How ban of over-the-counter codeine affected its use in Australia

21 December 2022

Dr Ben Tscharke from UQ’s Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences spoke with Brisbane Times about the decline in codeine use in Australia following bans of over- the-counter sales.

Scientists from The University of Queensland and the University of South Australia found a 37 per cent drop in use on average across Australia after bans were put in place.

Dr Tscharke said they were able to get accurate figures on the drop through in-depth analysis of wastewater sites around the country.

“Over the course of a three-year period [August 2016 and August 2019], we were able to analyse samples for codeine,” Dr Tscharke said.

“That allowed us to get a very accurate picture of how the changes happened around the new regulation.”

Read the article

The research also featured in InQueensland.