Prescription drugs killed 310 people in Vic

Figures detailing all overdose deaths in the state, including suicide, were released this week as part of the Victorian Coroner’s findings into the death of 32-year-old Melbourne man Kirk Ardern, who died after overdosing on a combination of prescription and illegal drugs, including methadone and heroin, in June 2012, just days after his release from prison. 

Of the 374 overdose cases, 143 cases were due to prescription drugs alone, 167 were due to prescription drugs in combination with alcohol and/or illegal drugs, 52 were due to illegal drugs alone, 11 to alcohol alone and one to alcohol combined with an illegal drug. 

Of the overdoses involving prescription drugs, 212 deaths involved benzodiazepines, 191 involved opioids, 133 antidepressants and 75 involved antipsychotics.

The death of Mr Ardern prompted calls from Coroner Audrey Jamieson for ''the immediate need for better controls over pharmaceutical drug prescribing and