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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2983..

Illicit drugs-treatment and overdose deaths

(Question No 390)

Mr Stanhope asked the Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services, upon notice:

In relation to drug treatment, and overdose deaths:

1. How many fatal drug overdoses have occurred in the ACT this year.

2. Please provide a breakdown of these figures according to the type of drug used.

3. How many of the fatalities were people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.

4. How many ambulance call outs have attended drug overdose situations in the ACT this year.

5. How does this figure compare with the same time frame last year.

6. How many young people have completed the Ted Noffs rehabilitation program in the ACT since the opening of the centre in Watson.

7. How many young people are currently waiting to be admitted to the Ted Noffs program.

8. How many people are currently awaiting admission to (a) the Arcadia House detox facility and (b) Karrilika and how long is the standard delay between contacting the service and admission.

9. How many people are currently waiting to be accepted into each stream of the methadone program in the ACT.

10. What is the standard delay between contacting the service and admission to the program for each stream.

11. How many pharmacies in the ACT currently dispense methadone in a community setting and what measures are being taken to encourage more pharmacies to take part.

Mr Moore: The answer to the member's question is:

1-3. There have been four confirmed fatal overdoses in the ACT this calendar year. One additional suspected overdose death is awaiting toxicology. Of these five people, one has been confirmed as being indigenous, a further three as not being indigenous and another is unknown.

The drugs involved in the four overdoses for which toxicology has been completed were as follows:

Amphetamines only;

Heroin with non toxic level of benzodiazepines;

Heroin with a non toxic level of alcohol;

Polydrug (methamphetamine, benzodiazepines and methadone).

4/5. The total ambulance call-out figures for fatal and non-fatal overdoses are collated in financial years and are as follows.

Year Total overdoses Heroin-related

1998-99 1057 541

1999-00 1033 478

2000-01 999 323

(to end May 20010

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