More than 150 clinicians and consumers attended the Queensland Clinical Senate's 'Managing the pain of opioids' meeting in July, with delegates supporting the introduction of a statewide pain management stewardship program.
Senate Chair Dr David Rosengren said stewardship efforts had the potential to decrease opioid prescribing and use, which was at an all time high across the country. "Stewardship programs are working successfully in other jurisdictions to better manage opioid use and prescribing, and there was strong belief at the meeting that it would work well as part of Queensland's overall response to the problem," Dr Rosengren said. "We can be certain that this conversation isn't going to stop and that we will see progress in this space."
Meeting delegates agreed that:
- A stewardship program with strong clinical governance could improve outcomes for Queenslanders using prescription medication for acute and chronic pain.
- Meeting recommendations be broadened from just opioids to include all high-risk prescription analgesics.
- A stewardship program must include real time monitoring to provide prescribers with access to their patients' prescription history for high-risk medications. This will allow for safer clinical decisions on whether to prescribe or dispense high-risk medicine.
Rustie Lassam was among 13 consumers who shared their experience with opioids. She told her story of addiction to demonstrate the impact it had on her life. "I became a liar and a cheat because as the years went on I needed more and more. It's not a very nice life," she said.
Rustie said consumers and clinicians need to work together to reduce the impact of opioid use. "I think we need to do this together. I get sick of having things done to me. I did not get into this alone. I can't get out of it alone."
The Senate worked with the Statewide Persistent Pain and Anaesthesia and Perioperative Care Clinical Networks to deliver the meeting. Recommendations from the meeting are being finalised and will be circulated to Senate members for comments.
To see photos from the event, visit the Senate's Facebook page.
For more information please contact us or telephone 07 3328 9188.
PICTURED ABOVE: Queensland Clinical Senate members and guests at the July 2018 meeting 'Managing the pain of opioids'.