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FOR PEOPLE ON OR STARTING

PHARMACOTHERAPY

(METHADONE (liquid), SUBOXONE (bupe/naloxone), SUBUTEX(bupe),

or BUVIDAL, SUBLOCADE (long acting bupe injections)

HRVic's PAMS service has access to the latest pharmacotherapy information.

How PAMS can help you: 
CHOOSE ONE 

I AM CURRENTLY TAKING PHARMACOTHERAPY

(methadone / bupe / suboxone / long acting injectable bupe)

I AM THINKING ABOUT STARTING

or I WANT TO START TAKING PHARMACOTHERAPY

Frequently Asked Questions

We strongly encourage you to call us 

PH: 1800 443 844 

 so that we can make sure we thoroughly understand your situation.

Scroll over the questions

to reveal their answers

 CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE ON PHONES 

What is
Suboxone?

Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine with naloxone.

Suboxone comes in the form of a tablet and a dissolvable film that is placed under the tongue.

What is buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is a synthetic opioid that produces weaker euphoric effects than say, heroin or methadone but it reduces or eliminates your symptoms.

What is
methadone?

Methadone a powerful synthetic analgesic drug which is similar to morphine in its effects but less sedative and is used as a substitute drug in the treatment of morphine and heroin dependence.

How many
methadone
take away doses
(TADs)
can I get?

Usually 4, but COVID 19 has had a positive effect on take aways giving most clients up to 6 TADs a week.

Personal Shoppers

I've been told

I can't be dosed

at my pharmacy anymore.

 

Are they allowed to do this?

Yes.

Pharmacies are private businesses.

They do not have to provide a service to anybody,

regardless if the person is on a pharmacotherapy program.

Easy Returns

My pharmacist refuses to dose me unless

I have the $5 to pay for it?

Is this legal?

What can I do?

Yes.

Your pharmacist doesn't have to dose anyone who can't pay for it.

 

If you need help with this,

please call PAMS and we can try to work out

a payment plan for you.

Easy Returns

My doctor has told me that I have to find

another prescriber.

 

Don't they need to find me a new one if they can't prescribe?

Generally,  if a GP bans a client from their practice- and YES they CAN DO THAT-

 they will make sure the person has a script to cover them

for at least a week.

Finding a new prescriber can be hard,

contact PAMS as soon as you know you need a new GP and we can try to help.

Easy Returns

 I have to go to court tomorrow and I will need another take away dose,

 

Can my pharmacist just give me one extra? 

If you have used your prescribed take aways

for the week,

you will need to get your prescriber to add another T/A dose for this week.

Make sure you ask BEFORE your court date.

Some GPs will do this over the phone to the pharmacist-some won't.

Easy Returns

I have missed two doses this week.

My script says I can have 4 take aways per week

but my pharmacist is now refusing to give me any,

 

What can I do?

It is best to

talk with your doctor about this.

 

If you need help with this,

please call PAMS and we can try to advocate for you.

Sitting in Bus

Some things to consider before going on 'the program'.

The decision to start pharmacotherapy is often made in a state of crisis-

in a rush, with little thought given to the long term consequences.

Ask yourself a few things before taking the leap –

particularly if you have not been on a pharmacotherapy program before.

  • Is this your decision or do you feel pressured by others? Is there threat of incarceration or the removal of children? Is the program part of your parole or CBO conditions?  

  • If it’s not your decision, this may influence your chances of success.

  • Is this the best treatment option for you at this point in your life? Why?

  • Do you know about the different pharmacotherapy options ie. Methadone or Suboxone or long acting bupe injection? Do you know which is likely to suit you best and why?

  • Are you aware of the alternatives to pharmacotherapy such as a detox program either at home or as part of a residential program? If you have tried the alternatives and they did not work, Why?

  • Are you prepared to make a long term commitment? Pharmacotherapy usually works best as a long-term commitment. How long do you expect your pharmacotherapy program to last?

  • Do you have to travel for work or regularly? It is still possible to travel (almost anywhere) when on a program, but it does mean you need to organise things in advance.

  • Do you know about the different pharmacotherapy options ie. Methadone or Suboxone or long acting bupe injection? Do you know which is likely to suit you best and why?

  • Are you aware of the commitments involved like visiting a GP at least monthly and a pharmacy every day (in the first few months)?

  •  Can you afford the dispensing fee (approx. $5 per day)?

  • Can you get to a pharmacy every day? Will picking up your daily dose interfere with your employment, family commitments, study etc?

  • Are there service providers (doctor & pharmacist) near where you live and do they have vacancies? Unfortunately, NOT ALL GPs will prescribe pharmacotherapy. This can be a particular problem if you live in a regional/rural area.

  • Are you involved in any other type of drug treatment at present? (for example individual counselling)

  • Have you spoken to others on a program? Although everybody’s experience is different, it can be extremely helpful to talk to your peers and ask them how the program works for them.

  • Do you feel well informed? If the answer is yes, and you have decided to embark on a pharmacotherapy program, it is time to act.