have your say: community consultation on CBD injecting service begins

Posted on 4th May 2023

Over the coming weeks, the CBD community will have the opportunity to give their views on a proposed supervised injecting service. It’s important that a range of voices are heard during this consultation process to represent the diversity of people living, working, visiting or studying in the CBD.  

There are 120 injecting rooms operating globally, and rigorous evaluations show that they save lives and connect people to health services.

All available evidence points to the CBD as the next appropriate location for a second supervised injecting service.  

One person a month dies of a heroin overdose in the City of Melbourne, making it the Local Government Area with the highest number of heroin deaths in Victoria. (Source: Coroner’s Court of Victoria) 

Since COVID, drug harms in the CBD have got worse. More people are dying in laneways and public toilets  

The number of ambulances being called to the CBD due to drug overdose has returned to pre-COVID levels, and many of them end up in hospital. (Source: Ambulance Victoria) 

cohealth’s City Street Health team provides outreach support seven days a week in the CBD for people who are drug and alcohol-dependent.  

Over the past six months, they have seen a rise in overdoses in the CBD.  

As people return to the city post-COVID the number of vulnerable clients our outreach team is supporting in the CBD has skyrocketed; nearly three times the number of contacts in February 2023 compared to six months earlier. (Source: cohealth City Street Health team) 

 An appropriately located injecting service would respond to the CBD community’s concerns about public drug use by decreasing syringe litter, reduce public overdoses and connecting people who use drugs in the CBD with health workers.  

The Medically Supervised Injecting Room in North Richmond has recently been made permanent. This service has saved 63 lives and managed more than 6000 overdoses. It has connected 700+ people with drug treatments.

Overdose deaths are entirely preventable, and injecting services are one of the ways we can prevent them.  

The state government committed to establishing a supervised injecting service in the CBD in 2020. Now it’s time to have your say and add your voice to Ken Lay’s report, which will provide the government with a final recommendation.

The survey takes ten minutes to fill in and is open until 16 May. The survey is anonymous – you will not be asked to provide your name or any contact details.

Follow this link to fill in the survey: https://engage.vic.gov.au/project/msishaveyoursay/participate 

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