Simon Harris: Injecting centres do not legitimise drug use – if we’re serious about tackling addiction we must establish one

Addiction does not discriminate. It does not favour a gender, age, or geography. There are few families, towns or counties that have escaped the scourge of addiction.

There are many faces of addiction. We still have many challenges when discussing tobacco, alcohol and food addiction but thankfully, these conversations have begun.

However, when we discuss drug addiction, we fail to see past the labels. We paint a picture of addiction, which fails to recognise it is an illness which is relentless in its pursuit and ignorant of its prey.

We create stereotypes through our loose language compounding the isolation felt by the most vulnerable in our society.

And it must stop. I have spent the past two weeks visiting facilities such as Merchant’s Quay and Saol and met incredible staff and service users.

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Source:, November 2019. Accessed on November 19th 2019