Health Alert – Click here for all information & services relating to COVID-19

Be Medicinewise Week 2017 – What You Need to Know

As we find ourselves in the thick of Australia’s seventh Be Medicinewise Week, it’s time that we sit down and discuss what this annual event is looking to achieve.

A week-long event starting on the 21st of August, Be Medicinewise Week aims to promote the safe use of medicines. This includes prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medical treatments, all of which can pose concerning health risks when used incorrectly.

This year’s event is based on providing Australian residents with information about how medicine misuse is common and can happen to anyone.



Introduced in 2011, the inaugural Be Medicinewise Week was announced as the launch event for the Be Medicinewise Campaign. The goal of this event was to start a discussion about how to make wise choices in regard to medicine use.

The following year, with pharmacies and community groups advocating the initiative, be Medicinewise Week was established as an annual event campaign.

From 2013-onward, the event shifted its focus towards medication safety and medicine use across age ranges, with a particular emphasis on medication for the older generation.


Medicine Misuse

When referring to the misuse of medicines, we are discussing the issue of medicine being used incorrectly and the problems that can arise from this. Misuse can involve:

  • Taking medicine at inconsistent or incorrect times 
  • Taking the wrong dosage of a medicine 
  • Sharing medicines with those they were not intended for 
  • Taking multiple different medicines that may lead to mixing side effects or overdosing with common components 
  • Taking medicine alongside other substances, which can include alcohol or illegal drugs


Why is Be Medicinewise Week Important?

Despite medicines being a necessary part of many Australians’ daily lives, there is still a lot of misunderstood information when it comes to the use of prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines.

Be Medicinewise Week has successfully spread information about the risks and dangers of medicine misuse since 2011, an aim that could potentially save lives and improve conditions for those that may not be knowledgeable about medicinal usage.


Did You Know?


  • Alcohol Can Interact With Over 150 Medicines 
  • There Has Been a Noted Rise in Codeine-Related Deaths 
  • In Individuals Over the Age of 14, One in Ten Australians Has Misused Prescription Pain-Relievers or Opioid Medicines 
  • Sleeping Pills Are Not Useful As A Long-Term Sleep Aid and Can Do Harm

For more information regarding drug and alcohol-related queries, Star Health’s experienced doctors and nurses are able to answer any questions that you may have. To book an appointment, contact us today, or call us on 03 9696 7228.