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Medically supervised injecting room now open at North Richmond Community Health

July 9 2018 by North Richmond Community Health

Last week, North Richmond Community Health opened its medically supervised injecting room.

For the past forty years, we have spent every day working to improve the health and wellbeing of our community. We offer services to treat people’s illnesses and support their mental health. We help people get movingfeed their families and take care of their oral health.

Increasingly, we have helped keep people alive. Our staff attend up to 59 overdoses per year, in carparks and gutters, at a moment’s notice.

As of Saturday 30 June, we now provide a safe and hygienic place where people can inject drugs, in a supervised health setting. If a person overdoses in the room, our trained staff can respond immediately.

By locating the medically supervised injecting room with other healthcare services, we have the opportunity to help make long-term changes to people’s lives. There is now a place where people who inject drugs can access respectful, non-judgmental care.

In its first week of operation, the medically supervised injecting room saw over 400 visits. Our staff responded to 12 overdoses. Several of these would have been fatal without medical intervention.

Importantly, about a quarter of clients have already asked for assistance with drug treatment and a third have requested help with their hepatitis.

The medically supervised injecting room has opened as a two-year trial, evaluated by an independent review panel. Results from its first week have been encouraging, but we know that it will take some time to see the full impact of the service.

We understand that many members of the community have a keen interest in the medically supervised injecting room. However, as this is a confidential health service, we ask that all community members respect one another’s privacy while at North Richmond Community Health.

If you would like to learn more about the medically supervised injecting room, please click here.

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