AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration AIHW corporate plan 2016–17 to 2019–20 Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Nous review Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public Interest Disclosure 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 Health performance Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies 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 Subscribe 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 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 AIHW data collections 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 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) 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 CVDMAC HEAC
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDDNMDS
NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees
Education worksheets Infographics What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Resources 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 Embargoed access to AIHW material Media contacts
You are here:
Fewer Australians under 30 are receiving pharmacotherapy treatment for dependence on opioid drugs such as heroin, morphine or codeine, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, National opioid pharmacotherapy statistics annual data collection 2012, suggests an ageing population of clients in pharmacotherapy treatment.
It shows that on a snapshot day in June 2012 almost 47,000 Australians received pharmacotherapy treatment for their opioid dependence.
'Of these, 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%,' said AIHW spokesperson Amber Jefferson.
'The overall number of clients receiving pharmacotherapy has doubled since 1998-up from around 25,000 people to almost 47,000 in 2012.
'However, growth in client numbers has slowed in recent years-to less than 1% a year from 2010 to 2012.'
Treatment with an opioid pharmacotherapy drug can reduce drug cravings, improve physical and mental health and reduce drug related crime. Methadone continues to be the pharmacotherapy drug most commonly prescribed (68%), followed by buprenorphine (32%).
'In recent years, we've seen a change in the way in which buprenorphine is prescribed, with naloxone added to deter injection of the medication,' Ms Jefferson said.
Among all pharmacotherapy clients, the proportion receiving just buprenorphine dropped from 23% to 13% between 2006 and 2012, while the proportion receiving buprenorphine combined with naloxone rose from 6% to 19% over the same period.
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.
In 2012, there were 1,768 prescribers of opioid pharmacotherapy in Australia, an increase of 14% from 2011.
'On average, each prescriber treated fewer clients, with the ratio of clients per prescriber falling from 30 in 2011 to 26 in 2012,' Ms Jefferson said.
The majority of prescribers worked in the private sector (82%).
Most clients need to attend a dosing point regularly to take their opioid pharmacotherapy drug under supervision. Most of these dosing points were located in pharmacies and in urban areas.
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 2013
Further information: Amber Jefferson, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1137, mob. 0418 271 395