Reason Leader and Member for Northern Metropolitan Region, Fiona Patten, welcomes data reported today on the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in North Richmond, which confirms the centre is working, saving lives and getting people into much-needed treatment and recovery.
Ms Patten said that the data published today showed the centre was saving lives and referring users of the facility to drug treatment:
- • The centre has managed more than 1,130 overdoses — an average of three a day — between opening mid-2018 to June 2019.
- • In its first nine months, staff at the injecting centre carried out more than 3,300 health and social support interventions.
- • More than 250 people have started opioid replacement treatment or have been referred to other forms or drug and alcohol treatment, while 40 have entered treatment for hepatitis.
- • Ambulance data from February for callouts for North Richmond, revealed that callouts halved when the injecting centre was open.
Ms Patten said this data was proof that the centre was doing its job.
Yet, she also acknowledged that there needed to be continuous improvements made to the centre and the surrounding area to get this trial right.
Ms Patten is overseas this week for a work trip in the UK and Poland, which includes meeting with UK Ministers from the All Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform, to share knowledge and Ms Patten’s learnings after securing the first Medically Supervised Injecting Room in Victoria, as well as initiating Australia’s largest public inquiry into drug law reform, and more recently securing Australia’s first inquiry into cannabis.
“What we know is ambulance callouts dropped in the first six months of the centre opening and it has saved people from overdosing on over 1,000 occasions while connecting drug users to other drug services, including Hepatitis C treatment and mental health counselling,” Ms Patten said.
“But we will keep working with drug users and continue to listen to the community on this issue.”
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To organise an interview with Fiona Patten, please phone Kaitlin Bartlett directly.
Media Contact: Kaitlin Bartlett
Phone: 0432 294 500