Tasmanian drug overdose data released on Monday highlights the need for regular review of prescription medication, a pharmaceutical leader has said.
The report by the Penington Institute showed there were 180 unintentional drug-induced deaths in Tasmania over five years from 2014 to 2018.
There were 271 total drug-induced deaths over this period.
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Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tasmania policy manager Jackie Hallam said the majority of overdose deaths in Tasmania were linked to prescription drugs, as was the case for other states.
She said unintentional deaths had risen to 34 deaths in 2018 from 21 deaths in 2001.
Dr Hallam said data from the Penington Institute showed no Tasmania region was immune to unintentional drug-induced deaths, with deaths recorded on the West Coast and on Bruny Island.
Tasmanian pharmacist Shane Jackson said many accidental overdose deaths tended to be the result of people unwittingly taking combinations of medications.
He said new health conditions could also put people on particular medications at risk.
Dr Jackson said it was therefore up to prescribers, pharmacists and the patients themselves to regularly review prescriptions to ensure they were still appropriate.
Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff said one accidental drug-related death was one death too many.
“It is so important that individuals heed medical advice so these events don’t happen in future,” he said.
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