Profile: Safe Injection Centre Health Care Worker

This persons name cannot be revealed due to legal issues.

Tell me a bit about your job?

At injection centre I am health education officer during this time while I’m at work we make sure that people are given clean injecting paraphernalia e.g. needles, clean barrels, water and anything else that’s needed. When a client comes in to inject we make sure they are not going to over dose so we check their breathing…If there oxygen is dropping to a low level we give them Narcan.

How long have you been working there?

3 years in December so 2 and half years

Do you think the site has set out what it achieved to do? Would you call it a success or failure?

Can I have two answers? Success because it has reduced the amount overdose related deaths it has also achieved keeping needles/syringes off the streets. It has also kept a lot of users away from houses, people use to come in their front yard and inject they have got somewhere to go. Saved money for the government, the government doesn’t have to spend money on ambulances when someone drops because its 500 dollars every time an ambulance leaves a bay.

It also a failure the injection centre can also help their addictions grow.

There have been a large number of ice users reportedly going to the injection site about 8%, should a site specifically designed for ice be set up if so how would it be different?

If there was to be a different site for ice users I don’t see the benefit there is nothing that you can do with someone that has just injected ice you don’t know how they r going to react, so no benefit.

People who are against the injection site say it promotes addiction, what would you say to these comments?

It can be seen to be promoting addiction at the same time these people are going to use regardless if the centre is there or not we are giving these people a place to be safe …they don’t have to go to car parks and face being victims of violence, the centre is also discreet.

Some of the challenges of the injection room?

Seeing people coming in numerous times a day. Users who as soon as they turn 18 and have had a really long time using and not being able to send them through to get a referral.  We tend to deal with a lot of the homeless population who have a lot mental health issues and it is really difficult to try and engage mental health services they will say it’s not our problem it’s a drug problem, they won’t touch them with a ten foot pole.

Do you think the site assists patients in long term recovery?

If they utilise the referrals yes, if they just come in to inject no, that’s not the purpose of that place.

Would you recommend the opening of further supervised injections rooms around Sydney, if so what areas?

If you were to open another one it can draw negative attention to the area it can also draw in more drug dealing in that area but then in saying that the place does do a good job, that’s a tough one, I think we should just keep the one that we’ve got it’s too early, are you creating more havoc in another suburb?

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