C18. Medically supervised injecting rooms: the Melbourne experience

About The Event

Learner category:

  • Novice Level

Learning objectives:

  • Participants will explore the challenges faced in the trial of Melbourne’s medically supervised injecting room
  • Participants will explore harm reduction from the perspective of nurses working in medically supervised injecting rooms
  • Participants will be introduced to the role of the nurse in similar facilities worldwide.


In 2018, a medically supervised injecting room opened in North Richmond, Victoria, Australia. This is the second Australian injecting room, and was opened subject to a trial period. This presentation will examine the changing media and public perception of the medically supervised injecting room, including the groundswell of support that led to the opening of the room and how this rapidly changed once the room was operational. We will also explore the demographics of the North Richmond area, Melbourne’s largest concentration of injecting drug users. Challenges to the ongoing success of the room will be discussed, with a particular focus on the nursing role in supervised injecting facilities. Finally, we will attempt to address the question: is Melbourne ready for the ongoing operation of a medically supervised injecting room?


Dr Searby is a registered nurse who has worked across mental health, community and addictions nursing. He is currently a lecturer at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia and has research interests in addiction nursing workforce development and older adult addiction issues. Dr Searby is the president of the Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia, the peak professional body for addictions nursing in Australasia.

Our Speakers

Adam Searby
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