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Supervised Injecting Room Cohort study (SIRX)

The Melbourne Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) opened in North Richmond in July 2018. A second Melbourne MSIR will open in the Melbourne Central Business District. These services remain controversial because of the limited evidence on effectiveness collected to date, resulting in ongoing opposition from some community members. In partnership with the service funders (Victorian Department of Health), service providers (North Richmond Community Health and cohealth) and consumer representatives (Harm Reduction Victoria), we are establishing SIRX, a cohort study of people who inject drugs who use the MSIRs to help understand the impacts of the services and inform ongoing community debate. 

Our study will test the hypothesis that frequent, high-coverage MISR use will reduce harms to clients, across a range of outcome measures including fatal and non-fatal overdose, blood borne viral infections and injecting-related injuries and their sequalae.


Using best-practice methods in the field, we will establish a cohort of 3000 people who use the Medically Supervised Injecting Rooms that will be followed through record linkage along with a nested sub-cohort of 1200 service users who will be followed up annually using existing infrastructure from the Burnet Institute's SuperMIX cohort study, the largest and only active prospective cohort study of people who inject drugs in Australia.

Our study will provide the evidence needed to inform debate about the MSIRs and our design will deliver the strongest evidence in a strong partnership approach within a timeframe that will inform ongoing policy and practice around supervised injecting facilities over the coming decade. 

Paul Dietze Headshot 210X210

Professor Paul Dietze

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



  • Victorian Government Department of Health
  • North Richmond Comnunity Health
  • Cohealth

Partners +

  • Victorian Government Department of Health
  • North Richmond Comnunity Health
  • Cohealth
  • University of Bristol
  • Kirby Institute
  • British Columbia Centre on Substance Use
  • St Vincent’s Hospital