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Advancing global knowledge of the drivers of fatal and non-fatal overdose

The nature of drug overdose is evolving in relation to changes in drug markets and consumer characteristics, including the emergence of more highly potent forms of substances such as illicit fentanyl. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted drug markets in Australia. Work investigating non-fatal and fatal overdose among people who use drugs in Australia is important within the context of changing drug markets.

To increase our understanding of the drivers of non-fatal and fatal overdose and how these change with evolving drug markets. 


Analysis of non-fatal overdose data from the two supervised injecting facilities in Australia, the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Sydney and the Medically Supervised Injecting Room in Melbourne; Analysis of national mortality data (the National Coronial Information System) in Australia; and analysis of jurisdictional mortality data linked to administrative health data. 

This program of work will produce critical data to inform responses (e.g. opioid substitution therapy – OST, THN, SIFs, overdose awareness education and screening for overdose risk) to overdose. It will make a significant contribution across a broad range of areas including; primary health care services, clinical practice, public health and related policy, community medicine and consumer populations. This work is timely in relation to changes occurring locally and internationally in drug markets to inform overdose responses (e.g. increasing availability of THN and the expansion of SIFs). 


Amanda Roxburgh

Contact Person

Contact Amanda Roxburgh for more information about the project


Funding Partners

National Health and Medical Research Council

  • National Health and Medical Research Council

Partners + Collaborators

  • Monash Addiction Research Centre, Monash University
  • Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, Sydney
  • North Richmond Community Health Medically Supervised Injecting Room, Melbourne
  • Discipline of Addiction Medicine, University of Sydney