Pirate MP Tomáš Vymazal suggests creating special facilities across the Czech Republic where people could use drugs safely under the supervision of health professionals.
The aim is to lower the number of drug-related deaths in the country, and reduce the amount of drug use on the street and the problems it causes.
The rooms would mainly serve the most vulnerable groups of drug addicts who have lost their families, ended up on the streets, and are not interested in quitting drugs.
People would inject the drug themselves, and the medical staff would be ready to intervene on the spot in the event of an overdose.
Workers could test the drug for dangerous ingredients to prevent overdose or death. Addicts would also have access to hot showers and snacks on site.
Vymazal was inspired by other European countries where this system is already in place. Drug addicts use similar facilities in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, and Australia.
“Hot water and a cup of tea mean a lot to these people, so they are willing to go there. Furthermore, they will inevitably meet social workers who are trying to get rid of their addiction or at least get them to some therapeutic community in which they would solve their problems,” he adds.
However, Vymazal’s proposal has no support in the Chamber of Deputies. Critics have suggested the policy would condone illegal behavior and enable people to continue a poor lifestyle. It would also place too much emphasis on harm reduction at the expense of care for users.
“It would basically be for those who use very hard drugs, which is not so widespread in our country. However, if we allowed the application rooms, we would actually legalize the possession of drugs,” Rostislav Vyzula (ANO) explained to Aktuálně.cz.
The Ministry of Health also opposed it. “Consumption rooms are usually introduced in cities where there is a so-called open drug scene. The Czech Republic does not have that much here,” said Petr Novák, the head of the inspectorate of narcotics and psychotropic substances at the Ministry of Health, “The consumption rooms also bring with their negatives, and I don’t think it is necessary to introduce them here.”