Opioid Painkiller Dependence Alliance (OPDA)

The Opioid Painkiller Dependence Alliance is a unique collaboration of pain and addiction specialists and patient groups committed to raising awareness of opioid painkiller problems and campaigning for dedicated services. Become an affiliate member and make our voice stronger.

The issue

The figures are alarming. According to the British Medical Journal, nearly half the population have a diagnosis of chronic pain (over three months of pain). Over ten million people annually are in receipt of an opioid painkiller (OP) prescription at a cost of over £400m across UK health services. Over the past decade prescriptions for OP have risen by 400%. But while OP use has risen dramatically alongside a mountain of clinical and anecdotal evidence about the potential harms, there is no standardised and universally applied risk assessment of patients about to embark on a course of OP nor regular monitoring. And if problems arise, no network of dedicated services to which a GP or pain specialist can refer. This is a public health disaster hidden in plain sight.


"Not in the script ..."

An article exploring various aspects related to prescribing and using opioid painkillers.

"Mind the Gap" - opioids and sleep problems

Dr Kirstie Anderson from the Regional Sleep Service, Newcastle, writes about the problems with sleep and patients on opioids (via SMMGP).