COMMUNITY, COMPASSION, HARM REDUCTION, REHABILITTION
We are Residents for Victoria Street Drug Solutions Inc - a group of residents from Victoria Street precinct who are directly and personally affected by the high levels of public drug taking and illicit drug dealing within our neighbourhood. We have successfully advocated for a fixed position Medically Supervised Injection Centre (MSIC) to be trialled because we wanted to save lives whilst addressing the high levels of public drug taking; unacceptable rates of overdoses and fatalities; and the consequences of drug dealing, crime and risk to public health and safety.
Why a MSIC? Evidence shows that a fixed position MSIC is the only viable and holistic solution to the drug problems in the Victoria Street precinct. A MSIC is a compassionate and practical health service that seeks to connect with people who inject drugs and welcome them in a non-judgemental, person-centred way.
Recognising that drug dependence is chronic, with relapse being an in-built part of this, their focus is on harm reduction. This means that centres concentrate on MSIC's do not support or promote drug use, they simply acknowledge that it is part of the community and seek to provide assistance that is practical and sound whilst reducing the negative consequences of drug use on a person’s health and well-being. In addition to this they are proven to significantly reduce public drug use, removing syringes and drug paraphernalia from the streets and alleviating the risk and harm to local communities.
The MSIC in North Richmond has opened and is reducing harm and saving lives for many. It is also reporting a high number of referrals to life changing services.