When they’re used as advised by health professionals, pharmaceutical drugs can be effective and safe.
But, just because they’re available on prescription, it doesn’t mean they can’t be harmful.
We’re going to share some info on the harms prescriptions drugs can cause and show you where to find resources to help reduce some of the potential risks.
In Australia, more drug induced deaths are caused by prescription drugs than illegal drugs.
What’s more, as many as 1 in 9 (11.7%) of Australians aged 14 and over have used a pharmaceutical for non-medical purposes in their lifetime.
This means they could be taking a higher dosage than prescribed, sharing prescribed medicine with others or combining other drugs with their prescription.
This is often referred to as the non-prescribed use of pharmaceutical drugs, or non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs.
Opioid painkillers and benzodiazepines (sometimes referred to as benzos) are the pharmaceutical drugs with the highest non-prescribed use in Australia.
Both opioids and benzos can be used safely with a prescription.
But they pose many risks when used incorrectly.
If you’re concerned about the non-prescribed use of pharmaceutical drugs in your community, you can start to make a difference today.
Our Community Hub has many free, evidence-based resources you can use to get started.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s new Community Hub is packed with free and easy to follow resources to help you connect with your community to minimise the harms caused by non-prescribed pharmaceutical drug use as well as alcohol and illicit drugs.
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ADF DrugInfo line: 1300 85 85 84 - Free, confidential and non-judgmental telephone and email information, advice and referral service.
National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline: 1800 250 015 - Free and confidential, 24/7 information, support and referrals. You will be automatically directed to the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) in the state/territory you are calling from.
Family Drug Support: 1300 368 186
Family Drug Help: 1300 660 068
Reconnexion: 1300 273 266 - Benzodiazepine treatment, support and information line.