AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration AIHW corporate plan 2015-16 to 2018-19 Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular disease Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions COPD Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Primary health care Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publications Online reports Rate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs AIHW annual reports Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular disease Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Primary health carePrisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR—metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards GovHack Privacy of data Accessing Australian Government health and welfare data
By subjectAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework Adoptions Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) Child protection Chronic disease indicators Data sources for monitoring health conditionsDeaths Disability
Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General Record of Incidence of Mortality (GRIM) books Height and weight data sources Hospitals Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM) Medical indemnity Mental health Mortality Over Regions and Time (MORT) books National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse
National core maternity indicators (NCMI) National framework for protecting Australia’s children (NFPAC) National indicator catalogue National Youth Information Framework (NYIF) Perinatal data Primary Health Network (PHN) Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee AODTS NMDS WG CKDMAC CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets Infographics What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Australians receiving pharmacotherapy treatment for opioid dependence are getting older, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data collection: 2011, presents information on the use of certain medications used to treat opioid dependence in Australia.
The data are based on a ‘snapshot’ period—usually a day—in June 2011. On the snapshot day in 2011, there were 46,446 clients and 1,444 prescribers.
‘The proportion of clients aged 30 years and over increased from 72% in 2006 to 85% in 2011, with the median age of clients in 2011 being 38 years,’ said AIHW spokesperson Anna White.
‘Almost one in 10 clients (9%) identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.’
The report presents findings on the use of three medications in treating opioid dependence—methadone, buprenorphine, and buprenorphine-naloxone (buprenorphine in combination with naloxone).
Methadone is a synthetic opioid used to treat opioid dependence. Taken daily, it reduces opioid withdrawal symptoms, the desire to take opioids, and the euphoric effect when opioids are taken .Buprenorphine acts in a similar way, but is longer lasting and may be taken daily or every second or third day. Buprenorphine–naloxone acts the same as buprenorphine alone when taken orally, as intended, but if injected naloxone blocks the effects of buprenorphine and increases opioid withdrawal symptoms. This reduces the risk of it being misused by those it is prescribed to.
‘Of the drugs reported in the 2011 collection, methadone was still the drug most commonly used to treat opioid dependence, although the proportion of clients taking buprenorphine–naloxone increased from 5% in 2006 to 17% in 2011,’ Ms White said.
In 2011, 69% of clients took methadone and 14% took buprenorphine.
‘Buprenorphine-naloxone was used more by younger clients than older clients, with methadone more likely to be used among clients older than 40 years,’ Ms White said.
The most common prescriber type was private prescribers (79%).
‘The proportion of prescribers authorised to prescribe more than one pharmacotherapy drug had increased from 51% in 2006 to 77% in 2011. There were 2,264 pharmacotherapy dosing point sites in 2010–11, an increase of 64 sites from 2009–10. Most (88%) dosing points were located in pharmacies.
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 19 June 2012
Further information: Ms Anna White, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1086, mob. 0418 271 395
Full report: National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data collection: 2011