According to new research by the NDARC (National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre), codeine related deaths increased from 3.5 to 8.7 per million people between 2000 and 2009.

NDARC senior researcher Amanda Roxburgh said “While we can’t look at trends over time beyond 2009, our sample of 1,437 codeine-related deaths between 2000 and 2013 allows valuable insights into the circumstances surrounding these deaths.”

Of the 1437 deaths that were studied, 48.8% were due to accidental overdose and 34.7% were due to intentional self-harm.

There was a 9.3% increase deaths caused by accidental codeine overdose each year – from 1.8 to 5.1 deaths per million persons.

An article in the West Australian reports that the Therapeutic Goods Administration plans to make all codeine containing medication prescription only.

More codeine is used in Australia than any other opioid. It is one of the easiest to get, available without prescription.

According to NDARC, the number of Australians receiving treatment for dependence on codeine tripled in the nine years leading up to 2011.

Read the entire West Australian article here:

Download the NDARC codeine fact sheet here: