The Saturday Telegraph took a look inside the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) operated by Uniting in Kings Cross. They highlighted the invaluable service the Centre provides, having helped over 20,000 drug users seeking treatment. Almost 20 years and 1.2 million safe injections later, there hasn’t been a single death. It is a clear example of how effective harm reduction is at saving lives and allowing people to get support.
Despite these impressive numbers, it is clear there are not enough to meet demand. Establishing more injecting centres was one of the recommendations handed down by the Ice Inquiry commissioned by the NSW government. However, this was one of the five key recommendations the government rejected. Others included the use of drug detection dogs, substance testing (pill testing), syringe programs in prison and the decriminalisation of personal drug use. Experience from around the world has shown that these are evidence-based and effective improvements to the law.
The government has also stalled on implementing the other 104 of the 109 total recommendations. Despite the Inquiry costing $10.8 million and participants across NSW contributing their experiences and expertise, nothing has been done nearly three years later.
Find out more about the life saving services the injecting centre provides and the importance of harm reduction here.