By Dr Giselle Roberts
Pharmacist, Pene Wood, knows all too well how chronic pain can result in prescription misuse. “Many people aren’t aware of the dangers of prescription medications and the potential for harm,” she said. “Patients sometimes become iatrogenically dependent because they try to solve their chronic pain issues solely with medication, and medication alone is not the answer.”
In March 2019, Wood will be spreading the word about pain management and opioid dependence in the Pain Revolution Rural Outreach Tour. The eight-day, 700 kilometre ride from Devonport to Hobart aims to change how people understand pain in rural and regional communities. “There will be more than 10 educational events over the course of the ride,” said Wood. “Money raised will be used to support the Local Pain Educator Program. It helps to increase community access to best practice pain services by upskilling the health workforce and collaborating with health governance systems.”
Wood, a lecturer in Bendigo’s Department of Pharmacy and Applied Science and Quality Use of Medicines Lead with Western Victoria Primary Health Network, is the only pharmacist to participate in the ride. “There are GPs, physiotherapists, psychologists and exercise physiologists on the Pain Revolution Tour,” she said. “My background in pharmacy means that I can offer a different perspective. My work focuses on preventing dependence, early intervention and help with pain management, so we don’t end up with problematic prescription medicine use.”
“I have worked for over fifteen years as a pharmacist, and I have seen firsthand the detrimental effects of chronic pain if it is not managed in an informed and holistic manner,” said Wood. “I'm looking forward to spreading the pain revolution message across Tasmania, and providing healthcare professionals in rural and regional communities with further pain management support.”
Find out more about the Pain Revolution Outreach Tour.