Belfast City Council urged to introduce overdose prevention facility

Belfast City Council has been asked to introduce an overdose prevention scheme following a recent spate of deaths.

On Tuesday, a group of people with drug abuse experiences met with the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Tina Black, to discuss the issues surrounding the city’s support for vulnerable people.

The meeting was initiated by Homeless Connect, representing the homeless in Northern Ireland.

According to recent reports, 15 people have died from drug overdoses in Belfast since June.

Part of Homeless Connect’s work includes managing the Regional Service Users Network (RSUN).

Funded by the Public Health Agency, it is made up of volunteers who support each other and provide advocacy and advocacy for people using substances in Northern Ireland.

RSUN Project Manager Sherlyn Logue said: “Any life lost to drug use is a preventable tragedy and there are steps now achievable that would reduce the harm and danger to so many people.

“First and foremost, we need to provide safe, monitored substance use rooms, places that ensure safe needle use and where problems and emergencies can be responded to quickly,” she said.

“Second, the life-saving drug naloxone (which provides immediate treatment to relieve overdose symptoms) must be available in the drug-using community so that it can be administered peer-to-peer without having to wait for emergency services.

“Finally, there needs to be a longer term shift in responsibility at Stormont in responding to drug use, this needs to be treated as a public health issue and not a criminal issue.

“RSUN stands ready to support individuals and help shape the future of support for people who use substances across Northern Ireland.”

Further information on the RSUN can be found here. Belfast City Council urged to introduce overdose prevention facility

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