Codeine abuse drives demand for opioid substitution treatment

Rising rates of over-the-counter codeine abuse are forcing drug and alcohol specialists to turn to opioid substitution treatments usually reserved for heroin users.

NSW researchers have published the first report on buprenorphine dosing for the treatment of codeine dependency, with surprising findings on the high doses needed to satisfy cravings for a supposedly weak opioid

In a review of treatment for 19 codeine-dependent patients, they found that the dose of buprenorphine required for treating codeine dependency was similar to that used for heroin dependency despite codeine