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State MPs urged to act on supervised injecting facility

September 7 2017 by North Richmond Community Health

North Richmond Community Health strongly urges Victorian State MPs to act on the overwhelming evidence found by the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into a trial supervised injecting facility.

We are committed to our advocacy for a supervised injecting facility in North Richmond.

“We are not willing to see this issue swept under the carpet for political convenience,” says North Richmond Community Health chief executive Demos Krouskos. “This is a matter of extreme urgency. People are dying.”

“We ask Victoria’s elected representatives to make the practical, compassionate choice that is so desperately needed,” says Mr Krouskos. “The evidence for a supervised injecting facility has been gathered, and it is overwhelming. It is now time for our government to act.”

The Inquiry’s report found that North Richmond Community Health is on the “frontline” of the dangerous and intolerable situation posed by public drug use in North Richmond.

“I invite our elected officials to visit North Richmond and see at first hand the impact of this issue on our community. I urge them to imagine the immense loss felt by the friends and family members of people who have died of overdose.

“I also urge our parliamentarians to observe the conditions our staff are working in every day. I invite them to imagine trying to perform CPR on a person who is trapped behind a car, surrounded by rubbish, or to find a dead body as they leave work’’.

The Parliamentary Inquiry Committee singled out North Richmond Community Health as a service addressing the harms of drug use in the area.

“The Committee acknowledges the important work undertaken by [North Richmond Community Health’s] program staff. The services provided help to treat and prevent overdoses, as well as providing pathways for intravenous drug users to access primary health and other services. The Committee believes these efforts help to improve the lives of some of the most marginalised people in our community,” reads the report.

Figures from North Richmond Community Health indicate that public drug use and overdose are increasing. In the first half of 2017, the centre’s staff responded to 37 overdoses in the area immediately surrounding the facility.

North Richmond Community Health runs the largest Needle Syringe Program in the Richmond area, providing vital services to improve the health of people who use drugs and prevent the spread of blood borne viruses.

Latest figures indicate that North Richmond Community Health is dispensing up to 88,000 needles a month.

For more information, please contact Jessie Richardson:

jessier@nrch.com.au

9418 9856

 

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