PAMS is a state-wide telephone service run by Harm Reduction Victoria (HRVic) and funded by the Victorian Department of Health.
We provide telephone-based information, support, advocacy, referral and mediation for opiate pharmacotherapy consumers and their direct service providers on any pharmacotherapy client related issue in Victoria.
PAMS is a confidential service – we do not discuss a client with any other party without their consent.
(As we are primarily a telephone service, consent is in most cases provided verbally.)
when used with regard to substance use
refers to the replacement of a person’s drug of dependence
with a legally prescribed
and dispensed substitute.
There are pharmacotherapies for those experiencing difficulties with a range of medical conditions, but the information provided here is intended for people with a problematic opioid dependency.The most commonly used opioids in Australia today are codeine, oxycontin, fentanyl (and other prescription formulations), heroin, and the pharmacotherapy medications methadone and buprenorphine.
All have the potential to produce dependence. Pharmacotherapy for opioid users is sometimes referred to as Opioid Replacement Therapy/Treatment (ORT), Opioid Pharmacotherapy Program (OPP), or Opioid Substitution Therapy/Treatment (OST)
Though not effective for everyone,
many find that pharmacotherapy has the ability to stabilise their condition,
allowing them to devote more time to managing or repairing their lives.
Once stabilised, clients may find they wish to strive for a drug-free existence by slowly reducing their dosage – or else they may be satisfied with a maintenance program.
Pharmacotherapy has been found to reduce opiate-related harm to both the individual and society. Though other treatments exist (cognitive behavioural therapy(CBT), drug detoxification and treatment centres etc.) it is at present our most effective answer to the problems associated with opioid dependence.
Pharmacotherapy programs are available throughout most of Australia.
However, each state or territory has its own pharmacotherapy policy
and programs can vary considerably.
PHARMACOTHERAPY AVAILABLE IN VICTORIA (AUSTRALIA)
There are four different pharmacotherapy drugs available in Victoria. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
When deciding with your doctor which is right for you, it may be helpful to peruse our linked fact sheets:
Methadone Syrup , Biodone Forte (liquid)
*Only available for travel
Buprenorphine (sublingual tablet)
Buprenorphine / Naloxone
(tablet, subcutaneous implant, injection)
If you are in Victoria
and you are experiencing ANY kind of trouble with your current pharmacotherapy program (Methadone, Suboxone etc.),
• you can’t get a dose or a number of doses
• you have been told to get a new prescriber or pharmacy due to a problem
• you feel you have been discriminated against or treated unfairly
by your pharmacist or GP
• are thinking of starting or resuming a pharmacotherapy program and have any questions or there is a problem or concern
travelling inter-state or overseas and are on a pharmacotherapy program and need more information travelling
If you are a prescriber or dispenser in need of information or advice,
on ANY client related issue or concern
If any of the above issues concern you – Call PAMS – PH: 1800 443 844
We Can help.
All calls are entirely confidential.
PAMS is a free, government-funded service.
IF you are transferred to the message bank, this means we are on the phone so please leave us a message with your name and contact number
& we will return your call as soon as an operator is available. Please be patient.
*Please note that our free-call number is NOT free from mobile phones.
If you are calling from a mobile, let us know and we will call you straight back.
HOURS OF OPERATION – PAMS is open from 11 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday.
All calls received after-hours may be left on our answering machine.
INTERSTATE PHONE: PH: 03 93291500
or Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: Email enquiries MAY take up to 72 hours for a response as we prioritise telephone enquiries, so if the matter is URGENT, call the 1800 number.
Statewide Pharmacotherapy Advocacy Services
If you are NOT in Victoria and you have a problem with your program, your local your state or territory drug-user organisation may be able to help you.
The statewide pharmacotherapy advocacy services similar to PAMS are as follows:
QLD – Queensland Pharmacotherapy Advocacy Mediation & Support Service (QPAMS)
PH: 1800 175 889 – a program of the Queensland Drug User Organisation (QUIVAA)
WA – Opiate Replacement Pharmacotherapy Advocacy and Complaints Service (ORPACS)
PH: (08) 9321 2877 – a program of the WA Drug User Organisation (WASUA)
NSW– MACS a program of Rankin Court (public clinic)
PH: 1800 642 428