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MSIR Update

March 20 2019 by Dr Nico Clark

MSIR at North Richmond Community Health

On 30 June 2018, we opened the medically supervised injecting room (MSIR) – a space where people who inject drugs can do so under medical supervision, without judgement and with facilitated access to health care and social support. 

The City of Yarra had the highest frequency of heroin related deaths in Victoria between 2009 to 2016 – one of the reasons North Richmond was chosen as the sole location for Victoria’s MSIR trial.

The MSIR has seen encouraging figures since opening. We receive an average of 200 visits per day and our staff have prevented almost 100 overdoses each month from happening elsewhere.

Recent ambulance data shows that the proportion of overdoses when the room is open has dropped, suggesting that the MSIR is starting to have a positive impact.

Beyond the facts and figures, we can see the positive changes in the behaviour and direct feedback we receive from clients. We have people come through who are just grateful to be treated equally, like human beings.

The MSIR links clients to services that provide help with addiction, hepatitis C treatment, oral health, mental health and more. MSIR clients are thankful to have the opportunity for rehabilitation, better health outcomes and more employment opportunities.

We look forward to launching the purpose-built facility later this year, which will provide more supervised space and more treatment and consulting rooms.

On behalf of North Richmond Community Health, I would like to thank our community, volunteers and staff. We appreciate your patience and support in creating the much needed MSIR.

– Nico Clark (Medical Director)

Dr Nico Clark medically supervised injecting room (MSIR)

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