Drug Deaths and Media Hysteria

Information is Beautiful is one of my favourite blogs. Interesting data in beautiful and easy to take in visual presentations.

A recent post looked at the poisoning deaths in the UK and then compared them to the number of press reports the drug deaths received.
deadliest drugs 1

It was very interesting. Some drugs received an extraordinary number of mentions when a death occured as a result of misadventure. Deaths due to heroin had only 9% of deaths reported. Cocaine with a little over a quarter of the number of deaths compared to heroin had 66% of all deaths reported. The number of press reports for cocaine doubled those of heroin.

deadliest drugs 2

My personal favourites are aspirin and cannabis where the press reported more often than people died. In the case of cannabis almost five times as much.

Media Hysteria or public interest?

Unfortunately I believe these results would be replicated in Australia.

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Robbo is a pharmacist working with a very remote Aboriginal Health Service in the deserts of Western Australia. + Andrew Robbo Roberts

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