31 October 2017

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement of a medically supervised injecting room trial in North Richmond.

The medically supervised injecting room trial will run for two years at the North Richmond Community Health Centre. There have been 34 deaths from drug overdose in the City of Yarra in 2017, many of them taking place in the streets of North Richmond.

NWMPHN CEO Adj/Associate Professor Christopher Carter said the evidence is clear that similar facilities in Australia and around the world save lives, and offer an opportunity to connect people who inject drugs with health services.

“This is a practical and effective solution, and one that is widely supported by local residents, traders, health and emergency services,” A/Prof Carter said.

“Now we need to make sure that there is a high level of clinical input in the way the trial is implemented, and that there are very strong linkages with detoxification, treatment and rehabilitation services – as well as social and community supports.”

100 new residential rehabiltation beds and a trial of a new rapid detox withdrawal model for local hospitals were also announced alongside the injecting room trial.

“The serious situation in North Richmond requires a multi-modal response focusing on harm minimisation, treatment and care, and we welcome these announcements as an important step towards reducing the harms caused by drug use in the area.”

The full government announcement is available here.

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