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Effect Of Rescheduling Alprazolam Australia

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Illicit and addictive use drugs is a growing concern globally, attributed to a number of side effects produced from the overuse of such substances on the health and well-being of a person. The uncontrolled use of narcotic substances reduces the amount of control one has over their bodily systems. Additionally, the use of such drugs can also have a much pronounced effect on the thinking and cognitive abilities of a person. The current assignment focuses on the concept of the illicit and randomized use of prescription opioids and the serious health impacts produced by the same on the long-term health of a person.

The opioids can be classified as a group of narcotic drugs which are used as pain relievers are recommended by the general medical practitioners for the management of aggravated pain symptoms. There has been a sharp increase in the number people using prescription opioids for the management of pain in Australia. The present concern is the growing number of death cases in Australia due to over usage of prescription opioids. Thus, with the help of this study, an endeavour has been made to analyse the plausible causes for the overuse of such narcotic drugs and the drastic side effects.

Effects of increased use of opioids within the Australian population

The illicit use of drugs has been an ever growing concern and need proper care and redressal.  The drugs could be further divided into scheduled and non-scheduled drugs, which possess major risk factors. However, as mentioned by Blanch et al.(2014), the use of the opioids have gained prominence in the current decade and have resulted in serious health concerns and side effects. The opioids such as morphine and oxycodone are some of the top drugs of misuse in Australia. As reported by the Australian drug counselling helpline they receive twice more calls for prescription opioids than for other non-scheduled drugs. As suggested by the Sydney medically supervised injecting centre higher numbers of visits are obtained for the injection of crushed opioid tablets compared to some of the non-scheduled drugs. As commented by Schaffer et al. (2016), most people using prescription opioids have been advised so for various pain management symptoms and issues. The doses are initiated in low amounts and escalated gradually resulting in physical discomfort for the patient. As argued by Miller et al.(2017), the epidemic of the problem has to be blamed equally upon the health channels prescribing and promoting the use of such medications. Over the last ten years, the sale of the prescription drugs has doubled in Australia, particularly one of the prescription drugs oxycodone have shown a significant increase.

There are huge numbers of disputes regarding the use of the opioids that is whether or not the opioids should be used. As argued by Schaffer et al.  (2016), limiting the use of opioids is challenging owing to the ability of the medications to manage chronic and cancer-related pain. The growing demand for the drug appears from three overlapping groups such as the patients with chronic pain, the ones undergoing treatment for cancer and the ones who extract the medicines in an illegal manner. Reports and evidence have pointed that a quarter of the population of Australia is ageing at a drastic rate. This makes pain management important criteria for the medical channel. As argued by Compton et al. (2016), the use of opioids should not be thought of as the only strategy for the control and management of pain.


Effects of the increased use of opioids

There has been a sharp rise in the number of opioid-related deaths in the Australian population. Border detection of pharmaceutical opioids doubled from 2011-2012 to 2012-2013. Oxycodone accounted for 60.7 5 of the detection, majority of which were imported from Thailand. As per reports, 465 oxycodone-related deaths were noted in the period between 2001-2009. As commented by Nielsen et al. (2015), the Australians have found to be invariably drawn towards the mood enhancers or the mood uplifters. This further gives way to the sale of some of these restricted medications over the counter as normal medications.

The increased use of opioids has been seen to produce a number of side effects within the population. Some of the common health issues which are addressed over here are sedation, dizziness, vomiting, constipation respiratory depression and physical dependence. Some people have been reported to have a reduction in pain symptoms once they have started using the opioids. However, as commented by Karanges et al.(2016), the dependency over such narcotic drugs often have strong neuropsychiatric effects. This results in some psychotic pain in the patients once the drug source had been removed. Some of the less common side effects include gastritis, hormonal misbalance and muscle rigidity. As commented by Islam et al. (2014), the increased use of opioids may result in respiratory depression. This could be also referred to as hypoventilation indicated by the increased concentration of carbon dioxide or respiratory acidosis. Some of the side effects such as constipation and nausea are often difficult to control and could only be reduced with the discontinuation of medicines.


The current assignment focuses on the increased use of prescription opioids and the adverse effects of the same on the health of the person. The use of some of the prescription opioids has increased tenfold times within the present one decade. The rise in the use of such restricted medications could be attributed to the fast ageing population and the need of acute pain management. The opioids could not only result in adverse health effects including respiratory distress. It could also be lethal affecting the major body organs and resulting in the death of the patients. However, dependency on opioids can result in the incessant purchase of such medications through illegal channels. Therefore, proper patient screening along with sufficient medical education about the plausible side effects could help in reducing the opioid dependency.



Blanch, B., Pearson, S. A., & Haber, P. S. (2014). An overview of the patterns of prescription opioid use, costs and related harms in Australia. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 78(5), 1159-1166.

Compton, W. M., Jones, C. M., & Baldwin, G. T. (2016). Relationship between nonmedical prescription-opioid use and heroin use. N Engl J Med, 2016(374), 154-163.

Hollingworth, S. A., Gray, P. D., Hall, W. D., & Najman, J. M. (2015). Opioid analgesic prescribing in Australia: a focus on gender and age. Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety, 24(6), 628-636.

Islam, M. M., Conigrave, K. M., Day, C. A., Nguyen, Y., & Haber, P. S. (2014). Twenty?year trends in benzodiazepine dispensing in the Australian population. Internal medicine journal, 44(1), 57-64.

Karanges, E. A., Blanch, B., Buckley, N. A., & Pearson, S. A. (2016). Twenty?five years of prescription opioid use in Australia: a whole?of?population analysis using pharmaceutical claims. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 82(1), 255-267.

Miller, A., Sanderson, K., Bruno, R., Breslin, M., & Neil, A. L. (2017). The prevalence of pain and analgesia use in the Australian population: Findings from the 2011 to 2012 Australian National Health Survey. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.

Nielsen, S., Lintzeris, N., Bruno, R., Campbell, G., Larance, B., Hall, W., ... & Degenhardt, L. (2015). Benzodiazepine use among chronic pain patients prescribed opioids: associations with pain, physical and mental health, and health service utilization. Pain Medicine, 16(2), 356-366.

Schaffer, A. L., Buckley, N. A., Cairns, R., & Pearson, S. A. (2016). Interrupted time series analysis of the effect of rescheduling alprazolam in Australia: taking control of prescription drug use. JAMA internal medicine, 176(8), 1223-1225.


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