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Could 'fixing rooms' be the answer to Wales' heroin problem?

Credit: Julien Behal/PA Archive/PA Images

How do we solve a problem like heroin? It’s a question that’s been asked for decades.

Latest figures show the illegal class A drug is killing more people than ever. In 2015, 85 people in Wales died as a result of taking heroin / morphine.

So could so-called ‘fixing rooms' - or consumption rooms, to give them their proper title - work?

They are places where illicit drugs can be taken under the supervision of trained staff, and they've been operating in Europe for the last three decades.

Increasingly drugs charities are calling for their introduction in Wales, even the Police and Crime Commissioner for north Wales.

ITV Wales has seen the extent of the problem in a small part of Cardiff. Next to a children’s playground we found needles and paraphernalia which had been discarded. The council encourages anyone who spots these to call the police.

Yaina Samulas, a former user, argues all this could go away if Wales introduced consumption rooms.

"It'll reduce the amount of needles, and it's a place where people can go to receive support", she said.

But this is a hugely controversial suggestion. The law makes it difficult to introduce them and some might argue it could encourage injecting.

The Welsh Government says it is looking into the issue.