Drug overdose kills more than 5 Australians a day: Report

In 2019, more than five Australians died from drug overdose daily, according to a new report by the National Drug & Alcohol Research Center (NDARC).

According to the year report More than 1,860 Australians died from drugs in 2019, announced Thursday, and the majority of deaths were considered unintentional.

This is the fifth consecutive year in Australia, with Australian drug deaths higher than the early peaks observed in the late 1990s.

The report also found that amphetamine deaths were four times higher than they were ten years ago, while cocaine deaths were more than double since 2016.

Epoch Times Photo
Australian Federal Police Officer (L) discovered A $ 180 million (US $ 162 million) drug hidden in a kayak consignment from China in Sydney on February 12, 2014. Inspect the seized methamphetamine. (WILLIAMWEST / Getty Images)

Dr. Amy Peacock, NDARC’s drug trend program leader, told The Epoch Times that the situation was worrisome.

“We are particularly concerned about the increased mortality from drugs involving amphetamines and cocaine,” she said.

“The global cultivation and production of these drugs is considered to be at the highest recorded levels and may contribute to the increased harm.”

The report also found a resurgence in heroin use, doubling heroin-related deaths in 2009.

“This is the first year that heroin-related opioid-induced deaths outnumbered natural and semi-synthetic opioids,” Peacock said.

Studies show that opioids have been the cause of Australia’s most deadly substance abuse in the last two decades, killing 1,121 people in 2019.

Fatal drug overdose in men is almost twice that in women, but in the late 1990s, although it occurred primarily in groups aged 25-34, in groups aged 35-44 and 45-54. It is the highest among them.

“The most frequent psychosocial risk factor identified in Coroner-certified drug-induced death was the personal history of self-harm,” Peacock pointed out.

Other common factors include family disruption due to separation and divorce, disappearance and death of persons in the primary support group, problems with spouse or partner relationships, and difficulties related to other legal situations. Was there.

Epoch Times Photo
A man prepares heroin purchased on the street for injection at the Insight Safety Injection Clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. (Canada Press / Darryl Dyke)

Pharmaceutical market soon disrupted by COVID-19

According to Peacock, this report arrives almost a year after Australia imposes the COVID-19 social distance rule. This is said to have significantly hindered the illegal drug trafficking and use of narcotics, especially heroin and methamphetamine.

Indeed, last year, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) Head John Coin I have written In an ASPI article, the federal government may have had to admit the “warning rate” of illegal drug consumption in Australia “without the coronavirus and its widespread economic consequences.”

“In addition, efforts to address this issue have had little impact over the last three years,” Coyne added, referring to record high drug consumption in 2019.

“Without a little honesty and tolerance for new ideas, Australia’s illicit drug problem is getting worse.”

After Sydney’s consumption of cocaine, the pandemic turmoil in the drug market is believed to be temporary. Recovered immediately After being depressed at the beginning of the pandemic.

“It’s clear that something has to change unless we agree with the rather gibberish philosophy of’always getting worse,'” Coin wrote.

National challenge

Reducing opioid-related deaths is not an easy task. Especially in a country with one in the world. The most serious drug problem.

“When it comes to stimulants, it’s more difficult. It’s actually looking at the perception of risk. There’s nothing you can call a classic overdose prevention strategy,” said Michael Farrell, director of NDARC.

“The types of methamphetamine toxic overdose are quite different … they tend to have physical complications such as stroke.”

But Peacock said drug-related deaths could be prevented.

She is a drug over-the-counter in pharmacies that can be used by people who may maximize access to drug addiction treatments and witness opioid overdose to quickly remedy opioid overdose. Proposed to ensure that naloxone is available.

“These findings reinforce the need for greater investment in strategies that are known to work to reduce drug-related harm,” Peacock added.

But she reiterated Coin’s feelings about the looming reality of the Australian drug problem.

“Trends over the last decade suggest that rates continue to rise,” Peacock told The Epoch Times.

In Australia, the illicit drug market is estimated to be worth A $ 6.7 billion, but Sydney, known as the country’s “capital of cocaine,” is home to the world. Second most expensive cocaine For $ 311 per gram.