The Victorian Government is trialling a medically supervised injecting room at North Richmond Community Health.

With the high numbers of Victorians losing their lives to drug-related overdoses, the medically supervised injecting room (MSIR) is a safety-first, medical approach focused on harm reduction.

The MSIR will act as a gateway for clients to link with other health and support services, ensuring they have access to the full range of education and treatment they to need to reduce harm from their drug use and ultimately kick their drug dependency.

It will also work to reduce overdose deaths and overdose harm, improve neighbourhood amenity for local residents and businesses, and reduce the number of discarded needles and syringes in the neighbouring areas.

The trial will take place for an initial two year period with the option to extend the trial for a further three years. An independent panel will review the medically supervised injecting room trial.

After considering the evidence collected by the panel during the trial, a decision will be made on whether the service should continue.

The MSIR will operate under strict oversight including:

  • legislation to ensure the room can only operate at the North Richmond Community Health site for the duration of the trial
  • allowing only people aged over 18 years to use the facility
  • ensuring that illegal drugs won't be provided or dealt at the facility
  • security stationed inside and outside the facility
  • additional security measures, including 13 CCTV cameras near the facility and in surrounding streets
  • working closely with Victoria Police and the Department of Health and Human Services to support community safety while minimising drug harm.

A transitional MSIR has been built by refurbishing available space in the current North Richmond Community Health building.

The transitional facility is expected to operate until mid-2019, when operations then move to a purpose built facility on the North Richmond Community Health site.

The department and North Richmond Community Health will work together with key stakeholders including  local residents, schools, businesses and the City of Yarra to ensure they are engaged with and informed throughout the trial.  

The medically supervised injecting room is part of the Drug Rehabilitation Plan which builds on the work done through the Ice Action Plan to save lives, treat users, keep our streets safe, and to crack down on dealers.

If you would like more information about the service, please download the FAQs or email aod.enquiries@dhhs.vic.gov.au or call us on (03) 9096 7183 (Monday to Friday, 9:30am – 4:30pm).