Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has broken an important election promise by weakening current drug laws and establishing drug injecting rooms, warns the Australian Christian Lobby.
ACL Victorian director Dan Flynn said the Government’s priority should be to help rehabilitate addicts, not maintain their addiction.
“If the establishment of the injecting facility in North Richmond is attractive as a safe option for those considering drug use, they will be severely let down. As the experience with the Kings Cross facility (MSIC) demonstrates 93 per cent of drug usage remains unsupervised and incredibly dangerous,” Mr Flynn said.
“Monday’s decision by the Andrews government is in clear breach of a pre-election promise.
“In 2014, the then ALP opposition stated they ‘do not support the introduction of supervised injecting rooms’.
“Drug-injecting rooms should not be presented as the solution to high drug use in North Richmond or in any other part of Victoria,” Mr Flynn said.
“Offering drug-injecting rooms sends the wrong message to those dealing with drug addiction and young people that somehow the practice is safe and acceptable.
“Reduction in drug trafficking and drug related crime will only be achieved by rehabilitating addicts towards drug free status, not maintaining them in their addiction,” Mr Flynn said.
“The MSIC’s own evaluation stated there was an increase in loitering and complaints about drug users, homeless and drunks hanging around the area while police noted that the Kings Cross train station had become a hangout for drug addicts.”
“According to KPMG research into MSIC, those who attend the facility in Sydney were very unlikely to receive any referral for drug dependence treatment. In fact, only 12 per cent of clients are referred for drug dependence treatment.
“The KPMG evaluation of the MSIC in 2010 was careful not to attribute the saving of any lives to the clinic. Their report stated that it is difficult to assess the impact that MSIC has had on opiate related deaths outside of the MSIC.
“There are serious concerns about the increase in heroin use likely to result from the establishment of the Richmond facility,” Mr Flynn said.