5 fast facts on pain and opioids

Oxycodone accounts for 1 in 3 opioids prescribed

Pain is a major issue in Australia, with 6.9 million people living with a musculoskeletal condition and increasing numbers reliant on opioids.

On an average day, 406,000 visits are made to a GP and one in five consultations involve a patient with chronic pain, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s latest report.

Here’s what else the report shows: 

  1. The number of people experiencing body pain in the previous four weeks is up — from 68% two years ago to 78-89%.
  2. Opioid prescribing rose by 24% between 2010/11 and 2014/15 — from 369 prescriptions per 1000 population to 456.
  3. 11.1 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed during this time.
  4. Oxycodone (and oxycodone/naloxone) accounted for one in three opioids prescribed. Prescriptions increased by 68% over the period (from 2.3 million to 3.8 million). 
  5. Codeine prescriptions