Launching the new Opioid Painkiller Dependence Alliance which is an ‘umbrella’ body forming an alliance of organisations involved in pain control and in addiction management. PAIN are delighted to be have been one of the founding members and one of the 8 core members, which together represent the interests of both the pain and addiction communities.
Our first task was to publish a report regarding the current status of OPD in the UK. Anecdotal evidence from GPs support the view that a large number of people are dependent on opioid painkillers. It seems many patients would accept that they are dependent on them but are unwilling or unable to recognise the harm or acknowledge any real risk to their health or wellbeing. Since OPD usually develops from a legitimate health need that may be associated with a wide range of medical conditions, it affects people across gender, ethnic and social groups. A significant number of deaths are associated with the taking of opioid painkillers.
The OPD Alliance’s fundamental objectives are;
- programmes to screen and identify patients at risk of developing dependence.
- early access to effective treatment in a suitable environment is available across the UK
- campaign for the establishing of support and information services for OPD patients and for their families
- encourage more informed communications to reduce the stigma
- ensure skill and knowledge amongst the healthcare workforce across the UK, to enable the provision of appropriate OPD services
- support robust pain assessment and management, including access to appropriate opioid painkillers