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Petition against FORCED TAPERING OF OPIOID PAIN MEDICATION

In June 2020, the Australian government, via the TGA, increased restrictions around the prescription of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain. While these are well intentioned, and fit for purpose as written, they have been widely MISINTERPRETED and MISAPPLIED by many doctors, who have forced tapered their patients, who live with severe, daily pain, off their opioid pain relieving medications. PLEASE READ MORE BELOW THE PETITION.

STOP THE FORCED TAPERING OF OPIOIDS FOR SEVERE CHRONIC PAIN

Dear person who cares about pain

In June 2020, the Australian government increased restrictions on the prescription of opioids. While these are well intentioned, and fit for purpose as written, they have been MISINTERPRETED and MISAPPLIED by many doctors, to the the great detriment of many people who live with severe, daily pain.

Many people who rely on long term opioid therapy have been force tapered, and forced so suffer constant, severe pain. People who were once able to work, take care of their families and be active members of their communities are now disabled, living in constant pain, and suffering needlessly.

Many have been forced to live in poverty on the Disability Support Pension and access NDIS for daily help with daily living.

This is 100% unnecessary.

Please help us fight this barbaric practice, which is NOT based on evidence, and is NOT medical best practice.

%%your signature%%



Thankyou for taking the time to read and sign our petition.
52 signatures = 5% of goal
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1,000

Please sign our petition, our target is 1000, we have 52 so far.

Many people who rely on long term opioid therapy have been force tapered, and forced so suffer constant, severe pain.  People who were once able to work, take care of their families and be active members of their communities are now disabled, living in constant pain, and suffering needlessly. (more information below the petition form)

Many have been forced to live in poverty on the Disability Support Pension and access NDIS for daily help with daily living. 

This is 100% unnecessary.   

People who were previously stable and doing well on long term opioid therapy have been needlessly disabled and continue to suffer.  These are people who want pain relief, so that they can return to to living full, functional, lives. While opioids are NOT the appropriate treatment for many people, for some, opioids are the only treatment that reduces pain enough to lead a functional life. Opioids should always be a treatment of last resort, and be included as part of a multidisciplinary pain management program.

Opioids are MEDICINE.  They relieve severe pain. They are the only medications that relieve severe pain.  And contrary to the media tropes,  and disinformation, opioids DO work long term, opioids do NOT increase pain, most people are on stable doses for years or even decades, and most importantly of all in the chronic pain community addiction is rare and overdose is rare.

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION so that we can take the issue to the Health Minister, Mark Butler, and show him that:

  • This is a serious issue that is happening now and affecting many people in the chronic pain community.
  • People are suffering needlessly and are being harmed, becoming disabled needlessly and
  • we, as VOTERS, are angry and we will continue to educate and advocate and for proper pain management that includes opioids for those who need them.    

Most people do not need long term opioid therapy, but for those who do, opioids are life saving medicine.  Opioids are most often the cornerstone treatment that allow people to engage with physiotherapy, exercise, psycholgoical and mindfulness therapies.  

We are NOT pro-opioid, we are pro proper pain mangement, multidisciplinary pain management that INCLUDES opioids.

Please, if you live with chronic pain, or if you know someone who lives with chronic pain, sign this petition. 

Remember:  you are only one accident, diagnosis, or really bad day from a LIFETIME of severe chronic pain.  If that happened to you, wouldn’t you want pain relief?

At some point in their lives, EVERYONE will experience pain.  Most people’s pain goes away.  Think about the worst pain you’ve every experienced.  What if that pain did NOT go away? What if you had to live with it every day?  What would YOU want for yourself?

Please help.

Latest Signatures
52Ms. Carmen P.Jan 29, 2024
51AnonymousNov 05, 2023
50Ms. Philippa H.Nov 04, 2023
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STAY UP TO DATE
WITH OUR CURRENT CAMPAIGNS

Sign up to receive information on our campaigns, including stopping the forced opioid tapers, rebutting the false narratives and flawed science promoted by the media, some universities and politicians, and even raising awareness amongst our peak bodies who are suppoed to be fighting for us!

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

4 thoughts on “Petition against FORCED TAPERING OF OPIOID PAIN MEDICATION”

  1. I support the use of opioids for pain relief. I also recognise that many people do best on long-term and even permanent use.

    That said, it is also clear that across populations (ie, not taking into account an individual’s circumstance) over time opioids tend to be less effective for a number of reasons.

    Forced taper is barbaric, again for a number of reasons.

    However a large recent study involved inviting patients to do an entirely voluntary extremely slow taper with a guarantee of not increasing pain.

    Some 80% of invitees accepted, and the large majority of that were able to significantly decrease or eliminate opioids without any deleterious effect.

    Yes, we probably have too many prescriptions for opioids, but forced taper (and even sudden stoppage) is inhumane and has led to the most awful suffering, diversion to the black market and exposure to crime, accompanied by loss of safety via no medical support, increases hospitalisations for emergency pain relief, and suicide of people who have suffered unbearable agony.

    The answer is to immediately roll back draconian anti-opioid “guidelines” and instead offer completely voluntary and uncoerced ultra slow taper with a guarantee of no increased pain.

    That’s the safest and kindest way to determine who needs opioids and who doesn’t. The majority of people would prefer not to take any medication – they are not addicts, they are taking them because it’s truly the only way they can survive, or because they’re afraid of disaster if they stop.

    1. Thank you for your comments, and I agree completely.

      The only way to taper is voluntarily, and at the patient’s pace. I do believe some people will experience increased pain, and find that they need the opioids, but as you said, many people won’t. Personally, I used to try a taper at least every few months, to be sure that I was on the lowest dose possible. Before opioid hysteria set in, my doctors were OK with me having 10mg, 15mg and 20mg tabs in the medicine cabinet, and I could take what I needed, dependent on the pain that day. Of course that’s not possible anymore!

      Would you have a link to that study on voluntary tapers? I will google for it, obv. Its valuable information, and I would like to include it here.

      I believe most people refuse to try a taper, because they are afraid of their opioids not being reinstated IF pain does increase. Which, to be honest, is exactly what is happening in Australia. Doctors are telling people that if their pain increases, they can return to their previous dose. But when this happens, the doctor refuses and even continues to taper lower. The Australian health dept has set an unofficial dose ceiling of 100MME, which is ridiculous and not based on science. THere is NO place for hard dose ceilings in pain managmenet – each person’s response to opioids is individual, based on pain intensity, genetics, tolerance, etc. But that’s another battle!

  2. force tapering of opiods is so unfair on chronic pain patients, drug users on streets have caused this issue and we are paying the price and having to suffer, it inhumane!!!

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