Senate debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018


International Overdose Awareness Day

4:19 pm

Photo of Richard Di NataleRichard Di Natale (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate:

(a) notes that:

  (i) 31 August marks the 17th annual International Overdose Awareness Day, commemorating all those who have died or been seriously injured due to drug overdose,

  (ii) annual accidental drug-related deaths are now more than double the road toll and continue to rise,

  (iii) Aboriginal people are drastically and tragically over-represented in our overdose death numbers at a rate of 17 per 100 000, compared with 7 per 100 000 for non-Aboriginal people, and

  (iv) the significant increases in deaths involving pharmaceutical opioids continue to rise; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to urgently address the rising rates of harm associated with drug use by implementing, and appropriately resourcing, evidence-based harm reduction policies, including:

  (i) greater access to needle and syringe programs across the country, including urgent roll-out of trials inside prisons,

  (ii) expanded access to drug treatment programs across Australia,

  (iii) expanded access to medically-supervised injecting facilities across Australia,

  (iv) promoting awareness of the life-saving opioid reversal drug Naloxone, and making it free for all people at risk of experiencing or witnessing an overdose,

  (v) working with state and territory governments to cease the use of drug sniffer dogs at festivals, and introduce urgent trials of pill testing during the upcoming festivals season, and

  (vi) removing daily dispensing fees for patients accessing lifesaving treatments, like methadone and buprenorphine.


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