Information about this service
To reduce the use and abuse of opiates in communities, pharmacies can provide medicines that act as opiate substitutes such as ‘methadone’ and ‘buprenorphone’. These drugs allow patients to switch from more harmful opiates that are prone to abuse, to these less harmful substitutes whose consumption can be monitored by pharmacists. The substitutes create a longer and less addictive ‘high’ and therefore reduce a patients risk experiencing withdrawal symptoms should the patient suddenly stop consuming their illicit drug and relapsing.
The pharmacist or technician will supervise the consumption of these substitutes at the point of dispensing in the pharmacy. This is especially important at the start of the treatment as this is when the patients cravings are the highest and they may be tempted to relapse.
The benefits of this service
The service supports the patients recovery and reduces their dependence on illicit drugs by ensuring they are taking their substitute medicine and that they are taking it appropriately. The service therefore allows the patient to have the opportunity to create a more stable lifestyle whilst recovering and ensures that the level of the substitute are maintained to prevent a relapse.
The service thereby reduces the burden these individuals may have placed on society and the NHS.
By supervising consumption, there is less chance that the medicine can be diverted to other people or the black market. The service allows the pharmacist to regularly monitor the patient’s adherence and general wellbeing. This can also improve the pharmacist’s rapport with the patient which can improve the long – term success of their recovery.
What our team do
Upon dispensing the medicine, the pharmacist will supervise the patients consumption of the medicine. It also provides an opportunity for the pharmacist to provide any relevant advice and to check the general health and wellbeing of the patient.
The team ensures that the dose has been taken and properly administrated. The administration of each dose is recorded and monitored. Staff are well trained on providing a non- judgemental, supportive and confidential environment.
Where can this service be located?
This service can be accessed at the following pharmacies, click on the links below to navigate to your chosen pharmacy;