Ambulance stats: More drugs call-outs than alcohol

AMBULANCE statistics show drug-related jobs outstripped alcohol-related call-outs in the Swan Hill municipality during 2011/2012.

The latest 'Trends in Alcohol and Drug Related Ambulance Attendances 2011-2012' report, from alcohol and drug centre Turning Point, found 77 total call outs for drugs and alcohol in Swan Hill. Of these, 45 call-outs were for drug-related incidents, compared with 32 alcohol-related events for the year.

Across Victoria and Melbourne, alcohol-related problems were the most common call-out. Benzodiazepines — typically prescribed for anxiety or sleep problems — were the second-most common drug category in the report.

Swan Hill saw seven Benzodiazepine-related attendances in 2011/12, compared to 29 for Mildura and 19 for Horsham.

There were also seven antidepressant-related attendances in Swan Hill, the report said.

Turning Point found alcohol incidents were on the rise, with 8824 attendances in Melbourne for 2011-2012, compared with 6946 the previous year. But the expert body was most concerned about rising crystal methamphetamine (ice) use, with 592 related call outs in metropolitan Melbourne during 2011-2012, compared with 282 in 2010-2011 — a 110 per cent increase.

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