9 May 2019

No pain, no gain: How to handle New Zealand's opioid epidemic

From Nine To Noon, 9:08 am on 9 May 2019
Tiltshift effect of prescription bottle for Oxycodone tablets and pills on wooden table for opioid epidemic illustration

Photo: 123RF/Steve Heap 2016

New Zealand's prescription opioid misuse continues to grow and addiction to such drugs has reached epidemic proportions.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians says misuse of opioid drugs is taking lives, and what's needed is an evidence-based approach to pain management.

It says doctors need to move away from simply prescribing stronger drugs to tackle pain, and use them only for certain conditions.

Dr Mark Lane, the College's President, joins Kathryn to talk about why New Zealand needs a real-time prescription monitoring system.