Drug-induced deaths

For related content on drug-induced deaths, see also:

Health impacts: Drug-induced deaths

Drug-induced deaths are defined as those that can be directly attributable to drug use (that is, where drug overdose is recorded as the underlying cause of death), as determined by toxicology and pathology reports. In Australia in 2021, there were 1,245 drug-induced deaths in Major cities (age-standardised rate of 6.7 deaths per 100,000 population) and 436 in Regional and remote areas (6.0 deaths per 100,000).

The following data visualisation shows drug-induced deaths in Australia from 2009 to 2021, by remoteness area and drug type or drug class.

See also the Technical notes.

Figure: Number or age-standardised rate (per 100,000 population) of drug-induced deathsᵃ, by remoteness area and drug type or drug class, 2009 to 2021

This figure shows that the rate of drug-induced deaths for all drug-induced deaths has decreased from 2018 to 2021 for both regional and remote areas (8.1 to 6.0 per 100,000 population) and major cities (7.7 to 6.7 per 100,000 population). From 2009 to 2021 rate of drug-induced deaths by all antidepresssants in regional and remote areas (2021; 2.1 per 100,000) has consistently been higher than major cities (2021; 1.9 per 100,000), whilst for heroin the rate of drug-induced deaths has been higher in major cities (2021; 1.4 per 100,000) compared to regional and remote areas (2021; 0.8 per 100,000).