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The drug zealot I exposed a decade ago and how the BBC's promoting his plan for heroin 'shooting galleries' (Mail Online)

    Melanie Phillips cites CPS Research Fellow Kathy Gyngell's blog "Brighton is being used as a back door by the pro drugs ‘reform’ lobby" in her Daily Mail article on Friday 19 April 2013.

    To view the full article, visit The Mail Online website

    "Yesterday's BBC Radio 4 Today programme informed us that Brighton's local public health agency may introduce what is euphemistically called a drug 'safe consumption room', otherwise known as a 'shooting gallery'.

    The purpose of such places is to enable addicts to 'shoot up' on heroin and crack cocaine under supervision, without fear of prosecution.

    Brighton has one of the highest drug-related death rates in the UK, and is where more than one in four has used drugs - double the national average. Now it is being invited by a self-described 'independent drug commission' to consider becoming the first British city to open such a shooting gallery.

    The commission claims this would reduce drug-related harm.

    But this could not be more wrong. Successive governments have refused to sanction such shooting galleries because they have correctly judged that they would, in fact, create more harm.

    Deputy drug czar Mike Trace who was forced to resign is now independent drug commission's vice chairman

    Such places normalise, institutionalise and thus encourage the continued use of hard drugs.

    Moreover, they risk turning whole areas into drug hot-spots. Brighton, already reeling from its drug problem, would instantly become a magnet for drug users and dealers alike.

    Shooting galleries are also public health hazards, with increased rates of HIV and hepatitis.

    More than 90 drug consumption rooms have been set up worldwide, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain and Canada. Those promoting such places claim they have achieved great success. 

    A frequently cited example is Vancouver, which established the first medically supervised drug injection site in North America and which proponents claim has greatly reduced drug harm.

    But the evidence from Vancouver is, to put it mildly, ambiguous. As Kathy Gyngell of the Centre for Policy Studies has noted, the reports which gave this injection site glowing notices were written - and then further spun - by drug liberalisers, who distorted the evidence and downplayed the negative findings.

    A subsequent study which analysed the data in 13 of these reports came to a very different conclusion. In the Journal of Global Drug Policy, Dr Colin Mangham wrote that this injection site had made no impact on overdose deaths, led to little or no reduction in the transmission of blood-borne diseases or on public disorder, and had propelled few drug-users into long-term treatment and recovery."

    To view the full article, visit The Mail Online website

    For more on this see Kathy Gyngell's blog: Brighton is being used as a back door by the pro drugs ‘reform’ lobby

    Date added: Friday 19th April 2013