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Feasibility study for a potential medically supervised injecting centre/drug consumption service for the ACT

Drug consumption rooms have been shown to produce a range of public health and public amenity benefits, and have been successfully established in Sydney in 2001 and Melbourne in 2018. ACT Health has been examining the feasibility of establishing a medically supervised injecting centre/drug consumption service (hereafter drug consumption room) in the ACT.

The research aimed to determine, for the ACT: relevant patterns of drug use, stakeholder views on gaps in drug harm minimisation services, stakeholder views on the need for a drug consumption room, and processes required for the implementation of a drug consumption room.


The research included a desktop review, qualitative interviews, quantitative interviews and snapshot surveys.

Desktop review: a desktop review was conducted to: (a) identify and review existing materials on the establishment of drug consumption rooms including service models and design along with costings available in the public domain, and (b) identify and synthesise data sources that capture information on drug use and drug related harms in the ACT.

Qualitative interviews: 27 qualitative in depth interviews with service providers, policymakers and consumer representatives in the ACT, NSW and VIC as well as internationally as appropriate

Quantitative interviews: 101 quantitative interviews with service users conducted by workers at the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA);

Snapshot surveys: the BI team supported and trained selected services to undertake snapshot surveys with needle and syringe program clients which add a small number of additional questions to those routinely asked of all clients when they access services in the ACT.

The study provided evidence on whether a supervised drug consumption room/s is suited to the ACT context and, if so, what form such a facility should take.

Paul Dietze Headshot 210X210

Professor Paul Dietze

Please contact Professor Paul Dietze for more information about this project.


Partners +

  • Chris Gough, Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy