Accidental overdose deaths on the rise

August 28, 2023 8:16 am in by
File image [Jarmoluk - Pixabay]

Legal drugs used to treat stress are killing more people than illicit substances or alcohol.

Figures released by the Pennington Institute show have been 227 unintentional overdose deaths in the Geelong region in the 20 years to 2021.

Almost half of those deaths were recorded between 2017 and 2021.

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John Ryan from the Penington Institute said it especially problematic in regional areas.

“We’ve really got an overdose problem that is touching people from all walks of life,” he said.

The Institute said people were more likely to die from accidental overdoses on Xanax and Valium than other drugs.

It said it showed there was an escalating crisis that needed urgent and comprehensive policy reform.