NDARC Technical Report No. 124 (2001)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • During the first six months of operation, 1503 individuals were assessed and registered to use the services at the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre.
  • Registered clients made 11,237 visits to the MSIC during which their injection of drugs was supervised.
  • The majority of clients were male (68%), and approximately one-third was female (31%). Male clients accounted for majority of visits (57%).
  • Cocaine was the drug most frequently used at the MSIC (injected on 47% of the visits) followed closely by heroin (injected on 45% of the visits).
  • The clients made an average of eight visits in the six months (range = 1 to 335). The average time spent in the MSIC per visit was approximately 30 minutes.
  • On approximately one in every three visits, a health care service was provided to the clients (in addition to the supervision of their injecting), and one in 18 visits resulted in a referral for further assistance. Half of the occasions of service were injecting and vein-care advice (49%). Among the 610 referrals for further assistance, 42% were to treatment for drug dependence, 33% were to primary health-care and 25% were to social welfare services.
  • Eighty-seven drug-related clinical incidents occurred at the MSIC requiring medical management (0.8% of visits). These were 50 heroin overdoses, which were managed by the administration of oxygen (naloxone was administered in eight cases), 28 cases of cocaine-related toxicity, and five benzodiazepine and four non-heroin opioid overdoses respectively.
  • Eighty-eight individuals who sought use of the MSIC were not registered. Twenty-six of these individuals did not meet the registration criteria, and 62 individuals expressed the wish to use the MSIC but did not proceed to register at that time.

Resources

Author(s)

R.P. Mattick, J. Kimber, J. Kaldor, M. MacDonald, D. Weatherburn, H. Lapsley
Date Commenced
07 Dec 2001
Resource Type
Technical Reports