A minister has revealed he wants to help spearhead the introduction of an unofficial safe consumption area – with the help of other local groups.
The unprecedented move could result in the Rev Tony Thornthwaite, of Coldside Parish Church on Main Street, and his fellow activists opening a centre in the area.
It would give drug users the opportunity to test their drugs and inject them safely in a bid to curb the number of drug deaths recorded in Dundee.
Mr Thornthwaite has seen the positive effect the R&R Cafe has had at the church where he has been in charge for the past eight years.
He now wants to take further measures in a bid to help people suffering with drug addiction.
The model adopted in British Columbia is the benchmark for the proposal, after it was discussed by experts from the Canadian province at a recent conference on the Nethergate.
Through safe consumption centres, the province has been able to reduce the rate of drug deaths and it now has 1,519 of these sites at hospitals, community centres, all supervised by paid, trained staff members.
Proposals to operate a similar service illegally but openly in Dundee have been discussed at recent steering group meetings.
The discussions have included Mr Thornthwaite as well as Dave Barrie, service manager at Addaction, and local police.
Mr Thornthwaite said: “We’ve had a meeting openly about this with local police.
“There is nothing covert about what we are proposing here but something needs to be done.
“You’ve heard the story about Kevin Hughes who went to the needle exchange on Rattray Street before he tragically died in the car park.
“Had there been a safe space, someone could have been there and prevented the loss of his life.
“NHS Tayside staff have been invited to meetings but I feel they can’t be seen to do something that is illegal.
“There are people who could administer naloxone who aren’t NHS.”
Moves to introduce safe consumption centres have been backed by the Scottish Government and, in particular, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as a way to curb the trend of drug deaths in Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon wants to see the first in Scotland introduced in Glasgow, after Andrew McAuley, a drugs expert from Glasgow Caledonian University, told the Scottish affairs committee at Westminster that there’s a whole host of reasons why Glasgow is a perfect case for the UK’s first consumption room.
Although backed by the Scottish Government, it has been blocked by the Home Office. Mr Thornthwaite added: “This would be a focus of attention that would put pressure on the powers that be to change the rules. We are talking about running a demo tent (an example of a safe consumption centre) locally to see what the reaction would be. We are very much taking this step by step.
“The hope is that something could be up and running this year. I don’t know if the church could be the place for it, but it is an option.”
Police Scotland declined to comment on the plans.