Interactive workshop: Consumption rooms – how does it work and why?

Speaker: Håvard Spjøtvold (Norway, Head of Drug Consumption Room in Oslo).

Presentation of the injection site in Oslo

Facts:

  • 6 injection spaces
  • Opening hours 09:00 to 15:00
  • 2040 registered users
  • Average on a daily basis: 75 injections
  • Annual budget: 1.5 mill euro

In Norway we have one injection site (DCR) and you can find it in the centre of Oslo.

The injection site opened its doors in February 1st 2005 as a temporary project; it has been evaluated by external researchers from 2005 until 2009. The injection site functions as a health and social service where injecting drug users in Oslo can inject their heroin.

I will present to you how the injection site in Oslo functions and the impact the service has had on the injecting drug users.

Before the injection site in Oslo opened, the issue of an injection site were discussed in all the major newspapers in Norway. The main argument for the creation of an injection site in Oslo was the amount of deaths caused by drug overdoses. The opposers said that they were afraid that an injection site in Oslo would be a facilitator of illegal drug use and that it would decrease the drug users´ motivation of seeking treatment.

The struggle to keep the facilities open has been a long and tough one for the parties involved and it is still not one hundred percent certain that the injection site will continue to serve the drug users in Oslo in 2011. I will communicate how the injection site came to be and the arguments put forward by the supporters and opposers to the service.