Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (19:44): (1790) My adjournment matter is for the Treasurer. The action I am seeking is funding for a hydromorphone trial as part of the upcoming May budget. Hydromorphone is an intervention that breaks the nexus between heroin addiction and crime and refocuses chaotic lifestyles away from trying to score drugs and onto things like finding work and reconnecting with family. At the same time it can reduce the demand for heroin, meaning less local drug trafficking.
Hydromorphone is a TGA-approved medication. When used as an injectable opioid replacement therapy, a 2018 Canadian study found hydromorphone reduced mortality, increased quality of life and saved the health system nearly 140 000 Canadian dollars per individual, and this was when it was compared to methadone or other opioid replacement therapies. It breaks the link between addiction and crime for some of our most chronic users who have unsuccessfully tried all other treatments.
Now, many of you know in here that the Reason Party was key in the establishment of a medically supervised injecting centre in North Richmond, which has proven very successful and now manages thousands of overdoses. But what makes more sense is that a certain cohort of users at that centre be prescribed this medication for use at the centre so they are not buying on the street something that is illegal and cut with goodness knows what but rather using a safer prescription medication. It is good for the individual, it is good for the community and it is time to trial hydromorphone in Victoria, so that is why the action I seek is that the Treasurer provide the necessary funding in the upcoming budget.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Adjournment matter 8/3/22