3 years ago

Pharmaceutical opioid use and harm in Australia: The need for proactive and preventative responses

Gabrielle Campbell, Louisa Degenhardt, Briony Larance, Samantha Colledge, Richard Mattick, Natasa Gisev, Amy Peacock
There are parallels between the North American experience of escalating pharmaceutical opioid utilisation and harm and the trends being observed in Australia. In Australia, opioid utilisation has increased dramatically over the past two decades. There have been significant shifts away from the predominant prescribing of ‘weak’ and short-acting opioids, to ‘strong’ and long-acting opioids, for an increasing range of chronic pain indications. In concordance with escalating use, Australia is experiencing increases in opioid-related hospital admissions and overdose, as well as opioid dependence and treatment seeking. Despite increasing concern regarding pharmaceutical opioid use and harms in Australia, responses have been limited. There have been no recent changes in regulatory systems for prescription-only pharmaceutical opioids, opioid prescribing guidelines, limits on doctors’ prescribing, monitoring of patient or doctor access to opioids, or in access to medicines via public subsidy. Potentially abuse-deterrent opioid formulations have entered the Australian market, with studies suggesting that these formulations are less likely to be tampered with by people who inject drugs; but to date, there have been limited impacts on opioid utilisation and harm. Additional strategies may include enhancing access to effective approaches to pain management and opioid dependence, and scaling-up naloxone provision. There is a unique opportunity for a proactive and preventative response to pharmaceutical opioids in Australia, to avoid experiencing the scale of problems seen elsewhere.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/dar.12617

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.