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What the Uniting MSIC does

The Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) is a compassionate and practical health service that seeks to connect with people and welcome them in a non-judgemental, person-centred way. Our team provides holistic support, with dignity and respect.

At Uniting MSIC, registered nurses and counsellors/health education officers supervise episodes of drug injecting that would otherwise happen elsewhere – often in public, and under more dangerous conditions. There is immediate access to emergency medical care in the event of an overdose or other health issue. Our staff connect with clients and offer them referrals to a variety of services, including specialist addiction treatment.

Clients come to the centre with drugs they have already purchased; Uniting MSIC does not supply them. We support the work of the police to reduce the amount of drugs being supplied in Kings Cross, and we do not support drug dealing – selling or buying drugs at MSIC is illegal and not allowed. Anyone attempting these activities is required to leave the centre.

Our aims

  • Save lives
  • Reduce the number of injuries caused by injecting drugs
  • Connect with people, welcome them and provide holistic support with dignity and respect
  • Step in during all drug overdoses and provide assistance
  • Provide access to health and social welfare services for people who are marginalised and find it hard to access this type of support
  • Promote awareness and understanding in the community
  • Contribute to a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for the local community
  • Enhance the health community’s knowledge about injecting drug use.

The benefits of the centre

Research has shown that supervised injecting facilities like Uniting MSIC have many benefits for their clients, as well as the local community. Some key facts and figures in independent evaluations of the Uniting MSIC have shown that the centre is making a positive difference in the lives of many people. The following statistics reflect the operation of Uniting MSIC to May 2015.

Approximate number of clients since Uniting MSIC opened: 15,400.

  • About 70% of the people registered with Uniting MSIC have never accessed any local health service before coming to us. This shows that Uniting MSIC provides a unique and important entry point for access to health and social welfare services in Kings Cross.

Since opening we have supervised more than 965,000 injections.

  • Number of injections a day: Ranges from 140–250. Currently about 180
  • Number of overdoses successfully managed: More than 6000
  • Number of fatalities: 0
  • We’ve taken the pressure off emergency services with an early study showing the number of ambulance call-outs to Kings Cross dropping by 80%.

We are well accepted: 70% of local businesses and 78% of local residents support the centre.

More than 12,000 referrals have been accepted by our clients, connecting them to health, drug treatment and social welfare services. Among our frequently attending clients, 80% have ultimately accepted a referral for addiction treatment.

All of the other 20% of frequently attending clients have had a referral offered to them but not accepted as yet. Most have agreed to talk about their situation with a staff member, who outlines the benefits of treatment. Importantly, we continue to work with everyone we see.

The service has been independently evaluated multiple times. All results show it is successful and cost-effective. There are over 110 peer reviewed papers on medically supervised injecting that show facilities like this work.

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about Uniting MSIC, call us on +61 (0) 2 9360 1191 or email rglasgow@uniting.org.