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Home > Introducing safer injecting facilities (SIFs) in the Republic of Ireland: 'Chipping away' at policy change.

O'Shea, Mary (2007) Introducing safer injecting facilities (SIFs) in the Republic of Ireland: 'Chipping away' at policy change. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy , 14 , (1) , pp. 75-88.

Safer injecting facilities (SIFs) have been introduced in many countries throughout Europe over a number of years, and more recently have been established in Canada and Australia. This study, which was conducted in Dublin, sought to examine the policy implications of introducing safer injecting facilities in Ireland as a logical development of harm-reduction policy. A triangulation method of data collection was adopted that comprised semi-structured interviews with sixteen drug users and structured interviews with key personnel and policy makers in the drug field including the Minister for State with responsibility for Ireland's National Drug Strategy (2002-2008). The study revealed that the majority of drug users were injecting in public places, had a surprising level of knowledge of SIFs, and indicated a willingness to use such facilities. The findings of the study also revealed very mixed feelings among policy makers and key personnel and showed that amongst those in favour of such an innovation there was a preference for doing so with the maximum of discretion. The study concludes that it is perhaps 'a bridge too far' in the current political climate.

 

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