THE misuse of prescribed opiate drugs is on the rise in south-westVictoriaaccording to Portland-based experts.
Drugs used for the treatment of chronic pain, such as oxycontin, MS contin, kapanol and fentanyl, are highly addictive and are being traded on a black market for recreational use and unmanaged pain relief.
Manager of Glenelg and Southern Grampians drug treatment service Quamby, Bev McIlroy, said opiate use is increasing in regional communities acrossAustralia, including south-westVictoria.
“Here at Quamby we’ve noticed a gradual increase over the last two years and it’s causing problems with the legal, health and social issues around addiction,” Ms McIlroy said.
Ms McIlroy said most of these drugs came into the hands of users from people abusing prescriptions and creating localised black markets, or from larger black markets moving into regional towns to distribute.
Read more in Wednesday’s Portland Observer.