How can safe injecting rooms be legal?
The Victorian State Government has announced it will set up a safe injecting room, located in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond. It's a first for the state, and only the second in Australia. A safe injecting room in Sydney's Kings Cross was established in 2001.
The announcement comes in response to a growing heroin problem in Victoria. The ABC reports the number of Victorians dying from overdoses has doubled in the last five years, and in the Richmond area alone 34 people died from heroin overdoses in a single year, all within a four-block radius from where the new service will be established.
In this bonus episode, Melissa talks with Dr Kate Seear, about how safe injecting rooms and needle exchanges work. How can they be legal while drugs are illegal?
This extra audio was recorded just before the Victorian Government's announcement.
NOTE: If you haven't listened to Episode 4 of Just Cases there's a few things about the case that are mentioned so it might be worth going back and having a listen to Episode 4: They Don't Teach You This At Law School:
Storyteller: Dr Kate Seear, Monash Law School
Host: Dr Melissa Castan
Topics for law nerds: Criminal law, manslaughter, drug law, law reform, safe injecting rooms, needle distribution, addiction, harm reduction, public health