• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Paris venue chosen for first drug ‘safe house’

Ben McPartland · 30 May 2013, 17:30

Published: 30 May 2013 17:30 GMT+02:00

Authorities revealed on Thursday that 39, Boulevard de la Chapelle just behind Gare du Nord, in one of the capital's more impoverished neighbourhoods, will be home to the country's first drug 'safe house' for addicts.

Remi Feraud the local Mayor tried to calm fears by insisting the site was “far enough away from residential areas, schools and shops to not pose a serious risk of public disorder.”

It comes after the French Prime Minister’s office confirmed earlier this year the safe zone will open on an experimental basis and will be managed by the "Inter-ministerial mission for the fight against drugs and drug addiction" (Mildt) in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.

Drug 'safe houses', referred to in French as “salles de shoot” (shoot-up rooms) are currently illegal in France. They are designed to get vulnerable addicts off the streets and into a safer environment where conditions are more hygienic.

France's Minister for Health, Marisol Touraine announced  last year that the government would be looking to experiment with safe houses for addicts in 2013.

Similar venues are set to open in several other cities across France.

The scheme has provoked an angry response among members of France's opposition UMP party.

In a statement released on Tuesday UMP party secretary Camille Bedin said: "If one of these centres opens up then families living near by will suffer from the scourge of drug trafficking.

Story continues below…

“Prevention and punishment are the best means to fight against drugs, not consumption. The government is sending out the message that it tolerates drug trafficking.”

"Addicts need help, not a place to take drugs" - click here to find out what the people of Gare du Nord think about the project.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where property prices have risen most in France
Photo: AFP

You might just have been priced out of the market if you're looking to buy in Bordeaux.

Official Paris refugee camps to open end of September
Photo: AFP

Will this see an end to the squalid makeshift camps that spring up across the city?

Paris Metro takes on 'air hostesses' to promote safety
Photo: RATP/Screenshot

Did you see the "air hostesses" on the Metro this week?

Paris region doubles security budget for schools
Photo: AFP

France is prioritizing the protection of schools amid a heightened terror threat.

All you need to know about changes in French schools
All photos: AFP

School's back tomorrow, with a raft of new changes. Here's what you need to know.

Emmanuel Macron the next French president - Really?
Emmanuel Macron: The next French president? Photo: AFP

Can the 38-year-old maverick and former Rothschild banker really become the president of France in eight months' time?

€50 million of coke found in Coke factory in France
File photos: Owen Blacker/Flickr and Adrian Scottow/Flickr

Employees have sniffed out 370kg of coke in a French Coke factory.

Morocco's king drains water supply from French villages
King Mohamed VI of Morocco. Photo: AFP

King in town + 300-strong entourage = no drinking water for a French village.

Macron vows 'to transform France from next year'
Photo: AFP

Ex-Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron sets his sights on the presidency albeit without saying so.

French PM suggests naked breasts represent France
A statue of Marianne at the Place de la Republique in Paris, with her left breast on show. Photo: AFP

Just as the burqini ban furore was dying down French PM Manuel Valls has stirred things up again for suggesting naked breasts were a stronger symbol of the Republic than a Muslim headscarf.

Culture
16 things you almost certainly didn't know about France
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Politics
Emmanuel Macron: The whizzkid who could shake up French politics
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
2,751
jobs available