DeathsNearly one in five deaths in Australia is drug-related. In 1998, it was estimated that 17,671 Australians died as a result of harmful drug use and over 18,500 Australians would be hospitalised for conditions resulting from harmful drug use.
hospitalised for conditions resulting from harmful drug use. Tobacco and alcohol were responsible for over 93 percent of death-related mortality and morbidity. Tobacco and opiates figure significantly in the death rates (as the primary cause of death) for adults, while alcohol features much more strongly in the death rates for young people.
Figure 6 outlines drug-related deaths among 15-34-year-olds with a comparison of deaths among those over 35.
Figure 6: Drug-related deaths 1998 (not including suicide/accidental poisoning)
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Text version of Figure 6Figures in this description are approximate as they have been read from the graph.
|15 - 34 years||Over 35 years*|
|Other illicit drugs|
Harm consequencesAlcohol and other drug use results in health problems in a very large number of young people in Australia (Alcohol in Australia 2001; National Action Plan on Illicit Drugs, 2001).
Some of the AOD-related health consequences for young people are summarised below:
- road traffic injuries
- depression and self-harm
- cognitive impairment (brain damage)
- overdose (especially with heroin use)
- blood-borne disease such as Hepatitis C and HIV.
Note: Young males have much higher rates of alcohol-related health problems compared to females.