The City Council’s citizen representation Borgerrepræsentationen has agreed that the fixing rooms in Vesterbro will remain open at night from 2015.
The fixing rooms, which opened for customers two years ago, have 3,090 registered users – 511 women and 2,579 men – including a number of foreigners, such as Swedes, Russians, other eastern Europeans and Norwegians.
“Back then we believed that 100-200 drug intakes per day would be a success,” Rasmus Koberg Christiansen, a social worker and head of Skyen [The Cloud] fixing room, told Information newspaper.
“But just yesterday we have 412 drug intakes here in Skyen. We can really feel it when its pay day, when the users are paid their pension or benefits. Then the heat is really on.”
Police can see results
While the aim of the fixing rooms is partly to provide users safe conditions and prevent overdoses – the personnel have dealt with 210 overdose situations since the rooms opened – there is more at stake.
It’s also about building up relations to the users, who are offered help to escape from their addictions if they want to do so. The anonymous registration has laid the foundation for a better overview of the users and their drugs of choice, which for three out of every four users is cocaine.
“Cocaine is cheaper and as opposed to heroin, the user doesn’t become sluggish, but upbeat and ready to intake the next dose, should they be able to afford it,” Christiansen said.
Also the police have praised the fixing rooms, contending that the initiative has removed much of the drug consumption and spent syringes from the streets.