Germany OKs drug-injection rooms

Heroin users can shoot up off the streets, unless the U.N. has its way.

Published March 13, 2000 5:00PM (EST)

When you're in need of a heroin fix, where do you go? If you happen to be in Germany, you just patter on over to the Fixerstube, of course.

Fixerstube centers provide addicts with clean swabs and needles,
counseling and a safe place to shoot liquid sky. They were declared
legal in Germany last February amid protests by German conservatives and the
United Nations.

According to the Associated Press, 13 of the so-called shooting galleries
have been operating in major German cities for some time, but they were
technically illegal. Supporters of the Fixerstube say the centers keep drug users
off the streets and have reduced the transmission of diseases that are
spread by shared needles, such as AIDS.

But the United Nations isn't buying this argument and says Germany may be
violating international law. The International Narcotics Control Board,
based in Vienna, Austria, isn't too thrilled, either -- it frowns on "opium dens
where drugs could be used with impunity."

Whoever said that has obviously never watched from an office window as homeless
junkies shoot smack into the veins of their soiled feet.

By J.A. Getzlaff

J.A. Getzlaff's Daily Planet appears every weekday. Do you have a tip or tale for J.A.? Send it to

MORE FROM J.A. Getzlaff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Drugs Germany United Nations