Fatal and non-fatal overdose amongst people who inject drugs (PWID) is a serious public health concern. Opioids are consistently the most commonly identified substances involved in fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses. In Australia, opioids were identified as being involved in over two-thirds (61%) of drug-induced deaths.1
People who inject drugs (PWID) are at higher risk of non-fatal overdose, and recent non-fatal overdose is associated with a higher risk of fatal overdose.2 PWID who report high risk injecting activities, such as public injecting, are at increased risk of multiple non-fatal overdoses.3
Overdose outcomes are dependent on appropriate responses following overdose. Given this, it is crucial to monitor patterns of non-fatal overdose and responses amongst people who inject drugs.
This bulletin examines trends in self-reported non-fatal overdose and responses to heroin overdose amongst a sample of people who regularly inject drugs recruited from capital cities in all states and territories in Australia.