Pubdate: Thu, 19 Apr 2012
Source: Copenhagen Post, The (Denmark)
Copyright: 2012 The Copenhagen Post


the Location of Copenhagen's First Permanent Injection Room Has Been 
Found in the City's Vesterbro District

After years of political wrangling, Copenhagen City Council decided 
yesterday that a community centre on Istedgade in Vesterbro will be 
the site of Copenhagen's first permanent injection room.

The injection room will open in Mendenes Hjem in August 2013 but from 
this October a smaller temporary facility will open in a health 
clinic on the nearby square of Halmtorv.

The city's mayor for social affairs, Mikkel Warming (Enhedslisten), 
told journalists that the community centre was ideal.

"Many drug abusers already use the services in Mendenes Hjem, such as 
health checkups, dental care and food handouts, on a daily basis," 
Warming said. "By placing the injection room here, it creates a 
synergy with the many other services offered by the house."

Some obstacles remain before the injection room, which may cost as 
much as 18 million kroner to set up, can become a reality - including 
an expected law change that will decriminalise the taking of drugs in 
the facility.

"It will sadly take over a year to establish the injection room in 
Mendenes Hjem," Warming said. "That is why we have created the 
temporary injection room in the health centre."

The decision to place the injection room in the social centre has not 
been universally commended, however.

"I am most nervous about placing the injection room in Mendenes Hjem 
because it is too close to residential areas," city council member, 
Rasmus Jarlov (Konservative), told He added, however, that 
the permanent home of the injection room would be better suited for 
the more secluded Halmtorv.

"We are against injection rooms because it will become a hub for 
drugs and we also don't understand why anyone would want to finance a 
facility that breaks the law," he said. "I would prefer if it were on 
Halmtorv because it needs to be hidden as far away as possible."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom