New opioid restrictions now in place

A/Prof Suzanne Nielsen

writer

A/Prof Suzanne Nielsen

Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Monash Addiction Research Centre, Monash University

Several changes to the regulation of opioid supply in Australia come into effect today (June 1).

Opioids are strong medicines used for pain. The new rules – including reducing pack sizes and restrictions around prescribing – are part of a range of changes planned for prescription opioid medicines to be phased in over the next year or so.

This comes in response to the to the growing number of deaths involving opioids in Australia. From 2007 to 2016, opioid-related deaths nearly doubled – from 591 to 1,119 deaths per year.

Notably, most of these deaths involve prescription opioids used for pain, rather than illicit opioids like heroin.

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A/Prof Suzanne Nielsen

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A/Prof Suzanne Nielsen

Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Monash Addiction Research Centre, Monash University

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