Denmark has one of the highest overdose death rates in the European Union. Contrary to common beliefs overdose is a preventable cause of death and its prevention does not cost a lot of money: you need to provide skills and tools for preventing lives and a safe environment to use drugs. The HCLU's short movie shows a new innovative project in Copenhagen that can serve as a good practice.
Most injecting drug users have been using drugs in dark alleys where there is no access to sterile injection equipment and nobody helps if they overdose - but this situation is changing now. Harm reduction activists were tired of many years of debate so they went ahead and set up a new mobile injection room, Fixerum. This van aims to reach out people who use drugs on the streets and let them use drugs under medical supervision. If an overdose occurs the medical staff can immediately intervene with Naloxone, an antidote for heroin overdose. The unit is also equipped to prevent the spread of infectious diseases through distributing sterile syringes, needles and condoms. We know from studies that injection rooms do not cause drug use to go up but they are effective in reducing the risks for the individual drug users and their neighborhoods. In addition, Fixerum helps people to access basic social and health services, to find a work and a home, and connect them to society in general. Actually there is no magic in harm reduction. It is very simple: you should treat drug users as people with dignity. We praise activists in Copenhagen for taking the leadership in these turbulent times of economic crisis and political populism.
Posted by Peter Sarosi