QAS report 95 suspected drug overdoses since January
REGIONAL Queensland towns see more prescription drug overdoses than illicit drug overdoses, according to a leading health organisation.
Melbourne-based health group Anex has found that people were more likely to overdose on prescription medication, like opioid Fentanyl, than any other illicit drug.
The Anex group compiled data on the number of drug overdoses and car fatalities per state to coincide with International Overdose Awareness Day on Saturday.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data there were more drug overdose related deaths (1383) than car fatalities (1323) in 2011.
It comes as Queensland Ambulance Service revealed there had been 95 suspected drug overdoses in Gladstone since January this year.
Anex chief executive John Ryan said prescription opioids were more accessible than big city drugs like heroin for people in regional towns.
"Most of Queensland drug overdoses are related to prescription opioid overdoses than illicit drugs," Mr Ryan said.
"The super powerful prescription drug Fentanyl continues to cause more overdoses in regional Queensland."
Queensland Ambulance Service Gladstone station officer Ron Gibson said the number of call outs to drug overdose in the region was at a steady level.
"There has not been a decrease or an increase in the number of overdoses," Mr Gibson said.
Mr Gibson stressed that people should not be afraid to contact triple zero if they witnessed an overdose.
"We don't report these cases to police; our main priority is to help people," he said.