Department of Health

In 2023, the Victorian Government introduced legislation to make the Medically Supervised Injecting Service (MSIR) ongoing at its current location in North Richmond.

The MSIR provides a safety-first, medical approach focused on harm reduction. It delivers onsite healthcare and provides immediate medical care to an overdose.

The MSIR provides a gateway for clients to link with other health and social services, ensuring they have access to the full range of treatment and support they need to reduce harm from their drug use and ultimately overcome their drug dependency.

The MSIR aims to reduce overdose deaths and harm, and improve neighbourhood amenity for the local community, through reducing the incidence of public injecting, and reducing the number of discarded needles and syringes in neighbouring public areas.

The MSIR operates under strict oversight including:

  • legislation to ensure the room can only operate at its current location in North Richmond
  • allowing only people aged over 18 years to use the injecting room
  • ensuring that illegal drugs won't be provided or dealt at the facility
  • security stationed inside and outside the facility
  • additional security measures, including ensuring staff are appropriately trained in the use of security systems
  • working closely with the Department of Health and Victoria Police to support community safety while minimising drug harm

The MSIR was initially trialled for five years in North Richmond, and became an ongoing service following recommendations from the Ryan Review.

Two independent reviews of the MSIR have been conducted over the trial period. You can learn more about the work of the independent review panels at the Review of the Medically Supervised Injecting Room Trial page.

Since opening on 30 June 2018 until December 2022, staff at the MSIR have safely managed more than 6,750 overdoses, and provided thousands of health and social support interventions including wound care, blood-borne virus treatment, alcohol and other drug treatment, mental health support, dental care, family violence support, social welfare, and material aid. More detail about services provided at the MSIR are available from North Richmond Community Health’s website.External Link

In June 2020, an independent panel of experts recommended that a second medically supervised injecting service be established in the City of Melbourne.

The Victorian Government appointed former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Ken Lay AO APM to lead an independent consultation process into injecting drug-related harms in the City of Melbourne. You can learn more about the ongoing work of the Mr Lay's independent consultation process at Engage VictoriaExternal Link .

The Department of Health are continuing to work in partnership with key stakeholders including North Richmond Community Health, local residents, schools, businesses, Victoria Police and Yarra City Council to continue to minimise drug harms and improve safety and amenity in the North Richmond precinct.

If you would like more information about the service, please email AOD enquiries.

Reviewed 24 April 2023


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