The mother of a 27-year-old heroin addict who overdosed and died in a Melbourne gutter last year claims her son would still be alive if a safe injecting room had been available to him.

Sam O'Donnell had been detoxing for seven weeks and was awaiting placement in a rehabilitation facility when he died in North Richmond – otherwise known as the heroin rectangle – in August last year, his mother Loretta Gabriel told The Age.

The young man's death was one of several that pushed the Victorian government to rethink its position on creating a safe injecting room.

On Tuesday, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced the opening of a trial facility in North Richmond – just around the corner from where a passer-by discovered Mr O'Donnell's body. 

Sam O'Donnell (pictured) had been detoxing for seven weeks and was awaiting placement in a rehabilitation facility when he died in North Richmond – otherwise known as the heroin rectangle – in August last year

Sam O'Donnell (pictured) had been detoxing for seven weeks and was awaiting placement in a rehabilitation facility when he died in North Richmond – otherwise known as the heroin rectangle – in August last year

Sam O'Donnell (pictured) had been detoxing for seven weeks and was awaiting placement in a rehabilitation facility when he died in North Richmond – otherwise known as the heroin rectangle – in August last year

The young man's death was one of several that pushed the Victorian government to rethink its position on creating a safe injecting room (pictured is a man shooting up in North Richmond) 

The young man's death was one of several that pushed the Victorian government to rethink its position on creating a safe injecting room (pictured is a man shooting up in North Richmond) 

The young man's death was one of several that pushed the Victorian government to rethink its position on creating a safe injecting room (pictured is a man shooting up in North Richmond) 

On Tuesday, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced the opening of a trial facility in North Richmond (pictured)

On Tuesday, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced the opening of a trial facility in North Richmond (pictured)

On Tuesday, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced the opening of a trial facility in North Richmond (pictured)

Ms Gabriel has campaigned for such a facility since losing her son so that other families don't have to go through the same pain.

'People are dying and it's out of control and leadership was needed, and it was needed now, because it could be anyone's child,' Ms Gabriel told The Age.

'I was really surprised, elated, astonished, it's given me so much comfort… and I'm just so grateful for the other parents out there who now will have this available.

'Sam had all the hallmarks of why there needed to be a safe injecting room.'

The 27-year-old began using heroin when he was just 16, later telling his mother that he had been sexually abused when he was just five-years-old, Ms Gabriel told the ABC.

Teh facility will open just around the corner from where a passer-by discovered Mr O'Donnell's (pictured) body

Teh facility will open just around the corner from where a passer-by discovered Mr O'Donnell's (pictured) body

Teh facility will open just around the corner from where a passer-by discovered Mr O'Donnell's (pictured) body

Ms Gabriel has campaigned for such a facility since losing her son so that other families don't have to go through the same pain

Ms Gabriel has campaigned for such a facility since losing her son so that other families don't have to go through the same pain

Ms Gabriel has campaigned for such a facility since losing her son so that other families don't have to go through the same pain

She said even he hated his own addiction and had tried to get clean numerous times.

Ms Gabriel said she knows the injection room will not stop all heroin overdoses but gives users a chance at survival.

'It's not saying that it will eliminate all heroin deaths in a community. It's not saying that drugs are good. It's not saying that we're going to aid and abet heroin addicts,' she told the publication.

'They're using it in your gutters, in your carparks, in your public toilets.

'Your community isn't going to be stumbling on needles, your children aren't going to run into a dead body in the street.' 

Richmond resident and activist Judy Ryan (pictured) said Victoria's heroin resurgence has killed 35 people in the small area so far this year

Richmond resident and activist Judy Ryan (pictured) said Victoria's heroin resurgence has killed 35 people in the small area so far this year

Richmond resident and activist Judy Ryan (pictured) said Victoria's heroin resurgence has killed 35 people in the small area so far this year

Premier Daniel Andrews made the formal announcement on Tuesday at the North Richmond community health centre

Premier Daniel Andrews made the formal announcement on Tuesday at the North Richmond community health centre

Premier Daniel Andrews made the formal announcement on Tuesday at the North Richmond community health centre

Richmond resident and activist Judy Ryan told ABC Victoria's heroin resurgence has killed 35 people in the small area so far this year.

'This is insane. This is Melbourne,' Ms Ryan, secretary of Victoria Street Drug Solutions, told Daily Mail Australia in September.

'People are dying on the streets. We wouldn't put up with this anywhere else'. 

The Victorian Government will introduce legislation in parliament on Tuesday to legalise the facility, which is expected to open its doors mid-2018.

In his announcement, Premier Andrews said the decision was fuelled by the success of a safe injecting room in Sydney which proved to slash the number of fatal overdoses in the New South Wales capital.  

'This will work, this will save lives,' Mr Andrews said. 

The Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) at Kings Cross, Sydney, has slashed the number of deaths due to drug overdose 

The Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) at Kings Cross, Sydney, has slashed the number of deaths due to drug overdose 

The Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) at Kings Cross, Sydney, has slashed the number of deaths due to drug overdose 

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