Talking Point: New insights into Victorian pharmaceutical drug overdose death

This event was one of our Talking Point series. It was delivered on 22 February 2017.

Over the past four years Turning Point and the Coroners Court of Victoria have regularly collaborated to develop a better understanding of pharmaceutical drug related harms in Victoria and how these might be reduced. In this presentation Jeremy introduces some new findings that have emerged from our shared work and particularly from our recently completed Victorian Law Enforcement Drug Fund (VLEDF) funded project.

For this project we reviewed full coronial files for 838 Victorian overdose deaths that occurred between 2011 and 2013 where one or more pharmaceutical drug contributed and coded a range of information including history of mental ill health, history of drug dependence and sources of contributing pharmaceutical drugs. The projects findings have implications for clinical practice and for the conceptualisation of prescribing behaviour in drug harms.

Dr Jeremy Dwyer, Senior Case Investigator, Coroners Court of Victoria 

Jeremy joined the Coroners Prevention Unit as a case investigator in 2009, after completing his PhD and working in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University. Jeremy has assisted coroners with investigations into a range of deaths including fatal overdoses, suicides, police contact deaths and transport crashes.

He is particularly interested in developing software tools to record information about the circumstances in which deaths occur, and using these tools to generate new insights into death prevention. To this end he was a core member of the teams that developed the Court’s Victorian Suicide Register and Victorian Overdose Deaths Register.