Regional communities will hear first-hand about the dangers of accidental overdose from common medicines, with a series of community presentations set to be delivered in regional Tasmania starting tomorrow.
Several Tasmanian organisations have teamed up to talk with regional communities about the risks of accidental overdose, especially accidental mixing of pain killers or sleeping pills with alcohol.
The Tackling Accidental Pharmaceutical Medicines Overdose (TAPMO) Local Drug Action Team is a collaboration between the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tasmania (ATDC), Pharmacy Guild (Tasmania), Drug Education Network, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, and University of Tasmania.
According to the Pennington Institute, since 2014, unintentional overdose of prescription medications has seen more than 30 Tasmanians lose their lives each year.
Penington also report that accidental overdose is more prevalent in regional communities, and non-prescribed use of prescription medications in Tasmania is higher than any other state jurisdiction. ATDC chief executive Alison Lai is committed to seeing a reduction in accidental medication overdoses, along with the TAPMO partners.
“It’s a common misconception that illegal drugs are the leading cause of accidental overdose deaths in Australia, when the reality is quite different and deaths are more likely to be due to prescription medications than illegal drugs,” Mrs Lai said.
The ATDC warns that there is a significant risk of accidental overdose when not using pain medications such as opioids, or sleeping pills such as benzodiazepines as prescribed or consuming these medicines with alcohol.
“There are risks associated with prescription medications, especially if you are taking more than one medication, and even more so if you also consume alcohol recreationally.
“Accidental overdose can be avoided if you know the risks, and one of the best places to get this information is from your local pharmacist,” Mrs Lai said.
To help connect regional communities with their local pharmacist and learn more about the risks of accidental overdose, the TAPMO Local Drug Action Team are visiting Dover, Triabunna, Queenstown, Wynyard and Smithton during April and May.
The community presentation schedule is below:
|Dover||27th April 2021||6:00 – 7:30pm||19th Bar and Bistro, Dover Golf Club|
|Triabunna||29th April 2021||5:30 – 7:00pm||Triabunna Community Hall|
|Queenstown||11th May 2021||6:00 – 7:30pm||West Coast Council Chambers|
|Wynyard||12th May 2021||5:30 – 7:00pm||Reception Centre, Wynyard Showgrounds|
|Smithton||13th May 2021||5:30 – 7:00pm||Grey’s Private Room, Tall Timbers|
There is no cost to attend and presentations are open to anyone in the community.
More information can be found at: https://www.atdc.org.au/mixing/
Alcohol and Drug Information Service – 1800 811 994
Family Drug Support – 1300 368 186
Alcohol and Drug Services – 1300 139 641
Tasmanian alcohol and other drug service directory – www.atdc.org.au/service-directory
Media Contact: Dan Vautin, Sector Development Manager – 0427 123 717