Drug Overdose Deaths in Austria
"In 2013, a total of 122 fatal overdoses were verified in the context of autopsies. An additional 16 deaths – for which no autopsies were performed – are very likely to result from drug overdoses (narcotic drug poisoning given as the cause of death in the confirmation-of-death certificate after external post-mortem examination)39. A total number of 138 deaths directly related to overdoses is therefore assumed for 2013. A decline in drug-related deaths has become apparent in recent years (see Figure 6 3). Figures for individual provinces and age groups are given in Tables A3 to A7.
"In 13% of drug-related deaths for which conclusive toxicological analyses were available, only illicit drugs (one drug or a combination of several drugs) were found. In 61% of cases, psycho-pharmaceuticals were detected as well, in 6% alcohol was found in addition to illicit drugs, and in 20%, both substances, i.e. alcohol as well as psychopharmaceuticals. As in previous years, fatal polydrug overdoses involving opioids clearly predominate (see Figure 6.4). Patterns of polydrug use involving opioids, where the effects of different substances may be potentiating and are thus difficult to control, continue to be widespread and to constitute serious health risks."