none
none

THE CHILLING STATISTICS OF AUSTRALIAN NARCOTICS

28-11-2017
by 
in 

When the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its annual “Causes of death, Australia” analysis for 2016, the figure of 1808 registered drug-induced deaths caused alarm in many areas, equating to a death rate per capita of 7.5 per 100,000 people.

This was the highest annual number of drug deaths in the last 20 years, and drew comparison with the heroin epidemic in the late 1990s, which peaked at 1740 deaths in 1999.

It is also worth reporting that the ABS statistics are specifically for drug-induced deaths (ie where drugs are the cause of death) and exclude drug-related deaths.

However, in comparison with 1999, the 2016 statistics show increases in fatalities from both prescription drugs and illicit narcotics.

When analysed by single drug type, benzodiazepines (prescribed for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia) were the most common substance present in drug-induced deaths in 2016, being identified in 663 cases. Prescription painkillers such as oxycodone, morphine and codeine were present in over 30% of deaths.

According to data released from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in 2015, between 2010 and 2015 there was an increase of over 100% in prescriptions of the slow-releasing opioid oxycodone.

The 2016 statistics also record 1387 drug-related deaths, which are cases where drugs were identified as a contributory cause. While the majority of these were identified as non-overdose suicides, there were also significant numbers of accidental deaths from transport accidents, falls and drownings.

The ABS statistics confirm a trend that has been emerging in recent years. Data from the Victorian Coroner's Court showed pharmaceutical drugs contributed to 330 of the state's 420 overdose deaths in 2015.

Related news & editorials

  1. Laser fusion
    15.12.2017
    15.12.2017
    by      In
    An Australian-led team of researchers is homing in on a novel approach to nuclear fusion it says suffers from none of the shortcomings of the deuterium-tritium fusion approach currently being advanced in the USA and France.
    Hydrogen-boron fusion produces no neutrons and, therefore, no radioactivity... Read More
  2. Dexion racking
    13.12.2017
    13.12.2017
    by      In
    Dandenong-based Safer Storage Systems (SSS) has teamed up with Dexion Australia to become a Dexion Supply Centre. The company has gone further and adopted the Dexion branding and will now be known in the market as Dexion Solutions.
    Dexion was recently acquired by the Singaporean Tech-Link Group,... Read More
  3. DrumBlaster in use
    12.12.2017
    12.12.2017
    by      In
    An Australian innovation is starting to garner success at home and abroad, with increasing numbers of export orders for DrumBlaster. The company’s innovative buildup control technology system virtually eliminates residual concrete buildup in ready mix truck drums.
    “It is gratifying that after five... Read More
  4. 12.12.2017
    12.12.2017
    by      In
    A major new research centre aims to transform Australia's automotive industry by developing new lightweight materials and manufacturing technologies, making cars more fuel-efficient and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
    The ARC Training Centre in Lightweight Automotive Structures (ATLAS) has been... Read More