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Andrews announces safe-injecting room to be permanent

The trial in precinct has saved 63 lives.

Victoria’s first safe injecting room in North Richmond will be made permanent, Premier Daniel Andrews has announced.

A review of the Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) found the trial had completed its objective with almost 6,000 overdose events ending in no deaths.

Premier Andrews said the modelling suggests that up to 63 deaths have been prevented since its establishment in 2018, and has also reduced ambulance call-outs.

“This facility has changed lives and saved lives,” he said.

A bill will be introduced to Parliament later this week to make the facility an ongoing fixture of North Richmond.

The facility was originally trialled for two years until 29 June 2020 before being extended until June 2023.

Andrews will be accepting most of the recommendations of the review and plans changes to the facility’s future operations including more wrap-around services and a shift closer to a nurse-led model.

“We will now strengthen the service to give clients better access to social, housing and mental health supports so the service continues to do what it is designed to do – save lives and change lives,” he said.

An independent consultation into a proposed second facility within the City of Melbourne will continue by Ken Lay AO, APM. The final report will be delivered mid-2023.

Photo: A safe infection room by Claude Truong-Ngoc available HERE is used under Creative Commons licence. This image has not been modified.

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