Michael Curtis, Professor Paul Dietze, Filip Djordjevic, Chris Gough, Jack Gunn, Professor Stuart Kinner, Rebecca Winter


Drug consumption rooms have been shown to produce a range of public health and public amenity benefits, and have been successfully established in Sydney in 2001 and Melbourne in 2018. ACT Health is examining the feasibility of establishing a medically supervised injecting centre/drug consumption service (hereafter drug consumption room) in the ACT. 


The research will aim to determine, for the ACT:

- relevant patterns of drug use

- stakeholder views on gaps in drug harm minimisation services

- stakeholder views on the need for a drug consumption room

- processes required for the implementation of a drug consumption room 


The research includes a desktop review, qualitative interviews, quantitative interviews and snapshot surveys.

- Desktop review: a desktop review will be conducted to: 

(a) identify and review existing materials on the establishment of drug consumption rooms including service models and design along with costings available in the public domain, and 

(b) identify and synthesise data sources that capture information on drug use and drug related harms in the ACT.

- Qualitative interviews: up to 40 qualitative in depth interviews with service providers, policymakers and consumer representatives in the ACT, NSW and VIC as well as internationally as appropriate

- Quantitative interviews: 100 quantitative interviews with service users conducted by workers at the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA);

- Snapshot surveys: the BI team will support and train selected services to undertake snapshot surveys with needle and syringe program clients which add a small number of additional questions to those routinely asked of all clients when they access services in the ACT.


The study will provide evidence on whether a supervised drug consumption room/s is suited to the ACT context and, if so, what form such a facility should take.


Project has commenced in April 2020 and is due for completion in August 2020.




For more information relating to this project, please contact Paul Dietze: