Potentially Addictive Medication Policy

As responsible prescribers, Trumpington Street Medical Practice seeks to uphold safe and appropriate prescribing at all times.  There are a number of medicines prescribed for therapeutic benefit, which unfortunately also have addictive potential.  We are therefore cautious when prescribing these medicines, which may be used for pain, anxiety or sleep disorders, and do so only in appropriate circumstances at the lowest manageable doses, aiming to minimise the risk of addiction.  Despite this, tolerance can still develop, and for this reason we may limit the quantities we issue to enable us to review patients and dosages at regular intervals.  

Some of our patients, particularly if coming from other practices, may have remained on opiate or sedative medication for many years.  Although each patient’s circumstances are considered on a case by case basis, our overall aim is to gradually wean these medications, exploring alternatives where possible.

In order to aid the safe prescribing of potentially addictive medications, we ask that patients stick to the same GP to ensure good continuity of care and ease of monitoring.  Ideally, this should be their allocated GP or if another is preferred, please ask that the allocated doctor be changed.  It may be necessary for the practice to delay prescribing by a few days until this GP is in the practice, in order to facilitate continuity and ensure safe prescribing. 

We are aware that some prescribed medications are used and sold on the black market as drugs of abuse.  This is illegal, and thus it is part of Good Medical Practice under GMC guidelines to report suspected fraud to the NHS Counter Fraud Services. 

We do understand that prescriptions on very rare occasions may be lost or forgotten when away. However, where there is a pattern of this occurring with controlled or addictive medication, we reserve the right to refuse to issue supplementary prescriptions.

We ask that this policy is adhered to and our staff treated with respect at all times.

Trumpington Street Medical Practice: August 2020

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