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Review of the Medically Supervised Injecting Room in Melbourne

Jun 12, 2020

The Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) opened in Melbourne in June 2018. The initial evaluation of the service has now been published, finding that the service has been successful at reducing ambulance call-outs during opening hours, and responding to overdose amongst clients. 

In the first 18 months of operation, there were 119 000 visits to the service, by 3936 people making this one of the busiest supervised consumption facilities in the world. The vast majority of injections (96.6%) involved heroin, with the service reporting no fatal overdoses. Service staff provided medical intervention for 271 extremely serious overdoses that required naloxone (an opioid reversal drug), which using conservative estimates prevented between 21 - 27 deaths. While the service has been effective at preventing overdose, there remain concerns within the area surrounding the MSIR about neighbourhood amenity. The Richmond area has a long history as a public drug marketplace with people travelling to the suburb to purchase heroin. For this reason, the reviewers have recommended a second MSIR be established elsewhere in Melbourne, to assist with meeting the significant demand that the service has faced.

Go to the “Review of the Medically Supervised Injecting Room”