A new service providing medical grade heroin to the most problematic drug users in Glasgow is ready to open.

The Enhanced Drug Treatment Service will treat the most at risk heroin users who are in danger of overdose, HIV and Hepatitis C.

The facility is a first in Scotland and described by officials as "gold standard" treatment.

The facility, costing £1.2m which is located just outside the city centre expects to treat around 20 patients in the first year and doubling to 40 in year two.

The city’s Health and Social Care Partnership wants to open a safe drug consumption facility on the same site but UK drug laws currently won’t allow it.

The EDT centre has a pharmacy where medical grade diamorphine is prescribed and dispensed with a safe injecting kit. Patients then take the drug to a booth where they will self-inject under the supervision of a nurse then move to an after-care area where they are assessed and their blood and oxygen levels are taken to check for signs of overdose before they are allowed to leave.

Staff are fully trained in overdose and have access to defibrillators and naloxone, which reverse the effect of an overdose.

Those using the service, who must already be involved with the city’s Homeless Addiction Team, will attend twice a day for the morning and afternoon sessions.

Susanne Millar, chair of the city’s Alcohol and Drug Partnership said: "It is aimed at people with the most chaotic lifestyles and severe addictions who have not responded to existing treatments.”

“People might question why people are spending money providing heroin for people with addictions. The answer is ‘we can’t afford not to’

“Not only are we striving to save the lives of individuals themselves, we also aim to reduce the spread of HIV and reduce the impact of addictions on Glasgow’s families and communities.”

Dr Saket Priyadarshi, Senior Medical officer, said: “This is a much needed and welcome addiction to the comprehensive treatment and care services already existing in Glasgow.

“Heroin assisted treatment is a highly evidence based intervention and it will be delivered with intensive psycho-social support to address the wide range of harm and social care needs that this population experiences.”