the importance of medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence

Posted on 30th May 2019

More people are dying in Victoria due to the use of high risk prescription medications than the road toll.

SafeScript (real-time prescription monitoring) will become mandatory in Victoria from April 2020. SafeScript is a platform for general practitioners and pharmacists to use to inform clinical decision making when prescribing or dispensing high risk medications.

Medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence (MATOD) can make a huge difference for people with opioid dependence. In Victoria, the provision of MATOD is community-based. Any GP can treat up to five people with buprenorphine/ naloxone ‘Suboxone ® ‘ without having participated in full day MATOD accreditation training. Providers in general practice and community pharmacies are urgently needed to treat patients with an opioid dependence.

When experiencing opioid dependence, some people may feel that elements in their life are out of control. MATOD helps patients regain control and agency in their lives very quickly. In fact, good treatment can help people feel better within a day or two.

MATOD also strengthens relationships with patients. The treatment allows for regular interaction with patients, so you can see the difference that it makes in their lives.

It’s easy to help someone who may be opioid dependent. The North West Melbourne Pharmacotherapy Network provides peer-based mentoring for GPs, clinical placements and resources to support you as a MATOD provider.

Useful links:

Pharmacotherapy training
Buprenorphine and naloxone prescribing guidelines

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