04 May ScriptWise launches inaugural National Prevention of Prescription Medication Week May 14-18
4 MAY 2018
SCRIPTWISE LAUNCHES INAUGURAL NATIONAL PREVENTION OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION WEEK (MAY 14-18)
ScriptWise is launching its inaugural National Prevention of Prescription Medication Dependence Week to highlight and encourage prevention efforts to address the alarming rates of prescription medication harms and overdose deaths in Australia.
From 14-18 May 2018, close to 20 participating organisations will urge community members to discuss and learn about the risks associated with medications such as opioids and benzodiazepines.
ScriptWise Chair Dr Richard Kidd says that better patient and health professional education is essential to the rising tide of prescription medication overdose deaths.
“Many patients are unaware that prescription medications such as opioids and benzodiazepines can be highly addictive and dangerous to use long-term,” said Dr Kidd.
“Prescription medication dependence can happen to anyone, and sometimes without their knowledge. The body develops a tolerance to the medication leading to them needing to take more and more to get the same effect.”
Benzodiazepines are most commonly involved in drug induced deaths and in 2016 were identified in 663 (36.7 percent) of deaths.
ScriptWise CEO Bee Mohamed says that a national public awareness campaign is necessary to address the underlying causes of this issue.
“There is too much stigma around seeking treatment for dependence and addiction issues, despite the fact that they are common medical conditions,” says Ms Mohamed.
“We need to ensure that all Australians understand not only the risks associated with taking potentially addictive medications, but also that there is no shame in seeking help.”
“Federal and state governments need to step up and ensure that Australians are aware of the potential harms associated with the use and misuse of these prescription medications, and to support community organisations who are on the front lines, saving lives,” she said.
ScriptWise’s Prevention Week webpage currently hosts a number of event and promotional resources to aid local organisations and individuals to raise awareness in their local communities and highlight local prevention efforts.