Social and Economic Costs of Drug Use in Australia: "Of the total social cost of drug abuse in 2004/05 of $55.2 billion, alcohol accounted for $15.3 billion (27.3 per cent of the unadjusted total), tobacco for $31.5 billion (56.2 per cent), and illicit drugs $8.2 billion (14.6 per cent). Alcohol and illicit drugs acting together accounted for another $1.1 billion (1.9 per cent)."
"The majority of drug deaths in an Australian study, conducted by the National Alcohol and Drug Research Centre, involved heroin in combination with either alcohol (40 percent) or tranquilizers (30 percent)."
Heroin-Assisted Treatment and Retention in Treatment: "These pilot study findings showed that opiate-dependent injecting drug users with long injecting careers (most started between 1970 and 1982) and for whom opiate treatment had failed multiple times previously were attracted into and retained by therapy with injectable opiates."
"A striking finding from the toxicological data was the relatively small number of subjects in whom morphine only was detected. Most died with more drugs than heroin alone 'on board', with alcohol detected in 45% of subjects and benzodiazepines in just over a quarter. Both of these drugs act as central nervous system depressants and can enhance and prolong the depressant effects of heroin."