They are potent, highly addictive and legal. The ‘terrifying’ increase in the recreational use of prescription sedatives and opiates has some Australian doctors calling for new measures to help prevent against misuse.
The increasing use of sedatives such as Valium, Xanax and Temazepam, and the opiate Oxycodone is of greatest concern to Dr Carr and other like-minded doctors around the country.
‘The rate of prescription of these medications has gone rocketing up. Oxycodone’s graph is quite terrifying; it’s just going directly up,’ says Dr Carr.
‘In line with the use of Oxycodone has been a similar graph of deaths from its use.
‘We know these drugs are out there and in increasing quantities, and causing huge harm.’
Dr Carr is Victoria’s ambassador for ScriptWise, a non-profit organisation aimed at preventing the misuse of prescription medication.
He believes too many patients are prescribed opiates and sedatives without any understanding of their potency.
‘The very honest and brutal answer is that it’s quick and easy to write a prescription.