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Opioid resources

2 July 2020

Here is a collection of tools and resources for consumers, patients and carers, as well as health professionals, on pain management services.

Resources for consumers, patients and carers

A good place to start is to talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner, who will understand your condition and the reason you have been prescribed opioids. Another good source of information is your pharmacist.

Resources for health professionals

There will be a range of activities to support the implementation of these changes and to equip doctors and other health professionals with the tools and resources to apply these in practice. Similarly, there will be a range of resources for consumers to empower them to make informed choices about their treatment.

NPS MedicineWise

  • This Radar article provides a good summary of the regulatory changes (and PBS changes that align with them).
  • Book a one-on-one educational visit, virtual visit by video call or small group meeting, facilitated by an NPS MedicineWise Educational Visitor.
  • This MedicineWise News article presents the latest evidence on the limited role of opioids in chronic non-cancer pain. There is an emphasis on non-pharmacological therapies and active self-management as the preferred approach to improving function and quality of life for people living with chronic non-cancer pain.
  • Action plan to use with patients (pdf,1.25Mb)*: NPS MedicineWise has teamed up with painaustralia and the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation to develop a resource that supports conversations between health professionals and consumers about the benefits of reducing or stopping their opioid dose. It clarifies what's involved in the process and helps to agree a planned approach.
  • This conversation starter resource (pdf,205kb) offers useful information for health professionals to discuss tapering with patients.
  • Pharmacy Practice Review: CPD activity for pharmacists. Opioids: reducing harms from long term use focuses on the important role pharmacists play to ensure the safe use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain and to identify patients who may be at risk of harm from long-term use. Participants receive a counselling checklist and practice tips for starting conversations with patients about opioid tapering.
  • Clinical e-Audit: Redefining 'doing well' on opioids. Review your prescribing of opioids for patients with chronic non-cancer pain.


A range of fact sheets for you to download and print for your patients.

Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)

The Faculty of Pain Medicine's opioid calculator is designed to simplify the calculation of equianalgesic dose by expressing it as total oral Morphine Equivalent Daily Dose (oMEDD). It uses a "traffic light" dose warning system as a clear, simple way to indicate the risk of dose-related harm. Download the free smartphone app:

Better Pain Management: A professional, high quality online education program for specialist and general medical practitioners, medical students, nurses and allied health practitioners engaged in the care of patients with persistent pain.

Pain Management Network

The NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation has developed online tools to guide the assessment and management of pain.

National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre

Screening for dependence: the Routine Opioid Outcomes Monitoring (ROOM) Tool is a screening tool for prescription opioid dependence, developed specifically to use in primary care settings.

National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction

A short resource addresses several key issues related to pharmaceutical opioids.

Palliative Care Australia

A resource providing information about opioids in palliative care.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

Reducing opioid-related harm: A hospital pharmacy landscape paper (pdf,2.80Mb).

NSW Therapeutic Advisory Group

Resources relating to high risk medicines: This information should assist hospitals in the development of local resources required to comply with the NSW Ministry of Health Policy Directive on High Risk Medicines Management.



Guidelines and position statements