In an interview with daily paper Le Parisien, socialist party MP and health minister for Paris, Jean-Marie Le Guen, called for the government to create legal injection rooms in light of figures revealing an increase in heroin use in Paris.
Le Guen, who is also a doctor, said: “90,000 kits containing among other things two syringes were distributed between January and June, which is a 7 percent increase on the same period in 2011.”
Catherine Duplessy, director of syringe-exchange charity Safe, told Le Parisien: “The number of people injecting in public roads, public toilets and car parks is increasing. That was the case in 2011, 2010 and 2009. It is now a matter of urgency.”
A report released two years ago in France by the National Institute of Health, Inserm, recommended the opening of special injection rooms to improve sanitary conditions for drug users.
Following debate among politicians at the time, the initiative was never put in place.
Such supervised drug centres already exist in Switzerland, Canada and Germany.