It’s no exaggeration to talk about an overdose crisis. Overdose deaths in Australia have exceeded the road toll since 2014. The most recent data show that overdose is the second-leading cause of death for Australians aged 30-39.
But the problem is much bigger than Australia. The World Drug Report 2021 recorded half a million drug-induced deaths globally over 12 months. There are now over 100,000 fatal overdoses in the US annually, but drug deaths in Scotland, England, Europe, Canada, Asia, and Africa are also on a steep upward trend.
This is one of the world’s worst public health crises, with a devastating toll on individuals, communities, and economies the world over. And yet, with the right interventions, overdose deaths are preventable. This is why we need drug policy reform at the government level and better overdose awareness in our communities.
Our contribution to tackling the overdose crisis includes stewardship of International Overdose Awareness Day. Through this global campaign, we aim to bring about positive change in people, health and law enforcement systems, the economy, and society.
We also publish Australia’s Annual Overdose Report, the most detailed, comprehensive and up-to-date study of overdose in Australia, which you can download here.