Basmah Qazi


Latest ABS stats reveal top killer of middle aged men

Latest ABS stats reveal top killer of middle aged men

Over three people a day died in Australia last year from the use of opioids mainly from the use of legal painkillers such as OxyContin.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ released a Causes of Death report today which revealed more than half of the drug-induced deaths in 2018 were linked to opioid drugs.

The majority of deaths were accidental overdoses mainly amongst middle aged men and more than 70 per cent were related to the use of pharmaceutical opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, tramadol, pethidine and tapentadol.

According to the ABS, opioids were responsible for 1123 drug-induced deaths in 2018 out of 1740.

“Of these deaths, the most common were accidental overdoses among middle-aged males,” said James Eynstone-Hinkins, ABS director of health and vital statistics.

Other leading causes of death in Australia include heart disease, despite decreasing by 22.4 per cent since 2009.

Dementia, including Alzheimer’s is the second most common cause of death and figures have increased by 68.6 per cent since 2009.

Also taking the lead in deadliest killers was stroke, lung cancer and lower respiratory diseases.

Cancer still made up for more than 30 per cent of all deaths in 2018.