Fatal fentanyl overdoses rise as Australians turn to more potent painkillers

Eightfold increase in fentanyl-related deaths prompts calls for drug addiction to be treated as a health issue rather than a supply problem
The Guardian (UK)
Thursday, August 31, 2017

fentanyl pillsConcerns are growing that more Australians addicted to pharmaceutical painkillers are turning to highly potent forms of opioids, such as fentanyl. A new report released by the Penington Institute reveals a significant increase in fatal accidental overdoses because of fentanyl, pethidine and tramadol. Unless the national approach to drug addiction changes to a health issue rather than a supply problem, more lives will be lost, warned John Ryan, chief executive officer at the Penington Institute. During 2011-2015, 3,601 people died from an opioid-related overdose – a nearly twofold increase from 2001-2005, according to the report.