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Benzodiazepine-related deaths in Australia

Released June 2022
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benzodiazepine-related deaths, 2001-2019
deaths per year on average
involved primary benzodiazepine contribution


Benzodiazepines are prescription drugs that have depressant and minor tranquilliser effects. Benzodiazepines can be harmful if misused or combined with alcohol or other drugs.

There were 15,215 benzodiazepine-related deaths reported to an Australian coroner between 2001 and 2019. Males were over-represented, with males aged 34–44 years at greatest risk. Nearly one third of benzodiazepine-related deaths were due to intentional self-harm. Benzodiazepine-related deaths frequently involved other drug classes such as analgesics, and antidepressants and antipsychotics.

Data sources

The data was extracted from the NCIS in March 2022. The data set contained every external cause fatality where a benzodiazepine was listed in the Drug coding fields that was reported to an Australian coroner between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2018. Cases were included where the coronial investigation had concluded and the case was closed on the NCIS.

See explanatory notes for information on data sources and limitations. For further data, request a data report.


Content is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), unless otherwise stated. Attribution must be provided to the National Coronial Information System (NCIS).

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