Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2023
Sep 8, 2023
The Penington Institute has published “Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2023”. The report shows that there has been an increase in fatal overdose over the last decade, particularly involving stimulants and benzodiazepines. While there have been some promising moves to reduce overdose – particularly through the recent increased access to take-home naloxone, there remains much more that we can do to prevent overdose. In Queensland in 2021, there was a higher rate of fatal overdose in regional Queensland compared with Brisbane. The death rate in regional Queensland was 6 deaths per 100,000 population, while in Brisbane this figure was slightly lower at 5.2 deaths per 100,000 population. The substances that caused the highest numbers of overdose deaths in both Brisbane and regional Queensland, was the category of drugs referred to as “Other pharmaceuticals”. This category includes anti-convulsants, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, sedatives and hypnotics and anaesthetics – but it does not include pharmaceutical benzodiazepines or pharmaceutical opioids. The second most common class of substance leading to overdose death was benzodiazepines, followed by prescription opioids, stimulants and then alcohol.
To download a copy of “Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2023” or to watch a webinar presentation of the findings, go to the Penington Institute’s website.