This isn’t an ‘either or’ situation. In Ireland, there are two people dying every day from a drug related cause. People can only be rehabilitated if they are alive, and the MSIF is proven to save lives. It is a vital first step in engaging hard to reach, often excluded, injecting drug users in the continuum of drug treatment and healthcare services. Furthermore, by promoting safer injecting practice, the MSIF reduces the risk of harm to people when they are at their most vulnerable.
Merchants Quay Ireland currently provides 10 medically supervised residential detox beds and 26 residential drug-free rehabilitation beds. We would like to see more investment in those services. However, we believe there also is an urgent need to reduce the number of overdoses in Ireland, as well as address the significant health risks that result from unsafe injecting.