Watch this inspiring video interview with a Catalan harm reduction activist, about how drug consumption rooms have helped to reduce drug problems in Barcelona!
In the late 80s, Barcelona saw a huge overdose and HIV epidemic among injecting drug users. Thanks to collaboration between political parties, civil society and professionals, the city produced a public-health-based response to this threat, which has proved to be a success and an inspiring example for other cities. Each district of Barcelona set up integrated centres, where drug users could use drugs in a safe environment, with sterile equipment. In these centres, they can also access other social and health services, including detox, rehab or treatment for hepatitis and HIV. Despite initial opposition from local residents, who at one time blocked the road near a supervised drug consumption room, the vast majority of people now see these centres as a success which makes streets safer and healthier.
The HCLU’s Drugreporter, in cooperation with other NGOs from six other cities, has launched the ‘Room for Change’ campaign, to promote similar urban drug policies, including drug consumption rooms. For these cities, the example of Barcelona shows that the solution to urban drug problems is not criminalisation and imprisonment, but pragmatic and non-judgmental help for drug users. Please sing the petition!
Read the report published by the Open Society Foundation, on Catalonia’s innovative approach to drug policies!