Death from Heroin use can provide an opportunity for authorities to learn valuable lessons to prevent future drug related deaths.
Australia is currently experiencing a heroin drought with a concurrent reduction in heroin related deaths, however the United Nations is warning that heroin production in Afghanistan is now at record levels.
Information from one Australian state can be useful in understanding heroin use and deaths that occur throughout Australia. So the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine has provided a useful report on deaths from 1991 to 2005, highlights of which are-
(Source: Heroin Deaths in Victoria 2005 available at www.vifm.org (link no longer works))
All illicit drug deaths in Australia indicate the need for more detoxification and rehabilitation programs that get users free of drugs.
If we add the deaths caused by Methadone to those of illicit drugs, clearly the current drug policy of harm minimization is NOT working.
Australia needs to substantially reduce the number of illicit drug users in order to substantially reduce the number of drug deaths.
Court ordered detoxification and rehabilitation has been proven to reduce the number of drug users and deaths and MUST be implemented urgently.