Medically Supervised Injecting Room
Reducing public injecting, improving amenity and saving lives.
What is a medically supervised injecting room?
A medically supervised injecting room is a hygienic place where people can inject drugs in a supervised health setting. This means that if someone overdoses in the room, a staff member can respond immediately. It’s also a place to access other health services like mental health support, drug treatment, wound care and blood testing.
The medically supervised injecting room initially opened as part of a two-year trial, which was extended for another three years following an initial independent review. In March 2023, following the recommendations of a second independent review, the Victorian Government announced that the service would become a permanent fixture in North Richmond. Our response is available here.
Both independent reviews have found that the service has done exactly what it was intended to do – it has saved lives, connected people to the many critical health and social support services provided at our health centre, and improved the local North Richmond community.
We gather stories and experiences from people who have used the medically supervised injecting room along with family members and support workers with experience supporting someone who uses drugs.
People who use drugs are largely stereotyped and stigmatised by society. Stereotyping can often lead to prejudice, antipathy and discrimination. The stigma and discrimination associated with drug use can prevent people from seeking treatment, testing, and other important health services. By listening and sharing the stories and lived experiences of people who use drugs, we can reduce the stigma around drug use and break down the barriers to getting help and support.
Read stories from the MSIR here.
- a place to inject drugs in a health setting
- trained staff to manage an overdose
- doctors, nurses and counsellors
- links to other health and social support services.
Linking to support services:
The medically supervised injecting room can help improve people’s health and wellbeing, and social connectedness by linking people to support services that address:
- substance issues
- hepatitis C treatment
- oral health
- mental health
- drug treatment and more.
Our services are:
- for 18+.
What are the benefits of a medically supervised injecting room?
Supervised injecting rooms around the world have:
- reduced overdose deaths and overdose harm
- reduced ambulance attendances and emergency department presentations
related to overdose
- reduced the number of discarded needles and syringes in nearby public places
- assisted in reducing the spread of blood-borne diseases including HIV and hepatitis C
- provided a gateway to health and social services for people who inject drugs.
How does it work?
Step 1: registration and a brief assessment
When a person enters the medically supervised injecting room, they are assessed by staff and registered as a client. Only those who are over the age of 18 can attend the service.
The registration process involves a brief assessment with a staff member, who discusses the client’s medical history with them. Each client is required to provide a name and a password to register for the service and access the medically supervised injecting room on subsequent visits.
On each visit, eligible clients provide their name or password, and other information including the drug they intend to inject. This assists staff in responding to an overdose in the medically supervised injecting room.
No drugs are supplied in the medically supervised injecting room.
Step 2: medically supervised injecting and overdose response
Once registration and assessment are complete, clients move into the injecting area. They wash their hands, are provided with sterile injecting equipment and given harm reduction advice before they inject their pre-obtained drugs in an allocated booth.
Once a client has injected, they dispose of any needles and syringes safely and wash their hands again.
The injecting area is supervised by qualified health staff. Clients are monitored closely for signs of overdose. Staff respond to all overdoses or related medical incidents, which may include the administration of oxygen or other medication.
After injecting, clients move to an aftercare space in the facility, where they stay until they feel ready to leave.
During this time, clients are able to talk further with qualified staff about their wider health and social support needs. They are supported to access other health services and support services, such as drug treatment and rehabilitation.
The Needle and Syringe Program also provides support services in the same building from 7am to 9pm on weekdays and from 8am to 7pm on weekends.
Working with the community:
North Richmond Community Health is working with a range of people and organisations to improve the safety and wellbeing of our community. This includes the Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, local schools, the Victorian Government, the City of Yarra, local residents and our clients.
We welcome your thoughts. If you would like to provide online feedback on the medically supervised injecting room please visit here. If you would like to speak to someone directly, contact: email@example.com or call 9418 9800.
If you find discarded injecting equipment around North Richmond Community Health during business hours, please contact our reception on 9418 9800. We will collect it.
If you find a syringe in a street or park or want someone to pick up a syringe from your property, you can request syringe management services online or by calling the council on 9205 5555. More information can be found here.
For more information about who to contact in regard to community health, safety and wellbeing in North Richmond, please visit here.
We have printed MSIR information available. You can order free copies of our MSIR posters, business cards or brochures by emailing your order to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For health, legal and other professionals/stakeholders who wish to learn more about the trial and how a medically supervised injecting room operates, the facility has reopened for tours and information sessions.
NRCH is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and has taken proactive steps to lower the risk of transmission in our local community, whilst continuing to offer our vital services.
For more information on how to request a tour and information session, see here or scan the QR code below.
The medically supervised injecting room is supported by the Victorian Government.
How to access our services
North Richmond Community Health 23 Lennox St Richmond, VIC 3121
Please enter the new building via Lennox St (see map above).
You do not need an appointment.
(03) 9418 9811
|Monday||7am – 9pm|
|Tuesday||7am – 9pm|
|Wednesday||7am – 9pm|
|Thursday||7am – 9pm|
|Friday||7am – 9pm|
|Saturday||8am – 7pm|
|Sunday||8am – 7pm|