Burnet Institute warmly welcomes the Victorian Government’s decision to trial a supervised drug-injecting facility (SIF) in inner Melbourne, where dozens of lives have been lost to heroin overdoses in recent years.
Victorian Premier the Hon Daniel Andrews MP has announced the facility would be based at the North Richmond Community Centre as part of a two-year trial, with a review to follow.
Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC said the Institute has worked for more than a decade in the North Richmond area to discover the best ways to reduce the harms related to injecting drug use.
“Our key focus is reducing harms such as overdose and blood borne virus transmission in the community,” Professor Crabb said.
“We welcome today’s announcement by the Andrews Government about plans to open a Supervised Injecting Facility in North Richmond.
“The evidence demonstrates that such facilities save lives.”
Burnet Program Director, Behaviours and Health Risks, Professor Paul Dietze, said a detailed evaluation of the service would be required to inform longer-term planning beyond the two-year trial period.
“Evidence accumulated over the past 20 years on SIFs in Sydney and overseas suggest that a SIF would be an important addition to service provision in the area,“ Professor Dietze said.
“It will be capable of reducing overdose deaths, acting as a vehicle for people who inject drugs to access services, and improving public amenity.
“We add that comprehensive and careful evaluation of any SIF in North Richmond will be needed to fully understand its impact in the area going forward.”
The North Richmond supervised injecting facility will be the first in Victoria and second in Australia after New South Wales established one in Kings Cross in 2001.
Find out more about Burnet’s work in Behaviours and Health Risks, and reducing harms relating to injecting drug use.