According to a report on ajp.com.au, of the 2,227 drug-induced deaths in Australia in 2019, over 1,600 were unintentional.
The figure was highlighted by the The Penington Institute in Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2021, which examined all drug-induced deaths in Australia in 2019.
According to the article on ajp.com.au, drug overdose is a leading cause of death for Australians of all ages. And while drugs like ICE, cocaine and heroin cause significant issues in the community, when it comes to overdose deaths, pharmaceutical drugs are the main issue.
Dr Karen Gelb, the report’s lead author, told ajp.com.au that the fact that most overdose deaths involve pharmaceutical drugs means that “pharmacists need to have really good, open, honest conversations with their patients”.
Cannabinoids (cannabis is one type of cannabinoid) is another leading cause of drug overdose deaths. It led to 256 of the 1644 unintentional drug overdose deaths in 2019. This furthers arguments that cannabis, although widely used and almost trivialised, is far from a safe drug.
The Pennington Institute is calling for a national strategy which facilitates open discussion about medicines and drug use, to prevent overdose.
Credit Marketeering Group https://www.flickr.com/photos/184869336@N08/48861865166/