Current Opioid Access, Use, and Problems in Australasian Jurisdictions

Natasa Gisev, Gabrielle Campbell, Samanta Lalic, Sarah Larney, Amy Peacock, Suzanne Nielsen, Sallie Anne Pearson, Louisa Degenhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearch

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: To summarize current patterns of pharmaceutical opioid use, extra-medical use, and harms across Australasia, with a focus on Australia and New Zealand. Treatment for opioid dependence and recent changes to the regulatory environment governing opioid access and treatment are also discussed. Recent Findings: A fourfold increase in opioid use has occurred across Australia and New Zealand between 2001–2003 and 2011–2013, with significant increases in the use of strong opioids. Documented harms include opioid dependence, hospitalization and other health service use, and non-fatal and fatal overdose. Pharmaceutical opioids account for the majority of opioid-related deaths. Summary: There is an ongoing need for timely and proactive responses to the opioid problem in Australia and New Zealand. Although several strategies have been implemented in Australia, the effectiveness of these strategies is currently unknown, and given the magnitude of the problem, it is likely that additional strategies will be needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-472
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Analgesics
  • Harms
  • Misuse
  • Opiate substitution treatment
  • Opioid-related disorders
  • Opioids

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