Accidental opioid-induced deaths in Australia 2009

This bulletin provides interpretation of final data on accidental opioid induced deaths in Australia in 2009, and estimated data for 2010 and 2011. NB: The data for 2010 and 2011 are not final and are likely to change. We have estimated figures for 2010 and 2011 based on changes that occurred in the 2008 and 2009 revisions. We have not interpreted these figures in any detail. This will be the subject of later bulletins.

Opioid deaths include those due to heroin, but may also include overdoses due to other opioids such as morphine and oxycodone.

In this bulletin deaths refer to accidental deaths in which opioids were determined to be the underlying cause of death — that is, that they were the primary factor responsible for the person’s death. They are coded according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Problems, 10th revision (ICD-10) 1.