North Paris “Shooting Gallery” Proposal Gathers Steam


A controversial approach to the problem of drug addiction in one part of Paris is causing consternation amongst some and being welcomed by others, including a Socialist deputy-mayor who is now urging authorities to add to the proposed service

The deputy-mayor of the 18th arrondissement of Paris Daniel Vaillant has drawn controversy with his remarks over the weekend about hopes that a “crack-house” will be set up to accommodate those addicted to the drug.

Already in place since the start of February is a plan to open a “shooting gallery” near the Gare du Nord; due to open “within a matter of weeks”, according to mayor of the 10th arrondissement Rémi Féraud. Many local residents are opposed to the plan, fearing that it will only worsen an already serious situation in this part of the capital by creating a Mecca for heroin addicts everywhere.

Féraud’s fellow-socialist in the neighbouring and northernmost arrondissement has suggested that in his constituency, the problem of crack was an even greater one than in the 10th and he urged his fellow councillors to consider the idea of creating a crack-house to allow addicts to practice their dependency in a monitored healthy environment, while giving respect to residents.

Putting the crack-house before the horse? Socialist Party deputy-mayor of Paris' 18th Daniel Vaillant

Putting the crack-house before the horse? Socialist Party deputy-mayor of Paris’ 18th Daniel Vaillant

“I think that the low-risk consumption room next to the Gare du Nord should be put in place first of all,” said Mr Vaillant, “but it would be a good idea to consider, along with the practitioners, the opening of a room for crack abusers on an experimental basis.”

Although the drug consumption envisaged for the “shooting gallery” of the Gare du Nord won’t necessarily exclude “crack-heads”, it doctors seemingly believe that the mixing of the two types of drug-abusers isn’t desirable.

Very few local residents seem to be in favour of any form of legalisation of the use of hard drugs in their neighbourhood, even on an experimental basis. This sentiment was reflected in a weekend public flash poll organised at a café in the 10th arrondissement which resulted in 93% of the 300 voters who turned up voting against the idea.

Local right-wing UMP councillor Vincent Roger reacted with “consternation” to Mr Vaillant’s additional proposal: “Such a proposition sends out a serious message to the youth – it’s an open invitation to them to suspend the laws that protect them… and it goes against the grain of medical advice.”

scroll to top

We use cookies on this website primarily to improve its functionality. Along with typical standard cookies, we also use cookies and content from Google (maps, YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter) to improve the performance of this site. In order to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Requirements, all cookies and content from Google, Twitter, Facebook and co. are deactivated by default. They will only be activated once you click "Accept" to allow the use of cookies and third-party content. If you initially choose not to accept cookies, you will not be able to watch videos or access other media content on this site. However, you can change this setting on any page containing third-party media by selecting the option to allow content. On the Privacy Policy page under “Cookies” you have the option to give or revoke your consent to the use of cookies. For more information please click the link below to read our: Privacy Policy

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.