Budapest, October 16 (MTI) – The fundamental rights ombudsman on Friday said needle-exchange programmes should not be scrapped since they prevent the spread of contagious diseases and contribute to a healthy environment.
Laszlo Szekely said in a statement that he had seen in the press that Budapest’s 13th district council had requested that the Drug Prevention Foundation end its programme for drug addicts after local residents complained about increased traffic in the area due to the closure of the programme in the 8th district.
The ombudsman’s office said ending the 13th district scheme would worsen the quality of drug rehabilitation. Szekely said needle-exchange does not promote drug use but rather contributes to rehabilitation and leads to a decline in illegal drug use.
Szekely called on the government to adopt a national drug prevention strategy for 2015 and 2016. He called on the mayor of the 13th district to put together a scheme that could potentially substitute the needle-exchange programme.