Painaustralia has cautioned Australians against using opioids to treat chronic pain, and says the public and health professionals need better education about alternative treatments.
Chief executive Carol Bennett said opioids are still widely used to treat chronic non-cancer pain in Australia despite evidence of their ineffectiveness for long-term pain.
“Unfortunately, many consumers believe opioids are of benefit for their chronic pain and they find it difficult to reduce their use," Bennett said. "We need to ensure better awareness and provide more effective support to people with chronic pain if we are to reduce misuse of opioid medication in Australia. Dependence and unwanted side-effects can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.”
Bennett added greater awareness of appropriate opioid use is needed, as are sound alternative treatments and supports for people experiencing chronic pain.
“Although chronic pain is difficult to treat and may be lifelong, evidence shows that multidisciplinary pain management is the most effective approach for minimising the impact of pain, improving function and quality of life, and avoiding or minimising reliance on painkillers," she said. "There are no simple fixes for a complex problem.”
Nursing Review spoke with Bennett about alternative pain management options and the support Australians need.Do you have an idea for a story?
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