‘We’ move from hot topic to hot topic with chronic pain. Right now the new hot topic is addiction (dependency is my preferred term).

Chronic pain isn’t sexy enough to warrant media attention but there’s a bundle of money (the media’s other beloved topic) being made from pharma companies that now warrants the media’s attention.

The bundles of money pharma companies have made from the desperation and pain of people with a chronic illness is exorbitant – the demand for accountability is finally on these company giants.

Together with this, new laws prevent some over the counter pain medications from being readily available.

As a result, the healthcare industry has gone from throwing medication at patients, to now questioning whether to prescribe them at all.

I’m no expert on pain medication but after a short stint, very early on in my chronic pain journey, I was fortunate enough to be able to recognise that long term use was not going to benefit me.

I looked to other pain management methods and to making serious life changes instead. I was fortunate to have a partner to support and move with me – traumatic in itself as we were running our own business and our lives nearly both fell apart. But we’re getting there!

But that’s my scenario.

I’m managing.

Others can’t find a way to manage the traumatic life change. It’s understandable.

How does a general practitioner navigate the scenario when a patient has chronic pain and is desperate for relief? And how can they possibly help their patients out of dependency and convince them to face a new road ahead? Is that even possible?

It’s a topic that needs serious attention and I’m honoured to be invited to speak and share my personal experience. My aim is to share the resources that I’ve found that have helped me avoid dependency, and to share resources that have helped me understand my complex chronic health issue.

Education is key for both the patient and the professional in the management of chronic health issues.

I’ll certainly post an update, but for now, to the registrations!

The RACGP Victoria Drug and Alcohol Committee invites you to attend
the 2018 conference GPADD18 – DEALING WITH ADDICTION 4–5 AUGUST 2018

This conference will address some of the most common addictions and associated conditions that are presented to GPs in their daily practice, including chronic pain, real-time prescription monitoring, pharmacotherapy and more. Participants will receive the latest updates and practical tools for early detection, preventative approaches and management of drug, alcohol and other addiction-related problems.

View the program and administration details: www.racgp.org.au

GPADD flyer