a criminal matter.
"Clearly, one of the issues for the people of Rhosddu, is the amount of discarded needles.
"If we had what we call a fix centre, where they could safely inject or take their drugs, that problem would disappear overnight.
"The heroin would be prescribed in the same way a physician would prescribe methadone. 'It is medicinal heroin, so it is clean and users do not face the risk of taking a contaminated drug, like they would if they bought it on the street.
"The rooms would also provide clean injecting equipment.
"The other benefit of this approach is that it would address the problem of open low-level dealing on the streets of Wrexham because prescribing heroin would take it away from criminal elements."
Critics say the scheme would "legitimise illegal drug taking" although supporters argue it has been successful in other European countries.
It isn't clear where the centre would be located, but it has been suggested it could also offer other services for people with substance misuse problems like counselling and health care.