I wasn’t aware of the risk. Not to the extent of how it affected me. I knew obviously from what you reads in the news about
opioid drugs and how addictive they can be but I never saw myself as that person, as
being in that category. I never envisaged that I would have to be
on those drugs for so long, that it would get to the point where I considered myself
an addict. But looking back I was.
I was sitting there clock watching. I was starting to shake. I was becoming emotional.
I was desperate for my next fix. The change from over-the-counter codeine to
prescription only codeine are going to have several effects on doctors and patients. Doctors will need to talk to patients about
the possibility of dependence on codeine, if people have been taking codeine for a while
from pharmacies and that will need a conversation about how the dependency can be treated. Patients may notice when they can’t buy the codeine that they will have symptoms of withdrawal and they will need to go and talk to their doctors about that to see how that can be delt with. The Therapeutic Goods Administration, the
government regulator, recently decided to change availability of low dose codeine and that’s
because low dose codeine is not an effective pain reliever but it can cause harms. So we will not be able to buy low dose codeine
products over-the-counter from the pharmacist without a prescription in the future.