Information to people on opioid treatment about COVID 19
Office closed from 25 March for at least 3 weeks
Contact number for SMS messages 0468 869 873(NSW) 0491 750 191 (Brisbane)
Email address for requests or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please read the letter I have sent to pharmacists and medical services in NSW HERE
This is a very anxious time for all of you I am sure. It is natural to be concerned about the security of your medication. But try to curb your anxiety, this is not the “end of the world as we know it” scenario many worry about.
My admin people and myself are doing our very best to ensure that there will be minimal problems for any of you and I am confident that we will get through this epidemic without adding opioid withdrawal to the list of worries for anyone.
Firstly, Your dosing is secure. I am extending all prescriptions and appointments as they get close to falling due. These will be faxed to your pharmacy, you do not need to do anything.
Also, I am satisfied that there is no threat to medication supplies. There are adequate stocks of methadone and buperenorphine within Australia and medication supply lines are highly protected – this is the same for fuel, electricity and food.
Secondly, there is adequate medical cover for myself if I were to get sick. To prevent that from happening too soon I will be working from home. This means I am available every day to take messages etc as per the usual mechanisms you are all used to. Please SMS the normal number – 0468 869 873 – with your request and I will get to it when I can. I can then focus on the changes everyone needs to make to treatment in response to covid19. If I cannot work then the medical staff at Riverlands are my medical back up. You can also email email@example.com with your request as well.
For Queensland clients, talk to the Pharmacist at QPH or send a text to 0491 750 191. That number will only be active during this crisis.
Thirdly, if your pharmacy has to close due to staff illness, I have requested that pharmacists (NSW) send their dosing records to Riverlands so there is verification of when everyone was last dosed and how many takeaway doses they had. This will allow you to be dosed from Riverlands or from another pharmacy.
Fourthly, if anyone is over 55 and has a genuine medical condition then they may be able to have fortnightly pick ups. Or if anyone would like to reduce their visits to the pharmacy to once a week then that can be arranged as well. Please send a text.
Because of the large number of requests I am getting please be mindful that urgent and or opioid-treatment related requests get priority. Requests for Centrelink prescriptions, referrals, mental health care plans etc are being put on hold.
Remember, your pharmacist can also help you out in their own way. I have written to all pharmacists with my suggestions to be flexible.
If you are unwell and need to isolate then I should be able to arrange for a 14 day medication pick up with your pharmacy – please contact me if this is the case.
If you have symptoms and need to leave your house for medical reasons then remember – cover yourself well – masks, facial barriers, cough into a hanky, your elbow or anything that will stop spread. Wash your hands +++. I can let the pharmacy know you are on your way and to have 14 days TA prepared or they may be able to deliver.
And lastly, remember to remain calm, the vast majority of us will be mildly or only moderately affected when we get this virus. Stay positive, help others, stay connected via positive social media, think of those who are on their own and ways you might be able to check on them or assist them.
Stay in touch, if you have any questions let me know
All the very best