26 May 2023

Fitzroy Legal Service is pleased to provide a submission to the Victorian Government’s independent consultation into the injecting drug harms in the City of Melbourne and stands in support of the proposed medically supervised injecting service.

Drawing on extensive experience of providing specialist legal services for Victorians whose engagement with the legal system is underpinned by drug use, FLS is a strong supporter of the trial and enthusiastic in relation to the health and justice possibilities through such a service.

Data regarding overdose deaths and call outs in the City of Melbourne indicate there is an incontrovertible need for a medically supervised injecting service in the locale.

Read the full submission HERE.

When a person who uses drugs dies unnecessarily, all opportunities end, and so many people are injured so very profoundly and permanently by the loss.

FLS submission into the introduction of MSIS in the City of Melbourne.

FLS strongly recommends that the overdose prevention function at the Richmond service be replicated and expects collocated health and justice services will have a profoundly positive impact for affected community, including for the broader public living, studying and working.

It is critical that the introduction of the MSIS is also accompanied by strong educative messaging around the human rights and health needs of people who use drugs and/or experience substance use disorder, the underlying drivers of homelessness, and the capacity of the service to respond holistically.

It is also critical that there is enhanced literacy around the duty on the state to take positive steps to preserve the right to life, resist stigma and raise awareness of the extraordinary statistics attesting to loss of life by way of overdose, which annually exceeds the deaths on our roads.

As the submission states, “When a person who uses drugs dies unnecessarily, all opportunities end, and so many people are injured so very profoundly and permanently by the loss.”

“We commend the introduction of the MSIS on the basis that every life is sacred, and every person has the right to strive to live a life of dignity.”

FLS welcomes the opportunity to provide further input into the community consultation and planning process.

Read Fitzroy Legal Service’s full submission.

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