With lives at stake, there’s no time to waste. The Alastair Lucas Prize for Medical Research allows the highest calibre researchers to immediately start life-saving work.
There has been a recent increase in the prescribing of pharmaceutical opioids in Australia, which has led to increasing professional and public concern about their use and related harms.
Despite this, there is very little known about the magnitude of risk for adverse events. This study examines pharmaceutical opioid use in two distinct populations in Melbourne.
Firstly, a group of 300 people who are prescribed pharmaceutical opioids for non-cancer related chronic pain will participate in an interview.
Detailed data on their procurement and use of a variety of prescription and non-prescription opioids, and relationships to harm will be collected.
These participants will then be followed by researchers from the Pain and Opioids in Treatment (POINT) study being run by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre.
Secondly, analysis of the use of these drugs by people who inject drugs, will be undertaken using data from the Melbourne Injecting Drug User Cohort Study.
The study’s unique focus on these two populations will provide important information to inform the development of policy responses around opioids in the Australian community.
National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre