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Katrina Korver, Mother 

Katrina Korver’s 38 year old son, Danial, died of a heroin overdose in a CBD laneway in June 2022. He had scored the drugs two blocks away. Danial had been a regular user of the North Richmond Medically Supervised Injecting Room, where he had been receiving depot buprenorphine in the previous months. 

“Travelling to North Richmond from the CBD was not an option that day. 

As he told me once, ‘Mum, once you have those drugs in your hands, every receptor in your body is screaming out for you to use them and to get some relief.’ 

I know that if there had been a supervised injecting room in the CBD, our son would still be alive.

 

Danial did not want to die. He had a 13-year-old son. He had recently moved into accommodation through the Homelessness to a Home program and found some stability. He had a trade and was making plans to get his small business back up and running. He was funny, kind, and well-liked.” 

Val first encountered cohealth in January 2018. He was sleeping rough in the CBD and using heroin daily. He had undiagnosed HIV and Complex PTSD related to childhood trauma. 

"Without a doubt I was at my lowest point in my life and feeling totally hopeless and 'NO WAY OUT. I had turned to self-harming, anti-social and addictive behaviours just to cope and escape my reality.” 

“Through cohealth I’ve had a team of professionals wrap around me to support my recovery, including GPs, addiction specialists, psychologists, counsellors and support workers. 

At my lowest point, I was treated with dignity and respect.

  

I have now reached 5 years of sobriety and have returned to full time study, have accommodation, am volunteering and I have plans for the future. Instead of hopelessness I feel hope.” 

Val Fernandez, cohealth client

Nicole Bartholomeusz, Chief Executive, cohealth

“We had someone who presented with a bone infection in their leg because they'd been repeatedly injecting there.

 

“We supported that client to stop injecting, then ensured their bone infection was treated. They were at risk of having their leg amputated, the infection was so bad.  

 

“And now that person not only has kept their leg and mobility but no longer uses drugs. We’ve got amazing stories of how we've been able to engage, build trust, support our clients through a journey to address an immediate health issue, and then support a long-term recovery as well.” 

Dr Paul MacCartney, addiction medicine specialist and GP 

“The reality is that once people have sourced the substance, they are likely to use it almost immediately. Asking that people delay using their drugs is like giving a glass of water to someone walking through a desert but asking them to keep walking 5kms before they have a drink.”  
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