North Richmond Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) granted three year extension, with second facility set to open
Turning Point welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement that the North Richmond Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) will operate for another three years and a second injecting facility will be constructed.
In its first 18 months of operation, the MSIR has been one of the busiest supervised injecting facilities in the world, managing 119,223 visits. These visits have reduced public injecting and enabled 2,657 overdoses to be safely managed within the space. In turn, this has prevented frequent ambulance attendances, serious health consequences and multiple deaths.
For many people affected by addiction, the MSIR provides a safe space in which to connect with healthcare workers and peers, and to access vital health and social support services without judgement. These positive outcomes are consistent with research from Australia and internationally demonstrating the effectiveness of supervised injecting facilities in reducing opioid-related morbidity and mortality, public injecting, HIV risk behaviours, and increasing the uptake of addiction treatment among highly marginalised populations, who may not have previously connected with health care.
The MSIR is also playing a critical role in creating new evidence. Rigorous evaluation and monitoring of objective outcomes is key to supporting the development of innovative models of care, as well as informing effective policy and practice responses.
At Turning Point, we recognise the invaluable contribution made by the MSIR team in driving change for people living with addiction. We look forward to the extension of the North Richmond MSIR and the creation of a second facility in Melbourne as part of a suite of evidence-based harm reduction and addiction treatment services for Victoria.