MS PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (12:35:23) — My question is for the Minister for Mental Health, represented by Minister Mikakos. On 6 August this year Coroner Audrey Jamieson reported in relation to the tragic overdose death of Samuel Jack Morrison. In her report she noted that, and I quote:
Advocating for establishment of the North Richmond Community Health (MSIC) has been the central focus of coroners’ heroin harm reduction efforts over the past two years. However, if this MSIC had been operating when Mr Morrison was still alive, I suspect it would not have had an impact on the risk of his dying from heroin-involved overdose.
She went on to recommend that the government and the Department of Health and Human Services consider other supports and continue development of risk-reducing strategies for people who inject drugs. I ask if the minister can outline what other strategies they are doing to reduce the risk of injecting drugs.
MS PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (12:39:40) — Thank you, Minister, for your response. Yes, the heroin toll is now the highest it has been since 1999. Far more people are dying from heroin than they are from ice or even from the road toll. In looking at the tragic death of Samuel Morrison, he had tried many other treatments. He had had in-bed treatments, he had been on Suboxone, he had been on a whole range of treatments, and none of them worked for him. What we saw overseas were prescription heroin trials or prescription hydromorphone trials that worked for people, very hard to treat people like poor Sam Morrison, so I would ask whether the minister would consider a trial of hydromorphone or heroin itself for these hard-to-treat citizens.