New safe injecting room for ice users in Melbourne

11 April 2018

Written by: Shannon Jenkins

The North Richmond facility will tackle Victoria's drug crisis.

Drug users will be able to take up to three grams of illegal substances in a new safe injecting room.

Heroin and ice are among the drugs that users can take under medical supervision at the North Richmond Centre, the Age reported.

The government released regulations on Tuesday afternoon that revealed there will be no restriction on which drugs of dependence can be used at the facility.

Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said last October that ice and amphetamines would not be permitted at the centre.

The government said on Tuesday that allowing these drugs will save lives and will follow a similar procedure to Sydney’s safe injecting room at Kings Cross.

The Kings Cross facility allows drug users to inject ice and has been operating for over 15 years with no deaths.

“We have acted on the advice of an expert panel made up of health professionals, law enforcement and the community sector,” Mr Foley said.

“This is all about reducing harm and saving lives by giving people in the grip of addiction an opportunity to get off the streets, and turn their lives around.”

Drug users must give information including their full names and the substance they will use to access the safe injecting room.

Those on parole, bail, or subject to any other order of court or tribunal will not have access to the service.

People with a criminal history will not be allowed to work at the centre.

The room is part of the government’s Drug Rehabilitation Plan to tackle drug use in Victoria.

The two-year trial of the North Richmond centre was announced last year, after a 16-year spike in heroin deaths.

Thirty-four people died from heroin overdoses near Victoria Street within 12 months.

The facility will work to reduce drug addiction, overdoses and reduce the number of discarded needles and syringes in the area.