Credit: Wellsphere

Experts stated the increase in prescriptions of opioid is correlated with increased habits among drug abusers and also legitimate patients.

In Australia, the link between the number of prescriptions and availability of opioids on the street has been found.

In 2005 the prescription figures for opioid painkillers and associated analgesics reached a total of 2.1 million and last year, the figure spiked close to three million, according to Pharmac.

Health experts recently talked of the new form of heroin created from opioid prescriptions. Drug dealers are experimenting with new drugs due to strict regulation of methamphetamine and P-precursors.

In 2005, the prescription of an opioid called oxycodone hydrochloride was zero but it rose up to more than 100,000 in 2009, based on Pharmac figures.

Last year, the prescription of another opioid called fentanyl rose up to more than 5,500 times compared to 1,000 times in 2005.

Codeine-based drug prescription increased to a total of 600,000 last year compared with 310,000 in 2005.

The increase use of opioid now poses a massive level of concern, said Eileen Varley, chairwoman of the National Association of Opioid Treatment Providers.

Dr Matthew Frei, addiction medicine specialist of Australia, who presented the increase of opioid use at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College Psychiatrists Congress, in Auckland said pharmaceutical giants had been successfully marketing opioid painkiller to doctors.

He said, As a physician, you want to make people feel comfortable.

It's very difficult to say to a patient experiencing pain, 'I'm worried about giving this medication because of the long-term consequences'.

People expect that, living in this day and age, they shouldn't have to suffer too much pain.

Doctors are advices to be cautious when prescribing opioids for their patients.