Heroin deaths spike as investigations begin into ‘strong batch’ in SA

ABC News, 23rd August 2016

Toxicologists have begun investigating a spike in heroin-related deaths as emergency and health services are put on high alert in South Australia.

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Richmond traders support mobile injecting centre plan

The Age, May 17, 2016 – 4:39PM

Ice and heroin dealing on Richmond’s drug-ravaged Victoria Street has become so flagrant that local traders are now supporting a proposal for a needle van.

In return for their support, the traders are demanding the CCTV cameras offered by the state government – and long rejected by the local council.

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Alcohol and other drug treatment services – Key findings in 2014–15

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

Key findings in 2014–15:

Agencies

  • A total of 843 publicly-funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided services to clients seeking treatment and support for alcohol and other drug problems, an increase of 27% over the 5-year period to 2014–15.

Clients

  • Around 115,000 clients received just over 170,000 treatment episodes from alcohol and other drug treatment agencies.
  • 2 in 3 clients were male (67%), just over half were aged 20–39 (54%), and 1 in 7 clients were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (15%).
  • The alcohol and other drug client group is an ageing cohort, with a median age of 33 years in 2014–15, up from 31 in 2005–06. Since 2005–06 there has been a decline in the proportion of 20–29 year olds being treated (from 33% to 27% of treatment episodes), while the proportion of those aged 40 and over rose from 26% to 32%.
  • The proportion of episodes where clients were receiving treatment for amphetamines (20%) has continued to increase over the last 10 years, from 11% of treatment episodes in 2005–06, and 17% in 2013–14.

Treatment

  • There was an increase in the number of closed treatment episodes between 2005–06 and 2014–15, from 151,362 to 170,367—a 13% increase over the 10-year period.
  • In 2014–15, the top 4 principal drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (38% of treatment episodes), cannabis (24%), amphetamines (20%) and heroin (6%).
  • Treatment for the use of amphetamines increased over the 5 years to 2014–15 (from 9% of closed treatment episodes to 20%).
  • Over the 10 years since 2005–06, treatment types received by clients have not changed substantially, with counselling, assessment only and withdrawal management being the most common types of treatment—this was the same for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients.

AOD 2014-2015

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Victorian heroin overdose deaths spike, average age of victims rises

ABC The World Today, Posted

The number of heroin deaths in Victoria rose by almost 20 per cent in 2015, but it is an older generation who are dying.

Victoria Police and the State Coroner will be investigating whether increased purity was responsible for the jump in overdoses.

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Opiate use quadruples in Australia, while 85 per cent of the world has zero access: study

ABC, 4/2/2016

Key points:

  • Study reveals opiate use doubled in developed countries, quadrupled in Australia
  • 85 per cent of world’s population have no access to opioids
  • Uganda plans to grow its own opium crops to overcome the issue of affordability

Professor Richard Mattick, senior author of the paper, published in The Lancet, said researchers found 95 per cent of all opioids were used in western and central Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

  • Read more here
  • Read the abstract of the paper in The Lancet here