Non-profit organisation ScriptWise has joined forces with Amcal Pharmacy to promote the message of the dangers of opioid and benzodiazepine addiction.<intro>
The awareness campaign is timed to coincide with Medication Dependence Prevention Month (MDPM) in May and is aimed at ensuring Australians understand that long-term use of opioid and benzodiazepine medication might bring increased levels of pain or more trouble sleeping.
People in Australia are more likely to die from a prescription medication-related overdose than on the country’s roads, yet about 1.9 million Australian adults begin taking prescription opioids each year.
“Pain can be a debilitating and isolating condition which family and friends might not be able to see,” Amcal and Guardian National Council Chair Marc Clavin said. “We know that pain is highly personalised and it’s important to get the right treatment for your needs.
“Amcal Pharmacy believes healthcare works best when it’s trusted, available and collaborative, and our partnership with ScriptWise aims to ensure Australians understand the impact of long-term use of opioid and benzodiazepine medications.
“We want to encourage Australians to ask their Amcal pharmacist about a free personalised pain management plan and find the best solution for them.”
Amcal says its personalised pain management service works with healthcare providers to ensure Australians have a comprehensive plan to find the best solution for their pain needs and has been a part of its commitment to supporting franchisees with patient-orientated services.
ScriptWise Chair Dr Jennifer Stevens says the opioid epidemic in the US should be an example of why it is essential to focus efforts on preventing harms from medications such as opioids and benzodiazepines.
“It’s estimated that Australia is only five to six years behind the USA,” she said. “If we don’t act quickly to reverse the trends we’re seeing here, we risk more and more people being affected.”
This year’s MDPM, with the theme ‘Prevent misuse, plan to reduce’, is aimed at encouraging Australians and providing them with practical tools for effective change, such as a downloadable action plan from ScriptWise or Amcal’s free in-pharmacy personalised pain management plan.