We must reduce harm from illegal drugs

THE announcement from the Victorian Government that it will trial a medically supervised injecting centre in North Richmond after sustained campaigning from health and community advocates is welcomed.

Safe injecting centres overseas have seen strong results in addressing drug addiction, and the Australian National Drug Strategy recommends their introduction here.

Our goal in drug reform should be to minimise harm to users and communities, and to do this we need to maintain a focus on the evidence of what works while moving away from ineffective criminalisation approaches.

These centres are not a way to encourage drug use or condone it, rather it is about minimising harm where possible and maintaining a health lens on the issue.

David Templeman,

Public Health Association of Australia president

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