National opioid pharmacotherapy statistics annual data collection

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new report today:

National opioid pharmacotherapy statistics annual data collection 2012

Click on the link to view the report and media release.

What’s it all about?

People who have become dependent on opioid drugs (such as heroin, morphine or codeine) may receive a replacement oral pharmacotherapy drug (such as methadone or buprenorphine) as part of their treatment. This report presents statistics from the National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data (NOPSAD) collection and includes information about opioid pharmacotherapy clients, prescribers and dosing points.

What does it show?

The report shows that on a snapshot day in June 2012 almost 47,000 Australians received pharmacotherapy treatment for their opioid dependence.

Key findings include

  • Fewer Australians under 30 are receiving pharmacotherapy treatment for dependence on opioid drugs: the proportion of clients aged less than 30 halved compared with the proportion in 2006—down from 28% to 13%—while the proportion of clients aged 50 and over doubled—from 8% to 18%,
  • The overall number of clients receiving pharmacotherapy has doubled since 1998—up from around 25,000 people to almost 47,000 in 2012.
  • Around two-thirds (65%) of clients receiving pharmacotherapy in June 2012 were male.
  • Almost 1 in 10 (9%) clients identified as Indigenous, almost 3 times their representation in the population as a whole.
  • Methadone continues to be the pharmacotherapy drug most commonly prescribed (68%), followed by buprenorphine (32%).
  • In 2012, there were 1,768 prescribers of opioid pharmacotherapy in Australia, an increase of 14% from 2011.

Where can I get it?

Electronic copies of all AIHW publications are available on the AIHW website. Printed copies can be purchased.