Heroin overdose crossover study

  • Research program: Harm reduction policy and strategies
  • Project status: Completed
  • Start date: December 1999
  • Expected end date: December 2002
  • Completion date: December 2002
  • Funded by: National Illicit Drug Strategy Round of NHMRC
  • Lead organisation:

This joint project with Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre is funded by an NHMRC Grant through the 1999 National Illicit Drug Strategy (NIDS). This research was designed to build upon an innovative study of the risk factors for non-fatal heroin overdose conducted in Melbourne over the period 1998-2000. Using a case-crossover design, it was expected that the circumstances of heroin overdose in Perth (where heroin overdose is treated primarily by ambulance attendance followed by transportation to a hospital Emergency Department) would lead to an increased response rate when compared to the Melbourne study. In spite of considerable efforts on the part of the researchers involved in the direct work on the project (see appendix 1 for project activity documentation), we were not able to recruit participants as efficiently as originally anticipated. It is apparent that this lowered recruitment rate has resulted from factors outside of the control of the researchers (eg changes in the heroin market in Perth – the heroin ‘drought’ and industrial problems in Perth Accident and Emergency Departments). In light of these problems we formally abandoned this study at the end of March 2002.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location
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Professor Simon Lenton
Tel: 61 (0)8 9266 1603
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Chief Investigator

Harm reduction policy and strategies


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Professor Paul Dietze
Tel: 61 (0)3 9282 2134
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Chief Investigator

Harm reduction policy and strategies


  • Chief Investigator: Damien Jolley, Deakin University
  • Chief Investigator: Greg Rumbold, Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre
  • Chief Investigator: Ian Jacobs, QE11, Medical Centre
  • Chief Investigator: Gabriele Bammer, Australian National University
  • Project staff: Kim Hargreaves, Curtin University