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SDCF - Local communities

Safer Drug Consumption facilities (SDCF) were first established in Switzerland in the 1980’s. There are now more than 100 of these facilities worldwide, which has resulted in extensive research and evaluation of the impact on local communities.

The general themes from this research show that following the opening of SDCFs:

  • local residents and business owners report less public injecting 
  • local residents and business owners report less discarded injecting equipment 
  • there is no increase in drug trafficking in the locality of the SDCFs
  • there is no increase in assaults or robbery in the locality of the SDCFs
  • there was no increase in crimes commonly linked with drug use
  • can save money with respect to minimising expenses related to clearing and disposing of drug related litter from local communities
  • can save money for health and social care services by reducing the spread of infectious disease, such as HIV, and reducing hospital admissions and A&E visits
  • can reduce ambulance call outs to suspected drug overdose.

The Hunter Street Health and Social Care Centre was identified as the site for the SDCF as it is well known to the target population and key partners. The site offers a discrete base, closely located to the city centre and the implementation of the existing Enhanced Drug Treatment Service at this site has not caused significant challenges for the community.

The Safer Drug Consumption facility (SDCF) was proposed in the ‘Taking Away the Chaos’ report following the HIV outbreak which is ongoing, but started in 2015. 

It is expected that the SDCF will improve public amenity and reduce the impact of outdoor drug use on the community, businesses and residents and have a positive impact for the economy of the area.

Improving the local amenity includes reducing the impact of outdoor injecting by reducing:

  • the levels of discarded drug related litter
  • the levels of outdoor injecting
  • the levels of drug related criminal activity, public disorder and other anti-social behaviours.

The Lord Advocate has indicated that it will not be in the public interest to prosecute users of the SDCF in terms of simple possession of drugs whilst on the site. This does not apply travelling to and from the facility, and it is our understanding that Police Scotland will police the surrounding area in the same way as they do at present. You can contact Police Scotland directly.

Find out more about engaging with the development of this project.  

More information

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


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