• It is estimated that globally there were 183,000 (range: 95,000-226,000) drug-related deaths (mostly overdoses) in 2012, with opioid overdose the largest category.
Source: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2014 World Drug Report.
• Drug overdose was responsible for 41,340 deaths in the US in 2011. US overdose deaths have increased for 12 successive years. In 2011, and for the fourth year in a row, the number of US citizens whose deaths were drug-related exceeded the number of fatalities in road traffic accidents (33,561). Almost five people per hour died of overdose in the US in 2011. More information here.
• In 2012, overdoses in the UK (3,256) exceeded the number of deaths in road accidents (1,832).
Sources: www.ons.gov.uk; www.gro-scotland.gov.uk; www.nisra.gov.uk and www.gov.uk
• Drug fatalities increased in Scotland between 2005 and 2012, from 336 to 581 cases. In 2012, the drug most frequently contributing to overdose was methadone (40%) followed by heroin and/or morphine (38%) and benzodiazepine (34%).
Source: National Records of Scotland.
• In Ontario, Canada, there was a 242% increase in fatal opioid overdoses between 1991 and 2010; from 12.2 deaths per million people to 41.6 deaths per million in 2010. Source: The burden of premature opioid-related mortality, Gomes et al. More.
• It is estimated that more than 70,000 lives were lost to drug overdoses in European Union countries in the first decade of the 21st Century. European Union nations reported 6,100 overdose deaths in 2012.
Source: EMCDDA. Perspectives on Drugs: Preventing overdose deaths in Europe.
• 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).
• Countries in South America, the Caribbean and Central America reported between 4000 and 7300 drug-related deaths, with a mortality rate well below the global average, according to the The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report 2014.
• Drug-related deaths in Asia are tentative because of poor regional coverage and reporting of mortality data. However, it is estimated that there were between 11,400 and 99,600 deaths in 2012 in Asia, according to The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2014 World Drug Report.
• Oceania, which includes Australia and New Zealand, has a higher than average drug mortality rate.The UNODC said there were between 1,600 and 1,900 drug-related deaths in 2012.
• Nearly four Australians die every day from overdose. Overdoses out-numbered road fatalities in Australia in 2012. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics overdose deaths totalled 1,427 in 2012, while road deaths, which have been steadily declining, ended the year at 1,338. (Data provided to Penington Institute by Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014).
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