Plans for a safe injecting room where drug addicts can get clean needles and medical assistance will go before Victoria’s parliament this week, with the drug-addled inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond at the front of the proposal.
Sex Party leader Fiona Patten is pushing for an 18-month trial, which has attracted support from community leaders and medical expert.
She said the trial would free up ambulance resources and reduce the number of needles left in public places – something the current needle exchanges fail to address.
“Needle exchanges are just blindly sending homeless, mentally ill people out to use illegal drugs in car parks, people’s doorways and in public toilets,” Ms Patten said.
“Nurses and doctors say this is not a correct duty of care.”
The injecting room has been touted for North Richmond, where Ms Patten said 34 people died from drug overdoses last year. There were more than 170 fatal drug overdoses in total in Victoria, she said.
The Sex Party advocates a trial to be run at the same time as a parliamentary committee, which will take two years.
“If we wait another two years we’re looking at another 70 people dying in North Richmond,” Ms Patten said.