Paris’s local government is looking into opening “shooting rooms” for the city’s estimated 5,000 crack cocaine addicts.
The government, which has had approval from Health Minister Agnes Buzyn, will shortly launch a citizen’s consultation on the plans and is looking at several sites across the city to accommodate crack users.
Among the locations, according to a report from newspaper Le Parisien, is the heavily migrant-populated 18th arrondissement, which has also seen several large makeshift migrant camps emerge in recent years.
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“Our goal is to reach people at the scenes of drug addiction,” said Anne Souyris, who serves as a health advisor to Paris’s socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo. “The goal is to position ourselves in the places of consumption, to be as near as possible to addicts,” she added.
Emmanuel Duprat, a resident’s representative in the area of Les Halles, which has also been considered for a shooting room, commented: “Personally, I think we should help addicts to get rid of drugs rather than make shooting rooms available to them.”
The shooting rooms come after Paris opened its first such site in 2016 in the 10th arrondissement, but that room does not allow entry to crack cocaine users.
Other countries, such as Canada, have also created “safe injection sites” in cities with major problems with addictive illegal narcotics.
Earlier this year, the government of the Canadian province of Alberta announced it would be reducing or moving safe injection sites after a report stated that the sites had increased crime in the area.
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“They’re now more than injections … they’re just illegal drug sites. I think we see pretty much everywhere a marked increase in crime in the area of those sites and social disorder and negative human consequences,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said.