The first results of the recent codeine rescheduling has seen a dramatic decrease in overdoses as a result .
Overdoses linked to low-strength codeine (up to 15 milligrams) has fallen by 79% since codeine was reschedule to a Schedule 4 prescription-only drug in February 2019, according to the NSW Poisons Information Centre.
Further, the research found no evidence of an increase in overdose cases related to higher-strength codeine or other pharmaceutical opioids.
This is despite initial fears that consumers would ask General Practitioners or Nurse Practitioners for stronger opioid products as a result of the re-scheduling.
While early results have been promising, further research will need to be undertaken to ascertain the long-term effects of this drug policy shift.