A growing problem

Rural Australians and those in more economically disadvantage areas use substantially higher amounts of opioids than their urban counterparts, a new study has revealed.

The data support growing concerns and evidence for harmful opioid misuse in rural and remote areas but primarily relate to stronger prescription products, according to the study authors.

Researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre used IMS Health sales data to reveal that an estimated 10,747kg of over-the-counter and prescription opioids were sold across Australia during 2013, equating to 481mg oral morphine equivalent of opioids