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Overdose Affects Women and Families

Thursday, 14 August 2014

International Overdose Awareness Day - prevention and remembrance
Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that fatal overdose claimed more Australian lives in 2012 than road deaths and that the number of middle-aged women who lose their lives to overdose is increasing. As International Overdose Awareness Day 2014 approaches, we consider the impact of overdose and prevention efforts.

How Common is Fatal Overdose?

The Penington Institute recently commissioned the Australian Bureau of Statistics to provide data on the number of fatal overdoses in Australia.

Chief Executive Officer John Ryan says that total overdose deaths in Australia in 2012 (1427) outnumbered the road toll (1338) for the second year in a row.

More than one in five fatal overdoses involved a woman aged 30 - 50 years old.

"Almost three times more middle-aged women die from accidental overdose than in all traffic accidents," Mr Ryan says. "The number of middle-aged women dying from accidental overdose has more than doubled in a decade."

The Penington Institute will release more figures on fatal overdose in Australia next week.

Impact on Families and Friends

According to International Overdose Awareness Day organisers, deaths from overdose send out tidal waves of pain through families and friendship circles which leave a deep and enduring sense of loss.

Family members affected by the death of a loved one to fatal overdose have shared tributes on the Overdose Awareness Day website at www.overdoseday.com/tributes

International Overdose Awareness Day - 31 August 2014

International  Overdose Awareness Day is a day of remembrance for everyone with a connection to fatal overdose.

Individuals and organisations are invited to mark International Overdose Awareness Day on or around Sunday 31 August.

If you would like to hold an event to raise awareness about overdose prevention or to acknowledge the human toll with a memorial, you can find more information and tips at www.overdoseday.com

Support and Information

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing problems related to alcohol or other drugs, support is available. Call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024 for free, confidential telephone counselling and referral 24/7.

Information about alcohol and other drug services in WA is also available in the Green Book Directory of Alcohol and other Drug and Mental Health Services in WA.

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