Injecting room abuse

DRUG addicts using the controversial Kings Cross injecting room are taking advantage of the safe environment to test their tolerance to higher doses of heroin and other cocktails of dangerous illicit drugs.
The claims were made during interviews with the peak body Drug Free Australia and were repeated in Parliament by Christian Democratic Party MLC Reverend Gordon Moyes late on Tuesday night during debate over a possible four-year extension of the injecting room.
Mr Moyes told the Upper House the injecting room “has encouraged (users) . . . to try wilder mixes of drugs” after he read aloud a transcript of a recorded conversation between Drug Free Australia secretary Gary Christian and a former injecting room client.
During the interview, the man claimed there was widespread dangerous mixing of heroin and pills including Benzodiazepene, Normasin, Oxycodone and Xanax.
“I have seen that they are going in for one thing but really they are going in for two (or three), with the heroin on top of the pills, but they won’t (tell anybody that),” he said.
“They feel a lot more safer, definitely because they know they can be brought back to life straight away. They know . . . they can, like some people go to the extent of even using more. So in a way they feel it is a comfort zone, and no matter how much they use if they drop (die) they (might) be brought back.”
Drug Free Australia had sought answers as to why the injecting room had “massive” numbers of heroin overdoses, measured between 36 and 42 times higher than normal rates of overdose in the community.
“In 2003 our expert committee analysing injecting room data found that clients of the injecting room were recording a prior history of one overdose for every 4380 injections on average in their intake questionnaire,” Mr Christian said.
“But inside the injecting room, there was an extraordinary one overdose for every 106 injections, 42 times higher than the client’s previous history.”
The former injecting room client said the rife experimentation was done behind workers’ backs.
“You can hide anything from everybody,” he said.
“It is not the workers’ (fault) . . . they try their best, it is just (that we) are (all) sneaky people.”
Mr Moyes told Parliament a second former client revealed users were using the safety of the room “to get the biggest rush they can, even if there is the risk of overdose”.
“Consequently, far from combating the problem and helping these people to stop harming themselves, the injecting facility has actually encouraged them to try harder, to try wilder mixes of drugs, and to push themselves right to the point of death,” Mr Moyes said.
“For six years the NSW Government has funded a drug experimentation laboratory where users can push their boundaries and where they have medical help immediately on hand from a nursing sister if they go too far.”

Source: The Daily Telegraph (Australia)June 28, 2007 12:00am

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