Põhja-Tallinn city district elder: District to be left without needle exchange ({{commentsTotal}})

Used needles at a support center on Tallinn's Erika Street run by nonprofit MTÜ AIDS-i Tugikeskus. Source: (Mihkel Maripuu/Postimees/Scanpix)

Tallinn Administrative Court ruled that the city of Tallinn's order regarding the establishment of a needle exchange point on Paldiski Highway was lawful, however Põhja-Tallinn city district elder Raimond Kaljulaid (Center) confirmed that despite the favorable judgment, a needle exchange would not be established there after all.

The court noted in its ruling that the needle exchange point would not have compromised the health of the people living in its immediate vicinity and that the city had made its decision in the public interest.

The court did not consider appropriate arguments against the needle exchange that the closing down of the needle exchange point on Erika Street has to do with the commercial interests of the recently opened Arsenal Shopping Center.

According to Kaljulaid, however, the Paldiski Highway issue was no longer relevant anyway, as the establishment of a needle exchange service at this address was off the table in any case.

"The National Institute for Health Development (TAI) is not willing to fund a needle exchange service at this location, which means that substitution treatment and various consulting services will be moving to Paldiski Highway and starting at the beginning [of 2017], Põhja-Tallinn will be left for some unknown amount of time without a stationary needle exchange point," said Kaljulaid. "This is a bad decision, considering that this is a city district with a fairly serious drug problem."

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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