- Australia’s monster flu season is still wreaking havoc on young people, with 19-year-old Nathan Brown of NSW the latest victim. More than 137,500 cases of flu have been reported so far this year including a record breaking 30,000 cases in August.
- The latest results from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey show that Australians prefer harmful drug use to be tackled using education and treatment instead of law enforcement to a greater degree than they did 3 years ago. In 2009–10 the Drug Policy Modelling Program estimated that of the Australian government’s $1.7bn illicit drugs budget, 64% was spent on law enforcement, 22% on treatment, 9.7% on prevention, and 2.2% on harm reduction.
- Drug related deaths have reached alarming rates in Australia, with the nation recording its highest number in twenty years. Prescription drugs caused the highest numbers of drug induced deaths last year, but Australia has also seen a rapid increase in the number of people dying from methamphetamine overdoses.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 30th of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
Australia’s monster flu season is still wreaking havoc on young people, with a teenage boy from New South Wales the latest victim. Nathan Brown, age nineteen, is currently on life support in a medically-induced coma, after his organs began to shut down three weeks ago. “He has fallen victim to this terrible influenza A virus as well as acute pneumonia and he has a staph infection in both lungs and in his heart,” his uncle Peter Brown wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for Nathan’s medical bills. He also wrote: “His lungs have collapsed and his kidneys have stopped working. He is an extremely sick young man. It is going to be a very long and tough recovery for Natto once he beats this illness. ”
More than one hundred thirty seven thousand five hundred cases of flu have been reported so far this year including a record breaking thirty thousand cases in August. That’s more than double the fifty three thousand one hundred fifty nine cases confirmed by this time last year and more than the total eighty three thousand ninety two cases confirmed by the end of the flu season in two thousand sixteen. Eight-year-old Rosie Andersen is another victim of the flu who died just a few weeks ago. Rosie’s father Christian Brealey said she had been sick for a few days, but the family just believed she was suffering from a bad cold. “Never in my worst dreams did I think it would end up like this,” he said in a statement.
The latest results from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey show that Australians prefer harmful drug use to be tackled using education and treatment instead of law enforcement to a greater degree than they did three years ago. In two thousand nine and two thousand ten– the Drug Policy Modelling Program estimated that of the Australian government’s one point seven billion dollar illicit drugs budget, sixty four percent was spent on law enforcement, twenty two percent on treatment, nine point seven percent on prevention, and two point two percent on harm reduction. But the survey results released on Thursday show that voters would allocate the budget differently. People were asked how they would split a hypothetical one hundred dollars between education, treatment and law enforcement to reduce the harm of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs.
The National Drug Strategy Household Survey was conducted from June eighteen to November twenty nine, two thousand sixteen by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. More than twenty three thousand seven hundred Australians were asked about their use of and attitudes towards drugs and alcohol. The survey was last carried out in two thousand thirteen. The latest report expands on findings released in July. In it, about one in twenty Australians reported misusing pharmaceuticals. Of the recent painkiller users, seventy five percent reported misusing an over-the-counter codeine product in the past twelve months. In December the Therapeutic Goods Administration made a decision to make all medicines containing codeine prescription-only medicines. But this change will not come into effect until February two thousand eighteen, so at the time the drugs survey was conducted, codeine products such as Nurofen Plus were available on request from behind a counter at pharmacies.
Drug related deaths have reached alarming rates in Australia, with the nation recording its highest number in twenty years. Prescription drugs caused the highest numbers of drug induced deaths last year, but Australia has also seen a rapid increase in the number of people dying from methamphetamine overdoses.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released today, there were one thousand eight hundred eight drug induced deaths registered in Australia in two thousand sixteen.
That’s similar to rates recorded in the late nineteen nineties when Australia was in the grip of a heroin crisis. But the profile of Australians dying from drug related deaths today has changed.
Middle aged men mixing cocktails of prescription drugs were more likely to die in an accidental drug related death than illegal drug users.
Deaths by methamphetamine use have also increased significantly over the past twenty years as Australia developed one of the worst ice habits in the world.The number of Australians dying from methamphetamine last year was four times higher than in nineteen ninety nine.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data released today also showed Australians are less likely to die from heart disease today than ten years ago, while dementia is becoming a leading cause as the population ages. Overall, dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, claimed the lives of thirteen thousand one hundred twenty six Australians last year. Suicide remains Australia’s leading cause of premature death.