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SDCF - Background information

There are over 100 Safer Drug Consumption Facilities (SDCF) worldwide including Europe, North America and Australia.

SDCFs offer a compassionate, person-centred service which focuses on reducing the harms associated with injecting drug use and helps people access appropriate services to meet their needs.

Since 2015 Glasgow experienced a large and ongoing outbreak of HIV, which has been linked to homelessness, cocaine injecting and injecting in public spaces in Glasgow city centre. An investigation and report into the outbreak, ‘Taking Away the Chaos’, identified the link to public injecting and recommended the creation of a SDCF to meet the needs of this population of approximately 400-500 individuals who inject in public spaces in Glasgow city centre.

The SDCF aims to:

  • improve the experience of residents, businesses and visitors to Glasgow city centre by reducing the of impact of outdoor injecting
  • improve the health of drug users for example reducing the risk of Blood Borne Virus (BBV) transmission
  • increase recovery and opportunity for people who use drug by providing routes into recovery 
  • widen social benefits for example reducing the impact on health and criminal justice systems.

The SDCF was first proposed in Glasgow in 2016 in the Taking Away the Chaos report, a full business case was then presented to the Integrated Joint Board (IJB) in 2017. Since that time Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) representatives have worked closely with partners to develop a proposal to submit to the Lord Advocate which would allow the Lord Advocate to issue a Statement of Prosecution Policy (SPP) to the effect that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute users of the facility in terms of Section 5(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 for simple possession offences within the confines of the facility.

In 2023 the Lord Advocate indicated that such an SPP could be issued provided the service underwent robust evaluation and there was engagement with the wider community.

In September 2023 the IJB approved the implementation of the SDCF in Glasgow.

IJB reports on Safer Drug Consumption Facilities

More information

You can find more information on our frequently asked questions page.


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