AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation 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 subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions 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 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 publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health 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 Health priority areas Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner 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 linking Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators
Chronic disease indicators Deaths Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources
Indigenous Australians International collaboration Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators Risk factors statistics Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets 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 Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Subscribe to employment notices Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Over 41,000 clients were being treated for dependence on opioid
drugs such as heroin as at 30 June 2008, according to the
National Opioid Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data
collection: 2008 Report, released today by the Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report provides information and statistics about the
characteristics of those being treated for opioid drug dependence,
the different types of treatments and medication dispensing
Report author Amber Jefferson said there was an increase in the
number clients in 2008 compared with each of the previous three
'From 2005 to 2007 numbers remained relatively stable at around
39,000 people being treated for opioid drug dependence, but this
rose to 41,347 in 2008,' she said.
'The proportion of male clients has remained the same at about
two thirds,' she said.
Of the 41,347 clients being treated nationally, approximately
27,500 were male.
As in previous years, the about 65% of clients received
treatment from a private prescriber. Prescribers in the public and
corrections sectors also remained at similar levels, 27% and 7%
Over 85% of dosing sites were located in pharmacies.
Both the number of registered prescribers and the number of
dosing point sites increased between 2006 and 2008.
According to the report, about 70% of all clients were receiving
methadone and the remainder received buprenorphine or
The proportion of clients receiving the combination drug
increased between 2006 and 2008.
'This combination product is now more commonly used as a
treatment for opioid dependence than buprenorphine alone because it
is believed the combination product reduces the risk of
inappropriate use,' Ms Jefferson said.
The proportion of clients receiving the single buprenorphine
product continues to decrease while the proportion of clients
receiving methadone has remained relatively stable over the same
three year period.
Methadone and buprenorphine are prescribed heroin substitutes.
Naloxone reverses the effects of opioids and buprenorphine/naloxone
prevents withdrawal symptoms.
Thursday 21 May 2009
Further information: Ms Amber Jefferson, AIHW,
tel. 02 6244 1137, mob. 0407 915 851
For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.
Availability: Check the AIHW Publications area
for the availability of National Opioid
Pharmacotherapy Statistics Annual Data collection: 2008