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Medically Supervised Injecting Room

Reducing public injecting, improving amenity and saving lives.

 

What is a medically supervised injecting room?
How does it work?
Resources
Public Tours
Media Enquiries

 

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 has opened as a two-year trial, which will be reviewed by an independent panel.

 

What we provide:

  • 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:

  • free
  • confidential
  • respectful
  • 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.

 

The trial

The medically supervised injecting room opened on 30 June 2018 as a two-year trial. The location of the trial is specified in legislation, so no other medically supervised injecting rooms can be opened.

An independent panel is reviewing the medically supervised injecting room during the two year trial period. After considering the evidence collected by the panel during the trial, a decision will be made on whether the service should continue at North Richmond Community Health.

 

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.

 

Stage 3: aftercare and referral

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: ourcentre@nrch.com.au or call 9418 9800.

 

Discarded needles:

If you find discarded injecting equipment around North Richmond Community Health during business hours, please contact our reception. We will collect it.

Anyone who sees a discarded syringe in the City of Yarra can call Yarra City Council’s syringe disposal hotline on 9417 5125 – just leave a message with the location of the syringe. It will be collected within 24 hours. You can also contact cohealth’s Yarra syringe disposal team by email: yarrasyringe.disposal@cohealth.org.au.

For more information about who to contact in regard to community health, safety and wellbeing in North Richmond, please visit here.

 

Resources:

Frequently asked questions about the medically supervised injecting room.

 

Public tours:

For those who wish to learn more about the trial and how a medically supervised injecting room operates, the facility will now be open for public tours and information sessions every Tuesday.

Our current MSIR tours are booked out. New tour times will be posted here soon.

If you are unable to attend your tour, please cancel your ticket or email msir@nrch.com.au prior to the tour so that we can reallocate your ticket.

 

Media enquiries:

Email Maryanne Demasi at ourcentre@nrch.com.au.     The medically supervised injecting room is supported by the Victorian Government.

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