The Government says it is open to the idea of drug injection rooms for addicts.

Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White was responding to recommendations of a drug treatment group.

The group also called for better detoxification and medical treatments.

The report from Merchants Quay and Ana Liffey Drug Project found 45% of addicts are testing positive for Hepatitis C.

A rise in drug-related activity in Dublin city centre is expected during the summer.

The report found that 14% of addicts say they take drugs in public areas.

Tony Duffin from Ana Liffey says the idea of Medically Supervised Injecting Centres (MSIC) have proven to be successful in Madrid and Sydney.

The report "A Safer City for All" also points out that there is no crisis detoxification centre in the country.

Addicts have to be stabilised before they are accepted for detoxification or medical treatment.

Merchants Quay Ireland CEO Tony Geoghegan said the "bar is set too high" for many of the addicts.

The report found that of 125 addicts who tested positive for Hepatitis C only 18 were in treatment.

It said that there is a high-risk group of intravenous drug users showing a high incidence of unsafe injecting practices.

The report shows also low rates of testing for Hepatitis C and HIV.

It calls for greater medical and testing facilities in drug treatment centres to help the addicts and reduce the spread of disease.

Drug use in Ireland decreasing

Meanwhile, drug use in Ireland is decreasing according to an EU study, which has found use of heroin, cocaine and ecstasy decreasing in most countries.

But the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has warned about synthetic stimulants, with 70 new drugs detected in the past year.

Opiate use, which includes heroin, is high in Ireland by European standards, with between 6.2% and 8.1% estimated problem users per 1,000 of the general population.

This is comparable with Britain (8.0% to 8.6%) but twice the number in Germany (2.9% to 3.4%).

The highest number was in Latvia (5.0% to 9.9%).

But new entrants to treatment programmes in Ireland are now less likely to be injecting drugs - only 23% of first time entrants are using intravenously, compared to 31% of existing patients.

Deaths involving heroin have fallen from 115 in 2009 to 70 in 2010.

Cocaine use among the general population here has fallen from 1.7% in to 2006/7 to 1.5% in 2010/11.

Cocaine deaths decreased to 52 in 2009 compared to 66 in 2007, but still higher than the ten reported in 2003.

The Health Research Board says that use of ecstasy and other synthetic drugs has decreased in Ireland with fewer "adverse events" being reported.