Community event to address alarming increase in prescription medication harms

Community event to address alarming increase in prescription medication harms

MEDIA RELEASE

27 March 2019

 

Community event to address alarming increase in prescription medication harms

 

Not-for-profit organisation ScriptWise is encouraging the general public to attend a community discussion on preventing medication harm at Century Inn at 6:30pm on April 9 in Traralgon.

 

About 98 percent of all overdose deaths in Latrobe involved prescription medications between 2009-2015.[i]

 

Gippsland resident Rustie Lassam will share her journey into recovery at the event after experiencing over 30 year dependence on prescription medications.

 

“Everything was different when I stopped using opioids and benzodiazepines together. It was like everything got turned up. I had emotions again.”

 

“It can feel like there are no other alternatives to manage your pain, but I have better control of my pain now than I ever have before.”

 

Community members will also hear from local health professionals and experts about strategies to reduce medication harms with the upcoming implementation of Victoria’s real-time prescription monitoring system, SafeScript.

 

SafeScript will give relevant health professionals access to their patients’ prescription history of certain high-risk medications such as opioids and sedative medications.

 

Local pharmacist Elizabeth Plunkett says that SafeScript is a new tool to assist doctors and pharmacists to reduce patient harm caused by overprescribing of prescription medications.

 

“The focus of SafeScript is not about getting in trouble for your medications, it’s about keeping people safe and making sure they are getting the best and most appropriate treatment for their health conditions,” said Ms Plunkett.

 

“I urge community members to come along to the forum if they’d like any questions answered or would like to find out more about other ways to manage their pain, anxiety or sleep problems.”

 

SafeScript came online in Western Victoria in October and in two months identified almost 3,300 patients at risk of harm or overdose from visiting multiple clinics or pharmacies.[ii] SafeScript is due to be implemented across Victoria in April.

 

EVENT DETAILS

 

When: 9 April 2018, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Where: Century Inn, 5 Airfield Rd, Traralgon VIC 3844

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/preventing-medication-harm-in-traralgon-tickets-58687275220 or register at the door

If you are concerned about your use of prescription medicines phone the SafeScript Pharmaceutical Helpline: 1800 737 233

ENDS

 

For further information, high-resolution images, or interviews please contact: Lara Beissbarth, m: 0425 872 744 / e: lara@scriptwise.org.au

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 

ABOUT SCRIPTWISE

 

ScriptWise is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to preventing prescription medication related harms through raising awareness, engagement and advocacy.

 

ScriptWise’s One Too Many initiative is being launched in support of the Victorian government’s implementation of its real-time prescription monitoring system, SafeScript.

 

ScriptWise’s One Too Many community initiative is dedicated to:

  • Raising awareness about the risks associated with long-term use of prescription opioids such as opioids or benzodiazepines

  • Ensuring Victorians understand the role and importance of SafeScript in saving lives across the State

  • Promoting preventative strategies and activities within communities

 

To find out more please visit: https://www.scriptwise.org.au/one-too-many

 

ABOUT SAFESCRIPT

 

SafeScript is a real-time prescription monitoring system the Victorian Government will be implementing in April 2019. SafeScript aims to reduce the growing harms, including deaths, from certain high-risk prescription medicines such as opioids and benzodiazepines.

 

For more information visit: https://www.safescript.vic.gov.au/

[i] Coroners Prevention Unit, ‘Coroners Prevention Unit Data Summary. Victorian overdose deaths 2009-2015’, 16 March 2016

[ii] Premier of Victoria, ‘Media release’. Accessed Jan 2019: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/safescript-saving-lives-in-western-victoria/

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