Penington Institute welcomes the trial of a supervised injecting facility in North Richmond.
Penington Institute CEO John Ryan said establishing the trial was an important step towards tackling the harmful effects of drug use in the community.
“The success of drug consumption rooms in reducing deaths, disease and improving a range of community-focussed outcomes is well established,” Mr Ryan said.
“Supervised injecting facilities enable support services to engage with hard-to-reach people as well as providing broader community safety and amenity.”
There are now 90 drug consumption rooms operating worldwide. Other countries operating drug consumption rooms include Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Switzerland. Ireland and Scotland have plans to introduce similar initiatives later this year.
Mr Ryan said the proposed trial is an opportunity to reduce harm in the Victorian community by using an approach with proven success around the world.
“With the success seen elsewhere the question was never about whether Victoria should establish a supervised injecting facility but rather how and where,” he said.
“We believe supervised injecting facilities should be established in other overdose hotspots in Victoria.”
Penington Institute is also calling for ongoing evaluation. Mr Ryan said the trial needed to be informed by research and the experience of what has worked overseas in addressing the harmful affects of drug overdoses.
“We need to listen to what the evidence is telling us and use the experience of our own front-line workers,” he said.
“Victoria Police has repeatedly said they cannot arrest their way out of drug issues.
“Community health centres, support services and those working across the sector agree there needs to be a shift in how we respond to these issues.
“Establishing supervised injecting facilities will generate broad community benefits while actively addressing the harm caused by drug use in our community.”
Penington Institute works to advance health and community safety by connecting substance use research to practical action. We help individuals and the wider community through research, analysis, workforce education and public awareness activities such as International Overdose Awareness Day.
Media Contact: Penington Institute:
Sophie Marcard 03 8662 3808 and 0400 089 653 or firstname.lastname@example.org