Municipal Executive votes the call for proposals that will set up Supervised Drug consumption Rooms in Porto

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The Municipal Executive will consider the opening of the calls to the supervised drug consumption rooms, during the next Executive meeting on 12 July, to give way to the setting up of a removable supervised consumption space.

This proposal, which is signed by the councillor for Housing and Social Cohesion, Fernando Paulo establishes the criteria for granting financing to the programme, to which all persons, collective non-profit, for the express purpose of fighting drug addiction, with a role in the city of porto geographic area, can apply.

The space to be implemented is aimed at the users of psychoactive illegal substances, injected or smoked. This will be the first solution of its type in the country, although it is envisaged by law for several years now, and will rely on the support by Porto City Hall, in the amount of 650 thousand euros.

The programme will, in a first phase, last for one year, on a trial basis, and then a second phase will enter into force, with the duration of two years. The threshold for public funding is ensured by Porto City Hall for the first year of the implementation of the programme, on a trial basis, which is 270 thousand euros.

The team of the supervised consumption room will include professionals on site at all times, and during the operating hours (ten hours per day, seven hours per week), comprising two nurses, a psychosocial technician, a peer educator, a cleaning assistant and a security guard. These team members will have the part-time assistance of other professionals such as a psychologist, a social worker and a doctor.

The assessment and the decision on the submitted proposals will be the responsibility of a jury led by the President of the Public Health Institute, Henrique Barros, and a member appointed by the councillor of Housing and Social Cohesion, and another three members, each of them designated by the partner entities: Intervention Services on Addictive Behaviour and addictions (SICAD), Northern Regional Administration (ARS Norte) and the Local District Social Security Centre.

The Supervised Drug Consumption Programme of the Municipality of Porto is a cooperation between several entities, following the protocol signed in 2020 to implement this type of solution in the city. This document, endorsed by Porto City Hall, by SICAD, by the ARS Norte and by the Social Security, plans to implement, in a first stage, a removable supervised consumption space. In a complementary fashion, a second phase foresees the setting up of a mobile supervised consumption space.

The operationalising of the protocol is up to an Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Commission that includes João Goulão (director of SICAD), Ponciano Oliveira (voting member of ARS Norte), Rosário Loureiro (Assistant Director of the Local District Social Security Centre) and by Fernando Paulo (councillor for Housing and Social Cohesion of Porto City Hall).

Once the programme’s health model and management is agreed upon, the proposal will be presented for consideration during the Executive Meeting, in the framework of the support activities by the Municipality to social activities, including those that promote health and disease prevention, assistance to people in vulnerable situations, jointly with the competent authorities within the central administration and the private social security institutions.