Medically Supervised Injecting Centre Trial
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC)?
A Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (sometimes called a Medically Supervised Injecting Room) is a safe, hygienic place where registered medical practitioners can monitor people as they inject drugs, and treat any overdoses. The centre also provides clean needles, wound care, blood testing and access to support services and materials.
Why do we need one?
A person dies every two weeks from drug overdoses within two blocks of Victoria Street in Richmond. We can prevent these deaths by treating drug overdoses as a health issue instead of a law and order issue, and by giving people support when they need it rather than punishing them. When people are determined to inject drugs the best thing we can do is engage with them and refer them into treatment, care and support services.
What are the benefits?
Based on the experience of other centres, the MSIC is expected to:
- the number of overdose deaths
- the spread of blood-borne infections and diseases
- the number of discarded needles
and provide a gateway to health and social services with the ultimate aim of reducing addiction.
Where has it worked before?
There are 90 MSICs world-wide, mostly in Europe. The Kings Cross clinic in Sydney has supervised more than 965,000 injections and managed over 6,000 overdoses without a single death since opening in 2001. They’ve also made more than 9,500 referrals to drug programs and significantly reduced the number of discarded syringes in the local area. The Kings Cross MSIC is very popular, with 70 percent of local businesses and 78 percent of residents supporting it.
Where will it be?
The trial centre will be located at North Richmond Community Health on Lennox Street. North Richmond Community Health has provided health and community services to North Richmond for over 40 years, including a needle exchange program that has operated for well over 20 years. They are well placed to refer clients to their current services and ensure access to education and treatment necessary to kick drug dependency.
How long is the trial?
The initial trial lasts for 2 years, with a review after the first year and a potential three-year extension.
Where can I get more information?
Information on the trial in a number of community languages is available at Adam Bandt's electorate office, 296 Brunswick St, Fitzroy.