This is a first in France: in Strasbourg, Argos, the safer consumer room (more commonly known as "shoot room") will be equipped to house some of its users. This experimental room has been open for two years now. 450 people went there, with positive results: addicts who started a course of care are twice as numerous today.
But the city of Strasbourg and the Ithaca association, which deals with the room, want to go further with the creation of this specialized emergency shelter. An initiative that exists in Germany or Canada for example. "In the returns that we had, all the projects are going very well" immediately reassures Danièle Bader, director of Ithaca. The goal is to welcome the most vulnerable public often in poor health and stigmatized because of drugs.
A particularly precarious public
Since the opening of Argos, the nurses and social workers of the consumption hall have realized a major problem: more than half of the users have a precarious accommodation or are even at the street, for 22% of between them. Current devices fail to accommodate them, sometimes because of the dogs they have with them and often because of drug use. Except that this public is fragile, on the somatic and psychic level. For example, 28% have HCV, the hepatitis C virus. "" This virus is very well treated today, but treatment takes time and to get it started, having a roof is essential, "says Gauthier Waeckerlé, co Director of the Ithaca Association, which manages the consumption hall. In two years, eight pregnant women have also gone through the room. All were without permanent housing.
Ten beds: a temporary accommodation solution
An accommodation will open in the same building. The hall is now located on the ground floor of the former municipal hospital, adjoining the civilian hospital. The two upper floors will be renovated and accommodate ten beds, at first. The goal is to provide a roof, for one or two months, the time to take a treatment, to control the addiction, to facilitate the psychological care and especially to prepare the continuation, by helping in particular the users who the wish to stay in the long term.
The opening is scheduled for the end of 2019, at best. The development should cost a little more than 400,000 euros and the operation (supported by the Regional Health Agency) a little less than a million, which requires the current consumption room at lower risk.