• In the five years between 2014 and 2018, 22 Wangaratta-Benalla residents died of unintentional overdoses. This is eight more than in the five years between 2009 and 2013.
• In 2018, 105 residents of regional Victoria died of unintentional overdose, compared to 250 residents of Greater Melbourne (there were a total of 355 unintentional overdose deaths across Victoria).
• The rate of unintentional overdose deaths has been higher in regional Victoria than Greater Melbourne every year since 2008.
As noted by Mr John Ryan, CEO of Penington Institute: “In the five years between 2014 and 2018, there were 22 unintentional overdose deaths in the Wangaratta-Benalla region. That’s an unacceptably high number – and it’s 22 too many.”
“The data is clear: the overdose situation in Wangaratta-Benalla is deteriorating. People are suffering and dying unnecessarily, and all levels of government and society need to do more to keep them safe.”
“This is Australia’s hidden health crisis. By releasing this Report with the most up-to-date data, we’re looking to start a conversation, bring overdose out of the shadows and ultimately reduce harms.”
“Penington Institute is releasing this year’s Annual Overdose Report on International Overdose Awareness Day, the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember those who have died without stigma and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.”
“International Overdose Awareness Day was first observed in Melbourne in 2001. This year is the 20th IOAD and it is being recognised with events around the world, including local landmarks like Melbourne Town Hall, Flinders St Station, Fed Square, the Melbourne Star, Bolte Bridge, AAMI Park and Ballarat Town Hall being lit purple in support of the campaign.”
About Penington Institute
Penington Institute connects lived experience and research to improve community safety in relation to drugs, including alcohol and pharmaceuticals.
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