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Six-month process evaluation report on the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC)

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Author: R.P. Mattick, J. Kimber, J. Kaldor, M. MacDonald, D. Weatherburn, H. Lapsley

Resource Type: Technical Reports

NDARC Technical Report No. 124 (2001)


  • 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.