Increases in Deaths in Australia Prove Opioid Crisis is Global in Nature
It has long been thought that the opioid epidemic is strictly a US based problem. The over-prescription of opioids for pain relief by so many physicians over the last decade or so has helped create the current issues that US citizens face when it comes to opioid dependency. Now it seems that Australia too is beginning to see the first sign of an opioid crisis.
The terrible figures in the US are already well established. In 1999 it was recorded that there were around 8,000 deaths in the US caused by opioid overdoses (both prescribed opioids and non-prescribed opioids). By 2017 this figure had increased six-fold to around 48,000 deaths.
The Rate of Opioid-related Deaths in Australia is Increasing Year Over Year
Australia it seems is doing its best to catch up with the US. In Australia in 2006 there were just 439 deaths from opioid-related causes. By 2016 that figure had risen to 1,119. If you feel that those figures do not sound too awful compared to those recorded in the US, then you need to be reminded that Australia has a population of 25 million compared to 325 million in the United States.
Australia’s woes will sound all too familiar to people investigating the opioid epidemic in the US. In the 1990s opioids began to be issued in Australia for all forms of chronic pain. Previously, they had been reserved for short-term pain, terminal conditions and cancer-related issues. The number of opioids used by people in Australia quadrupled within 15 years.
There are now around three million Australians who are in receipt of at least one opioid prescription per year, which is one-eighth of the country’s population.
The Authorities in Australia are Taking Steps to Deal with any Potential Opioid-related Issues
Thankfully, the Australian government has recognized the potential crisis and is taking steps to lessen the chances of it becoming even worse. Codeine, which is an opioid-based painkiller, was removed from over-the-counter sales in 2018 and how is prescription only. Hopefully Australia will fare better than the United States in preventing an over reliance on opioid-based painkiller-medication becoming a full-blown medical crisis.
If you feel you have been affected by opioids of any type, or if you want to learn more about effective treatments for opioid dependency such as our rapid opiate detox, then please contact us here at Advanced Rapid Detox. You can call us any time at (800) 603-1813, or use the online contact form that’s available on our website.