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Drug-related deaths on rise in Australia: data
September 28,2017   By:Xinhua
CANBERRA, Sept.28,2017-- The number of drug-related deaths in Australia is on the rise, statistics released on Wednesday revealed.
 
According to the data compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 7.5 out of every 100,000 Australian deaths were drug-related in 2016, the highest mark since the 1990s.
 
Drug induced deaths from illicit psychostimulants such as methamphetamines and ice have quadrupled since 1999, the ABS said, but prescription drugs were still the most deadly.
 
"There were 1,808 drug induced deaths in 2016, with those deaths most commonly associated with Benzodiazepines and Oxycodone," James Eynstone-Hinkins, director of health and vital statistics at the ABS, said in a media release on Wednesday.
 
Despite the rising threat of drugs, heart disease remained Australia's most common cause of death, responsible for 62.4 of every 100,000 deaths, down from 99.1 deaths per 100,000 in 2007.
 
While deaths from heart diseases were in decline, other diseases such as dementia became more prolific.
 
"In 2016, dementia became the leading cause of death among Australian women," Eynstone-Hinkins said.
 
"Improvements in treatments and prevention of heart disease have contributed to increased life expectancy, but this has also led to increased deaths from conditions such as dementia which affect predominantly very elderly Australians."
 
In total, there were 158,804 deaths in Australia in 2016. The infant mortality rate hit a new low of 3.1 deaths per 1,000 live births.
 
Cancer was responsible for 30 percent of all deaths in 2016 with lung cancer being the second leading cause of death among males and fourth most common overall.