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|oxycodone now linked to more overdose deaths than heroin
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|Author:||tndirector [ Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:29 pm ]|
|Post subject:||oxycodone now linked to more overdose deaths than heroin|
Popular painkiller oxycodone has been linked to more overdose deaths than heroin for the first time
PETER MICKELBUROUGH, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION EDITOR
AUGUST 29, 2014 5:58PM
Almost 3000 people have died after accidentally overdosing on opioid-based prescription medicines and street drugs in the five years to 2011 a new report released ahead of Overdose Awareness Day by the National Coronial Information System reveals.
A total of 4102 deaths were attributed to opioid drug overdoses between 2007 and 2011, with just over seven in 10 deaths deemed accidental and 17 in 20 dying in their own homes.
“If we ever needed proof that there needs to a rethink about education strategies to alert people to the inherent risks in medicine-cabinet drug this is it,” Penington Institute acting CEO Wendy Dodd said.
“Heroin deaths appear to be declining which is great news, but pharmaceutical overdoses are rising alongside spiralling prescription rates,” she said.
“Fentanyl deaths are also increasing rapidly and many are accidental due to its high potency and difficulty.”
Ms Dodd said while Victoria was leading the way there needed to be national leadership to fully endorse community overdose prevention programs involving the wider provision of naloxone (Narcan) which is available on the PBS.
Oxycodone was linked to 187 deaths in 2011, up from 109 in 2007, while heroin contributed to 173 deaths in 2011, down from 186 in 2007.
Fentanyl-related fatalities have also jumped from less than seven to 62 over the same period.
Almost three quarters of all opioid drug deaths occurred in combination with other drugs, most commonly benzodiazepines and alcohol.
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