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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11055/734
Title: Deaths from opioid overdosing: implications of coroners' inquest reports 2008-2012 and annual rise in opioid prescription rates: a population-based cohort study.
Authors: Shipton EE, Shipton AJ, Williman JA, Shipton EA
ANZCA/FPM Author: Shipton, EA
Shipton, EE
Keywords: Opioid
Overdose
Prescription rate
Issue Date: Dec-2017
Citation: Pain Ther. 2017 Dec;6(2):203-215
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: In the late 1990s multiple physicians and advocacy organizations promoted increased use of opioids for the treatment of acute, chronic and cancer pain. There has been an exponential growth in opioid prescribing in the last 20 years in the United States of America, in Australia, and in other developed Western countries. There are negative consequences associated with the liberal use of opioids. The primary aim of this population-based cohort study is to investigate the opioid-related death rate in New Zealand between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2012. The secondary aims of this cohort study are: (1) to compare the opioid-related death rate per population in New Zealand in 2001/2002 with that between 2011/2012; (2) to investigate the number of opioid prescriptions in New Zealand between 2001 and 2012; (3) to compare the opioid-related death rate per population in New Zealand between 2001 and 2012 with the number of opioid prescriptions in New Zealand between 2001 and 2012. METHODS: Permission to access records from the Coronial Services Office in Wellington for 2008-2012 was acquired. Permission to access records for prescriptions containing opioids (dose and formulation) was obtained from the Pharmaceutical Collection. RESULTS: The rate of opioid-related deaths in New Zealand has increased by 33% from 2001 to 2012. More than half of the opioid-related deaths between 2008 and 2012 were unintentional opioid overdoses. Opioid analgesic deaths were most likely due to methadone, morphine and codeine prescribed by healthcare professionals. That 179 of these opioid-related deaths between 2008 and 2012 were unintentional opioid overdoses, and thus could have been avoided, is tragic. This study shows that there was a steady annual increases in opioid prescriptions in New Zealand from 2001 to 2012. This rise in opioid analgesic deaths was associated with the increases in the numbers of opioid prescriptions. CONCLUSION: A multifaceted national public health approach is needed to bring together the various stakeholders involved with pain management, opioid dependence, opioid availability and opioid diversion. There needs to be a targeted approach to educate current and future medical practitioners regarding the appropriate use of opioid prescriptions for the management of pain, as well as a strengthening of primary, secondary and tertiary resources to support medical practitioners managing their patients who suffer with pain.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11055/734
DOI: 1007/s40122-017-0080-7
ISSN: 2193-8237
Journal Title: Pain and therapy
Type: Journal Article
Study/Trial: Cohort Study
Appears in Collections:Scholarly and Clinical

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