Shooting Gallery Operation in the Context of Establishing a Medically Supervised Injecting Center: Sydney, Australia.


Kimber, J; Dolan, K; (2007) Shooting Gallery Operation in the Context of Establishing a Medically Supervised Injecting Center: Sydney, Australia. Journal of urban health, 84 (2). pp. 255-66. ISSN 1099-3460 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-006-9145-3

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Abstract

Shooting galleries (SGs) are illicit off-street spaces close to drug markets used for drug injection. Supervised injecting facilities (SIFs) are low threshold health services where injecting drug users (IDUs) can inject pre-obtained drugs under supervision. This study describes SG use in Kings Cross, Sydney before and after the opening of the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC), Australia's first SIF. Operational and environmental characteristics of SGs, reasons for SG use, and willingness to use MSIC were also examined. An exploratory survey of SG users (n = 31), interviews with SG users (n = 17), and drug workers (n = 8), and counts of used needles routinely collected from SGs (6 months before and after MSIC) and visits to the MSIC (6 months after MSIC) were triangulated. We found five SGs operated during the study period. Key operational characteristics were 24-h operation, AUS$10 entry fee, 30-min time limit, and dual use for sex work. Key reasons for SG use were to avoid police, a preference not to inject in public, and assistance from SG operators in case of overdose. SG users reported high levels of willingness to use the MSIC. The number of used needles collected from SGs decreased by 69% (41,819 vs. 12,935) in the 6 months after MSIC opened, while MSIC visits increased incrementally. We conclude that injections were transferred from SGs to the MSIC, but SGs continued to accommodate injections and harm reduction outreach should be maintained.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 17273925
Web of Science ID: 245345300010
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/10417

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