When it comes to drug abuse, Penington Institute has the data to show that Australia needs a dose of reality. 34,728 preventable deaths since the turn of the century. More than 2,000 overdose deaths six years in a row. For this year’s International Overdose Awareness Day, August 31, social cause agency, D.O.A., is helping the Institute to deliver it.
With comedian, Jimeoin.
John Ryan, chief executive officer of Penington Institute explained, “Instead of releasing Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2021 in the same vein as past years, we’ve enlisted well-known comedian, Jimeoin, to read Australia our most recent overdose report. Perhaps that way, the public will stand up and unite with us to tackle this epidemic head on.
“Overdose carries a stigma that at a community level is hard to overcome. But by ignoring it, overdose deaths continue to surge. This needs to stop now. We need to stop trying to police our way out of drug overdose and instead tackle it as the health crisis that it is.”
Australia has developed a National Road Safety Strategy, funds public education campaigns and has even established an Office for Road Safety while an epidemic of overdoses continues claiming thousands of Aussie lives in virtual
From today, Jimeoin will begin reading Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2021 while also explaining why Australians are all closer to overdose (in some way or another) than we think.
Jimeoin commented, “Today alone, I have gone over the recommended 400mg of caffeine. I’ve dismissed the daily ‘screen-time’ recommendation. And tonight, I’ll likely enjoy a few standard drinks.
“What I’ve learned through reading Penington Institute’s Annual Overdose Report 2021 is that overdose is everywhere in Australia. And far more relatable than we all think. Yet we continue to delude ourselves, and separate ourselves from the reality that overdose impacts every part of our community.”
Since 2014, deaths from drug overdoses have outnumbered the road toll. Yet while Australia develops a National Road Safety Strategy, funds public education campaigns and has even established an Office for Road Safety, an epidemic of overdoses continues claiming thousands of Aussie lives in virtual silence
Ebony Gaylor, managing partner of D.O.A. stated, “Drug overdose is a difficult issue to talk about. The impact is often buried in complicated research or hidden through shame, stigma and fear. The reality is that overdose is much closer than we think. Thousands of Australians die as a result of drug overdose every year.”
“This year we wanted to help the Penington Institute to tell the story of this national crisis in a way that cuts through culture and engages as many people as possible in this difficult topic. Tackling our national overdose crisis requires all of us to be part of the solution and get behind the call for a National Overdose Prevention Strategy.”
|1||2,227 Australians died of overdose in 2019 – three-quarters (1,644) of which were unintentional.|
|2||Overdose deaths have increased by 25% in a decade (from 2009 to 2019)|
|3||Opioids were detected in 882 unintentional overdose deaths in 2019, while benzodiazepines (sedatives) were detected in 582 unintentional overdose deaths and stimulants (e.g. ice) were found in 470 such deaths.|
|4||For Australians in their 30s, overdose was the second most common cause of death in 2019 behind only suicide, while for Australians in their 20s, overdose was the third-leading cause of death behind suicide and land transport accidents.|
|5||There were 456 drug-induced suicides in 2019 (a 33% increase since 2009). One-third of drug-induced suicides are people aged over 60.|
|6||Overdose deaths cost the Australian economy approximately $15.5 billion a year.|