Fall in codeine overdoses seen after rescheduling

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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.

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