CANBERRA, November 9 (Xinhua) – Prescription painkillers and illegal opioids kill three Australians every day, as the government agency has noted.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) published on Friday a report on the adverse effects of opioids in Australia, which shows that the number of drug-related deaths has almost doubled over the last decade from 591 in 2006 to 1119 in 2016. r.
However, the number of deaths associated with opioids remains lower than the peak at the end of the nineties.
Opioids are a group of painkillers that contain illegal substances such as heroin and opium, and prescription-only medicines from a doctor such as morphine and codeine.
The AIHW report revealed that 15.1 million prescriptions for opioids were given to 3.1 million patients in 2016-17, while 715,000 used prescription drugs for illegal, non-medical and 40,000 heroin use.
Oxycodone was the most frequently prescribed opioid, followed by codeine and tramadol.
"Every day in Australia there are nearly 150 hospitalizations and 14 presentations in emergency departments involving opioids, and three people die from drug-induced deaths using opioids," said AIHW spokeswoman Lynelle Moon on Friday in press news.
"The number of deaths in 2016 is the highest from the record level of 1.245 in 1999, when the rate was about 7 deaths per 100,000 people."
According to AIHW data, the number of hospitalizations for opioid poisoning increased by 25 percent in 2006-2016.
"In both deaths and hospitalizations, pharmaceutical opioids were more responsible than illegal opioids," said Moon.