Confronting new statistics were released last month about those most likely to die of accidental drug overdose in Australia.

The report, from Penington Institute Australia, reveals an unexpected picture of dependency. While we often expect that illicit drugs are the main cause of accidental drug overdose deaths, we can clearly see now that this is not the case.  The stereotype of accidental overdose deaths happening to young urban dwelling addicts is shattered.

A look at the statistics of drug overdose deaths in Australia between 2004-2014 reveal the following.

  • Accidental overdose deaths rose by 61% in a decade, from 705 deaths in 2004 to 1137 in 2014.
  • Australians aged 40-49 are the most likely to die of a drug overdose, with a 96% rise between 2004 to 2014.
  • In 2014, Australians aged between 30-59 accounted for 78% of all overdose deaths.
  • Contrary to common perception, it’s not illicit drugs causing drug-related deaths. In 2014, prescription medications were responsible for more than double the number of deaths caused by illicit drugs.
  • Prescription opioid deaths in Australia increased by 87% between 2008 and 2014.
  • The number of middle-aged women dying from accidental overdose has doubled in a decade.
  • Australian women aged between 30-50 are now almost 4 times more likely to die of an unintended overdose than in a car accident

Drug overdose deaths by age groupPrescription drug addiction or dependency often starts with legitimate use, following a car accident, sporting injury or surgery. Pain medication can then start to become addictive and can sometimes be used to manage anxiety or other mental health conditions arising from trauma or stress.

If you or someone you know is at risk of developing a dependency on prescription medication, talk to a trusted health professional such as Addiction Sciences Queensland. Specialists can assist with drug detox, relapse prevention as well as recovery services such as those provided by The Banyans Health and Wellness.

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A personally designed wellness program in a residential setting can assist those looking for a private, confidential residence with therapeutic support.  The Banyans Wellness Residence provides excellent biopsychosocial support in a supportive and caring environment.

Designed for integrated restoration, and with an expert team of therapists, health practitioners and wellness coaches, The Banyans Health and Wellness Residence is a place where body and soul prosper in an environment of rest, wellness, and inspired living.

Call us now on 1300 BANYAN (1300 226 926) or email welcome@thebanyans.com.au for a confidential discussion about how you or someone you care about can benefit from The Banyans.