The challenges of managing both chronic pain and opioid use in general practice

Hester Wilson
Med J Aust 2021; 214 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51041
Published online: 17 May 2021

The safety and value of reducing opioid use are recognised, but difficult conversations and less accessible alternatives are barriers

Chronic pain affects about 20% of adults in Australia and New Zealand,1,2 and opioids have been enthusiastically embraced for treating it. Unfortunately, this has led to significant harm,3,4,5 and evidence of the long term effectiveness of opioids for relieving chronic pain is limited.3,6

  • 1 The Langton Centre, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 Alice St General Practice, Sydney, NSW

Competing interests:

I have no connections with the tobacco, alcohol or gaming industries. I have received funding for consultancies or for serving on expert advisory panels from Indivior, Lundbeck, Seqirus, Mundipharma, and Pfizer.


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