France to open first safe-injection room for drug addicts

Boxes with injection materials are pictured in first safe- injection room for drug addicts in Paris, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. France opens its first safe-injection room for drug addicts despite years of efforts by conservatives to block the plan. Intravenous drug users will be given access to clean needles under medical supervision and in the presence of drug counselors in an effort to prevent viral infections and overdoses. (Patrick Kovarik, Pool via AP)

PARIS - France will open its first safe-injection room for drug addicts despite years of efforts by conservatives to block the plan.

The room, located in northern Paris, is opening for a six-year test period as allowed by a health law passed last year by the Socialist government.

Intravenous drug users will be given access to clean needles under medical supervision and in the presence of drug counsellors in an effort to prevent viral infections and overdoses. About 100 addicts are expected to come daily to the room, which was unveiled to officials Tuesday. It will open to addicts Friday.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine said in a statement that the room is an "innovative and courageous response to a health emergency situation."

The conservative opposition says the measure trivializes drug use.


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