Supervised injecting room approved for Melbourne trial

The trial will begin with a room in Richmond. 

A trial run of a medically supervised safe injecting room for heroin users has now been approved by The Andrews government. 

The state-sanctioned trial will begin with an injecting room in Richmond, an area that has seen numerous lives lost to heroin overdoses across multiple years.

Running for two years, the trial will conclude with a review before further implementation is considered. 

Across a single 12-month period, Richmond saw over 30 fatal overdoses. The move from the Andrews Government has come in the wake of rallies and increasing pressure from lobby groups for further harm reduction efforts in the area. Moreover, records show that we are currently experiencing the highest heroin overdose toll since 2000. 

Launching in June 2018, the injecting room will be the second to open in Australia following a centre in Kings Cross in 2001. 

"There can be no rehabilitation if you are dead," said Premier Andrews as cited by the ABC. "If you are lying in a laneway in a gutter with a syringe that you got through the needle and syringe exchange program just here, there can be no pathway to treatment for you. 

"If you can get in the event you need the urgent health care that saves lives… that surely, on any measure, is a better outcome than seeing that death toll go up and up."

Coupled with the injecting room trial will be harsher sentencing for heroin traffickers, with the punishable quantity dropping from 250 grams to 50g.