House debates

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Statements by Members

International Overdose Awareness Day

1:57 pm

Photo of Russell MathesonRussell Matheson (Macarthur, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I rise today to speak about Macarthur's first International Overdose Awareness Day, to be held this Friday 29 August.

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held in August each year, and aims to raise awareness of overdose and to reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It is also a day for acknowledging the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

This year I am proud to say that five Macarthur services have partnered to host Macarthur's first International Overdose Awareness Day. Those services include Lifeline Macarthur, Maryfield's Day Recovery Centre, Campbelltown Anglican churches, Youth Solutions and Macarthur Mental Health Promotion Network. The day will be marked by remembrance service that will be held at St Peter's Anglican Church.

I praise the wonderful work that these services in raising the profile of this issue that is considerably overlooked in society. Whilst only 36 per cent of Australians rated drug overdose as a major issue in today's society in a recent survey, statistics say otherwise. Overdose takes the life of four Australians every single day. In recent years, deaths from drug overdose have exceeded the number of deaths from road accidents. In New South Wales alone around 1,300 deaths are attributed to alcohol and related harms. These statistics are far too high and I commend the range of Macarthur services for working hard to reduce such statistics. I applaud them for organising a day of remembrance dedicated to friends, family, clients and colleagues who the community has lost as a result of a drug overdose.


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