Facts & Stats

 

Stats about international overdose

• Drug overdose was responsible for 38,329 deaths in the US in 2010. US overdose deaths have increased for 11 successive years. In 2010, and for the third year in a row, the number of US citizens whose deaths were drug related exceeded the number of fatalities in road traffic accidents (32,885). Opioid analgesic overdoses have claimed 125,000 US lives in the last decade. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

• In 2012 the number-one cause of death in 17 US states was prescription drug abuse, and that figure surpassed the number of fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents. Source: American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

• At least three Australians die every day from overdoses. Overdoses outnumbered road fatalities in Australia in 2011. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics overdose deaths totalled 1,383, while road deaths, which have been  steadily declining, ended the year at 1,323. In Victoria prescription drug-related deaths now outnumber those caused on the road.

• Deaths from opioid drugs in Australia are rising steadily. Accidental opioid drug overdoses were projected to increase 95.8% from 2007 to 2010. Source: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre University of New South Wales.

• In 2011 overdoses in the UK (3,338) exceeded the number of deaths in road accidents (1,960). Sources:  www.ons.gov.uk; www.gro-scotland.gov.uk; www.nisra.gov.uk and UK House of Commons Library Reported Road Accident Statistics.

• Globally between 102,000 and 247,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2011. Source: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2013 world overview

• Drug fatalities surged in Scotland between 2010 and 2011, increasing  from 365 to 438 cases. The drug most frequently found was diazepam (81.4%) followed by methadone (57.3%), heroin/morphine (51.5%), anti-depressants (37.1%) and alcohol (37.1%). In 97% of cases more than one drug was present. Source: National Drug-related Deaths Database.

• In 2010 fatal overdoses in Norway (248) exceeded the number of fatalities caused in road traffic accidents (168). Source: www.emcdda.europa.eu and UK House of Commons Library Reported Road Accident Statistics.

• In 2011, the number of people in Estonia whose deaths were drug related (123) exceeded the amount of fatalities caused in road traffic accidents (101). Source: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

• It is estimated that over 70,000 lives were lost to drug overdoses in Europe in the first decade of the 21st Century. European Union nations reported 6,500 overdose deaths in 2011. Source: EMCDDA.

• Eastern Europe and Central Asia has an estimated 3,724,000 people who inject drugs. At least two-thirds of users reported having overdosed, with 4 out of 100 being fatal, the EHRN survey found. In most countries in the region drug users are afraid to call an ambulance for an overdose because police must launch a criminal investigation when a death occurs.

• Countries in South America, including the Caribbean and Central America, reported relatively few drug-related deaths (between 2,200 and 6,300) with a mortality rate well below the global average, the UNDOC said.

• In Africa that between 13,000 and 41,700 drug overdose deaths occur a year, close to the global average per head of population. Source: UNODC

• Drug-related deaths in Asia are extremely tentative because of poor regional coverage and reporting of mortality data, the UNODC said. However the agency estimated between 15,000 and 140,000 deaths a year in Asia.

• Oceania, which includes Australia and New Zealand, has a higher than average drug mortality rate, mainly because of better reporting. The UNODC said about 3,000 drug related deaths occurred in 2011, up from 2,800 a year earlier.

• Thousands of Australians are hospitalized each year for drug overdoses and many are children. In 2005-06 there were 6,623 Australians admitted to hospital over non-fatal drug overdoses and 20 percent of these were children aged 0-4years old.

• Powerful painkillers are being prescribed to Australians at increasing rates. In the decade and a half until 2007 prescriptions for opioid painkillers rose threefold to 7 million a year. Over the same period the number of strong painkillers available has risen from 11 in 1992 to 70 in 2007.

• In Ireland prescription pills offences far outstrip those for heroin, cocaine and cannabis.  Of 1,500 arrests for drug-dealing in Dublin city centre between September and December 2011 just 60 were for selling drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

• Celebrities who have died of overdose include Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger and Jimi Hendrix.