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SuperMIX: The Melbourne Injecting Drug User Cohort Study

People who inject drugs often experience a range of harms related to the social circumstances in which they live, the drugs they use and the policies related to this. SuperMIX is the largest and only active cohort study of its type ever conducted in Australia providing a platform for understanding some of the factors, such as homelessness, that impact on the health of people who inject drugs. Importantly, it can also examine the effects of services, such as supervised injecting facilities, and whether they improve the health of people who inject drugs.

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SuperMIX is a cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID) that has been running in various forms at the Burnet Institute since 2008. The original cohort of 688 was recruited between 2008 and 2010 with an additional 69 participants added to the cohort in 2011.

In 2017 we began a new recruitment wave and the study has more than 1,300 participants in 2023. Ongoing recruitment and follow-up will continue through to the end of 2026. Further work will be undertaken using a range of novel measures to examine a broader range of health issues that cohort participants may experience.


SuperMIX provided important information about how injecting drug use evolves over time, focused on periods during which cohort members cease injecting drug use and if they subsequently relapse and the drivers of this cessation and relapse. It has produced fundamental new information on service use by people who inject drugs and shown how some services such as supervised injecting facilities reduce harms.

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Professor Paul Dietze

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



  • Colonial Foundation Trust
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (545891, 1126090, 2019034)

Partners +

  • Matthew Hickman, University of Bristol
  • Thomas Kerr, BC Centre of Excellence in HIV/AIDS
  • Lisa Maher, Kirby Institute
  • Sione Crawford, Harm Reduction Victoria
  • Paul Agius, Deakin University
  • Andrew Stewardson, Monash University
  • Jack Stone, University of Bristol
  • Bernadette Ward, Monash University
  • Michael Livingston, Curtin University


Meet the project team. Together, we are translating research into better health, for all.