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Recent Restrictions to Legally Prescribed Opioid Medications in Australia

opioid pain medications

Reproduced with permission. Original article published on LinkedIn

”Australians dealing with chronic pain – including a 15 year old – have taken their own lives rather than live in pain after the botched introduction of restrictions to opioid medications.”

It seems Australian medical authorities have not learnt from the harsh opioid prescribing guidelines in America, which have harmed untold numbers of chronic pain patients amidst the “opioid hysteria” sweeping the Western world.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, these changes have been even more damaging to responsible chronic pain patients, the vast majority of whom do not abuse their medications. Very few chronic pain patients, who have NO prior history of substance abuse disorder, will ever become addicted to their opioid pain medications [less than 1% in fact].

Yet our Federal health & medical authorities are hellbent on reducing or preventing access to legal prescriptions of much-needed pain-relieving medications when the problem [particularly in America] is largely due to illicit or street drugs such as fentanyl or heroin etc. Cracking down on the availability of legally obtained prescription opioid drugs, or reducing packaging sizes is not going to halt the black market scourge.

Also, why is it always portrayed in the media that opioids are addictive in & of themselves, which is simply not true? The 1st Article below perpetuates this myth when it states the [Australian] government “encouraged doctors to wean their patients off the drugs to reduce hospitalisations and deaths caused by the ADDICTIVE drugs.”

Addiction is a recognised disease process, which is particularly exacerbated in a small percentage of people by genetic predisposition, NOT something that use of opioid medications will cause in 100% of people prescribed appropriately. It is statistically true [See 2nd American REF below] that addiction rates in the general population have not changed for over a hundred years, despite many prohibitionist Government’s claims to the contrary:

the 800,000 addicts in the U.S. or less than 1% is exactly the same as in 1920.

References:

Painaustralia article : Botched government rollout leaves people in pain with no support

Medium article: Opioid addiction is rare. Why?

Kevin R James

Table of Contents

Author: Kevin R James

Chronic Pan Patient Advocate and Writer. Medically Retired RN [B.Nurs.]

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