Physicians call on incoming Victorian government to maintain Richmond safer injecting room

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has issued a defense of medically supervisedHard-drugs-on-dark-table-694722164_2904x2100
injecting rooms, and called on all Victorian political parties to commit to maintaining the pilot program in Richmond in the lead up to this weekend’s state election.

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, President of the College’s Chapter of Addiction Medicine said that, “The medical evidence is unequivocal – medically supervised injecting facilities save lives and minimise the harms associated with injecting drug use.”

The RACP emphasised that to be effective, the trial should be accessible to all people, regardless of the drugs they are injecting.

“Excluding people from using medical supervised injecting rooms on the basis that they are injecting methamphetamine is not only impractical, but would lead to people injecting the drug on the street, and deny them access to referrals for overdose, treatment and rehabilitation,” said Dr Lloyd-Jones. 

The statement has been made as part of the release of the RACP’s 2018 Victorian Election statement, outlining the College’s key health policy priorities and recommendations for the incoming State Government.

In its statement the RACP urges political parties to move away from the paradigm of criminality as a means to deal with individuals who use drugs, and makes number of recommendations to improve drug and alcohol treatment services in Victoria, including:

  • Introducing a minimum pricing of alcoholic drinks
  • Banning outdoor advertising of alcohol
  • Increasing funding for drug and alcohol services, including prevention services

Other key policy priorities in the RACP’s Victorian Election Statement include equitable access to bariatric surgery for the treatment of obesity and the urgent need for more accessible specialist sexual health services to address record rates of gonorrhoea and syphilis across the state.

The full election statement is available here.

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