*There are really only FOUR emergencies in opioid treatment ..........Everything else takes a distant second place.
Urgent extra TA for GENUINE emergencies - personal crisis or out of town travel.
Lost or stolen TA
Your prescription expires while I am away (this is usually due to a missed appointment)
Urgent out of town travel, or personal emergencies
If you have a genuine personal emergency and I cannot be contacted then speak to your pharmacist, they know what to do or they have the option to call me.
If your chemist declines to call me, please respect that. You will not change their mind and it will only cause conflict - between you and the pharmacist and me and the pharmacist.
Getting the offer of casual work tomorrow, or family arriving from out of town tonight, or your mother arriving and she doesn't know you're on the program so you need seven takeaways NOW, are not emergencies. They seem urgent to you, but most pharmacists will not bend the regulations to come to the party there. I get a lot of feedback from pharmacists that it is these urgent 4pm requests for takeaways the next day that they are suspicious about.
Casual employment is difficult on the program. BUT it is up to you to keep takeaways in reserve. If you've used up your ta by Thursday and you don't have one left for Friday when you get the call for work, that is bad planning
I know that no patient of clinic Rx would ever sell or misuse a takeaway, it's just other patients that ruin it for everyone.
"It's not the lies we are told that offends us, it's being mistaken for idiots that's insulting"
If I am not contactable, I reassure any pharmacy that I will provide them with a prescription for any changes or extras they give for emergencies as soon as I return. BUT they run their own businesses, they make their own decisions. If they do not deem it important enough to call me, then I respect that and you will need to as well.
If you need to travel but you cannot get any extra TA then remember, I can get you dosed at a pharmacy near where you will be staying in NSW, Vic or QLD.
Apologies in advance - but proof of a family emergency may be required by the chemist or myself. This can seem dis-respectful, but it is in response to several significant and elaborate ploys where people have claimed the death of family members. Hard to believe I know, but it has happened.
If there is an impending flood:
1. contact your pharmacist and discuss the situation, they may offer you early ta
2. Ask your pharmacist to send your dosing history to Riverlands so if you need to dose there then they have it
3. Contact me for extra TA if it genuinely looks like you will be cut off
4. If the worst happens and you are stuck on the wrong side of the river from Riverlands then there is an option to dose at Southside Pharmacy, but please contact me about that, do not just rock up to Southside.
Lost or Stolen Takeaways
The guidelines are very clear about this - there are no replacements for lost or stolen TA.
My approach is that I give a person ONE chance to lose their TA and in this circumstance they need a police report and they must dose daily at the pharmacy.
After that then no TA are replaced at ALL
There have been far too many rorts in the past three years for me to extend this benefit of the doubt more than once.
Remember - your takeaways are more precious than money, gold, cash, everything. How much would you pay to not go through a week of high dose methadone withdrawal? That is the value of your TA.
The guidelines are also clear.... people who lose TA or who have them stolen are not suitable for TA. There is some common sense in this.
For people who get a lot of takeaways in a row this is extra important. Protect them like you would protect your most precious object. If you lose 21 suboxone takeaways or 6 methadone takeaways, think of the chaos this could bring into your life. This is a true disaster and several times a year I see previously stable people jumping off the program as a result of this.
My job is all about making sure people get access to unbroken, continuous, and safe opioids. Not being able to replace repeat lost TA is a worst case scenario.
If you think you are likely to lose TA or being intimidated for them, then perhaps consider asking for less TA...
Prescription expires when I am away.
If your prescription expires while I am away then this is an oversight and I would hope that the Pharmacist would try to contact me. If I was not available then I would hope common sense would prevail and you were continued dosing until I could be contacted again.
Much of this boils down to you having a good relationship with the pharmacist, they are much more likely to help you when you are having a problem. It is called mutual respect and it is worthwhile cultivating
If I prescribe other medication for you such as antidepressants or gastro medication etc then don't leave it until you run out of pills to contact me. As soon as you are on your last repeat let me know. If that happens you will need to find another doctor to prescribe them. I prefer people to have their own GP as well as me in any case.