This book is an amazing testament to how much impact a community can make when they band together, and ask "if not me, who?"
Graphic: Classism, Death, Drug use, Addiction, Drug abuse, Medical content, and Grief
Moderate: Pandemic/Epidemic, Alcoholism, Mental illness, and Alcohol
Minor: Death of parent
Victoria Street in North Richmond is synonymous with heroin use. It’s a hive for activity. It’s easily accessible, and with that Carrie’s the significant risk of overdose. People were overdosing daily, in the laneways, on the streets, in carports and peoples doorsteps. There was a significant pressure placed on local services, including ambulance, mica paramedics and fire brigades to attend multiple overdoses daily.
Judy, like many residents would intervene, help those in need, contact emergency services and provided first aid until help arrived. After watching so many overdoses, she decided enough was enough and started researching safe injecting rooms (SIR).
This book tells the journey of her research and campaigning, her lobbying within he local community, to parliament and how to see substance use as a health issue.
After multiple rallies, running as an independent in local elections, attending the Kings Cross SIR and multiple donations. The government changed the drugs, positions and controlled substances act in 2017 to allow a two year trial of a SIF.
My personal experience of working in North Richmond for four years in drug and alcohol was an eye opening experience. It was rewarding, challenging and confronting. I am so glad that Judy tirelessly campaigned for the SIF and we’re so lucky to continue to have a safe venue for those to use in a controlled environment and be supported by nurses, social workers, counsellors and access ongoing treatment and support. We need more SIFs to continue the ongoing risk of unnecessary death from overdose and encourage more people to access safe services.
Thank you Judy for everything you’ve done and continue to do.
Thank you to scribe publishing for a gifted copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Graphic: Death, Drug use, and Mental illness