cohealth is among 43 leading health, community, specialist and AOD organisations and prominent individuals that have signed a statement supporting the trial of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Victoria.
“If we truly believe that all members of our community have a right to a dignified and healthy life, then it makes little sense to punish them for making a mistake,” said cohealth chief executive, Lyn Morgain.
“If that mistake is compounded by a debilitating drug addiction, enabling people to enjoy a healthy and dignified life becomes increasingly challenging. We have choices, the most obvious of which are to punish or to help.
“There have been more than 900 deaths from drug overdose in Victoria in the past two years,” Ms Morgain said. “These deaths were preventable.”
The evidence from more than 100 medically supervised injecting centres across the world is unequivocal. No deaths have been recorded at these centres. They have been and are a success. Lives are saved.
“Currently, we have a major program picking up discarded needles in north Richmond to reduce risks to members of the community, particularly children. This risk would be reduced in a supervised injecting centre.
“I hope with the release of this report of the inquiry into the trial of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre that the Victorian Government will follow the advice of health experts, residents, and community leaders, and allow an 18-month trial of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Richmond,” Ms Morgain said.