The Victorian Government’s Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) is located in North Richmond within the City of Yarra.
The facility is a safe and hygienic place where people can inject drugs in a supervised health setting. Other health services like mental health care, drug treatment, wound care and pathology are also provided.
The Victorian Government selected the location for the MSIR trial at North Richmond Community Health (NRCH) and has stated that the location was chosen in part because it is close to where people buy and sell drugs, and because NRCH already provides many vital health services.
The MSIR was initially trialled for 5 years in North Richmond. In 2023, the Victorian Government introduced legislation to make the service ongoing at its current location.
2 independent reviews of the MSIR have been conducted over the trial period.
In June 2020, an independent panel, chaired by Professor Margaret Hamilton AO, delivered the first review of the trial.
The Hamilton Review found that between 2018 and 2021, staff at the MSIR have safely managed more than 4,400 overdoses and provided thousands of health and social support interventions.
In February 2023 an independent panel, chaired by Mr John Ryan, delivered the second review. Mr Ryan, along with members Ms Chris Kotur and the Hon. Robert Knowles outlined 10 recommendations to the Minister for Mental Health.
The Ryan Review found that since its establishment in 2018, the MSIR trial in North Richmond has succeeded in achieving the trial’s central objective: saving lives. There have been almost 6,000 overdose events safely managed in the MSIR trial, and up to 63 lives have been saved.
It assessed the MSIR operation and use against 6 goals. These goals were:
1. To reduce overdose deaths and overdose harm
2. To provide a gateway to health and social services for people who inject drugs
3. To reduce ambulance attendances and emergency department presentations attributable to overdose
4. To reduce the number of discarded needles and syringes in neighbouring public places
5. To improve neighbourhood amenity for residents and local businesses
6. To assist in reducing the spread of blood-borne diseases including HIV and hepatitis C
As the MSIR is a Victorian Government project, Council’s role is solely the maintenance of public amenity surrounding the centre including litter collection, street sweeping and graffiti removal.
To lodge a request for these services in relation to the MSIR, call 9205 5555 or lodge a request online here: https://www.yarracity.vic.gov.au/services/cleaning-and-maintenance/syringe-disposal
For more information, visit the Department of Health website or North Richmond Community Health website.