Not What You Think – Prescription drug overdose in those who are male, middle aged and non-metropolitan residents

If you thought that the person most likely to die from a drug overdose was young, urban heroin user, it’s time to rethink your perceptions. A new report by The Penington Institute indicated that those most at risk of accidental overdose death are middle-aged males who take prescription medication and live in non-metropolitan Australia.

The report reveals that prescription drugs, so often overlooked as potentially dangerous, now account for 71% of all accidental drug-related deaths.

The Medical Director for The Banyans, Addiction Medicine and Pain Specialist Dr Christian Rowan spoke to The Medical Republic about the report and said there should be a real time monitoring system for prescription drugs. However, this alone will not solve everything. Dr Rowan also raised the need for education and training for healthcare professionals, community awareness of drug and alcohol dependence issues, and better access and availability to 
pain treatment modalities, whether that was a pain program or allied health services.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that in the United States, the number of middle-aged white women dying annually from opiate overdoses shot up 400 percent between 1999 and 2014. This staggering and sad statistic is found in a new report from the Washington Post which analysed data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Within those 54,000 deaths over that period, benzodiazepines, commonly prescribed as anti-anxiety drugs, contributed to a growing share, reaching a third in the last several years.

Prescription pain killers include common drugs such as codeine, tramadol, oxycodone, fentanyl and morphine. Opioid painkillers make up millions of prescriptions each year in Australia, so dependency is a real risk for all socio-economic and demographic groups of patients.

If you think that you or someone you care about might be showing signs of dependency on prescription drugs, it’s important to talk to a trained medial professional. There are many contributing causes to dependency or addiction to prescription opioid painkillers and there are many successful treatment options available.

The medically informed model of The Banyans Health and Wellness provides access to excellent medical specialists and the very best in caring, confidential support.

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.