Last night, Belfast City Council passed a motion from Green Party Councillor Mal O'Hara on the need for an Overdose Prevention Facility in the city. In response, Extern's Assistant Director of Addictions Services, Mal Byrne, said:

"We welcome the news that the motion to support an Overdose Prevention Facility has been passed by Belfast City Council following a positive and wide-ranging debate.

"We followed this discussion closely as Council Members expressed their views in support of an Overdose Prevention Facility, and we are overwhelmed at the commitment of so many of the councillors. In particular, Cllr O’Hara’s informed and passionate contribution to this discussion emphasised the urgent and critical need for such a facility to be developed as a life-saving measure."

“This motion by Belfast City Council is a pivotal moment as Extern has been engaged in discussions on the creation of an OPF with stakeholders for some time."

"We would now welcome the opportunity to engage with Council Members, policymakers and local communities to deepen these conversations and articulate a way forward, while acknowledging that there are many sensitivities around a facility of this kind."

“This motion is for all those who have lost their lives on the streets of Belfast to overdose and for those who are homeless and who suffer the consequences of problematic drug use.”

Overdose Prevention Facilities – What you need to know