Copenhagen’s drug injection rooms a success story, mayor says

Life has become easier and safer for drug addicts in the Danish capital since the introduction of the fixerum in 2012

The lives of drug addicts who overdose can often be saved, provided they are using a drug injection room, figures show.

READ ALSO: Scandinavia’s largest drug injection room opens in Copenhagen

Since two fixerums were opened by the municipality in 2012 in the face of considerable opposition, 643 people have been treated for overdoses without a single fatality, DR Nyheder reports.

A new way of reaching out
“This tells me there has been a crying need [for the fixerums]. And it has been right to find a new way for the many people living a chaotic existence on the street with little or no contact to the system,” said Jesper Christensen, the deputy mayor for social issues.

“In just a single year we have concluded up to 2,500 advisory talks about health and social conditions with citizens living on the edge and often far from help, and there’s no doubt we have improved their prospects.”

Many lives saved
One of the fixerum is situated on Halmtorvet in Vesterbro. Its operator Louise Runge Mortensen believes the rooms have made a difference.

“We’ve saved lots of lives. Things could have gone really wrong if these people had been lying in stairwells, cellar shafts or flats, where we were unable to help them.”

Safer for children to play
The rooms have also benefited local residents as well. Having them has meant that drug addicts are now no longer forced to be out on the streets and that the amount of drug-related rubbish, such as discarded syringes and needles, has been reduced.

The two fixerums cost the municipality 32 million kroner per annum to run.