Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 189-200

First online:

Heroin overdose: Research and evidence-based intervention

  • Shane DarkeAffiliated withNational Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales Email author 
  • , Wayne HallAffiliated withOffice of Public Policy and Ethics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland

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Drug overdose is a major cause of premature death and morbidity among heroin users. This article examines recent research into heroin overdose to inform interventions that will reduce the rate of overdose death. The demographic characteristics of overdose cases are discussed, including factors associated with overdose: polydrug use, drug purity, drug tolerance, routes of administration, and suicide. Responses by heroin users at overdoses are also examined. Potential interventions to reduce the rate of overdose and overdose-related morbidity are examined in light of the emerging data in this field.


Heroin Mortality Overdose