A SUPERVISED gallery where addicts can inject heroin in Glasgow could be open by the end of the year.

Social work chiefs are looking at possible venues for the “safer consumption facility” after HIV-infected drug use continues to rise.

The development emerged at a meeting of the city council’s Integration Joint Board yesterday attended by councillors, social work, representatives from Greater Glasgow health board and trade unions.

Loading article content

The local authority’s chief social work officer Susanne Millar said that legal documents were still being prepared, but the facility could be open by the end of 2017.

However, she cautioned that the timing of the legal issues was outside the board’s control, so the facility might not be expected to be completed so quickly.

The board meeting was told there were currently 78 confirmed cases of drug addicts with the virus, a rise from 54 in just one year.

Ms Millar added: “This shows an upward trajectory, and it is significantly more than we have seen in a long time.”

The board was told the plans were a “spend to save” initiative, with the average lifetime cost to treat someone with HIV about £360,000.

The costs to care for the 350 people injecting heroin in the city centre over a two-year period were put at £1.7 million.

Health board member Simon Carr said he was concerned about financial detail, adding: “We don’t yet know what the costs are.”

This will be discussed at next month’s meeting.