Opioid Abuse: Physiotherapy instead

Opioid Abuse: Physiotherapy instead.

Opioid overuse is better addressed with physiotherapy pain management in a multidisiplinary setting. 

Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) calls on the Federal Government to help reduce opioid dependence in people with chronic pain.

The APA suggests more should be invested in evidence based physiotherapy pain management services.

Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2019, reports the number of deaths owing to unintentional drug overdose increased 38% between 2001 and 2017.

The rate is growing by 3.4% a year.

More than half of all unintentional drug overdoses in 2017 involved some form of opioid (oxycodone or codeine). These drugs often form the base of chronic pain management.

APA National President Phil Calvert says:

  • “Opioid use doesn’t make people well. It simply masks their underlying problem.”
  • “Opioid Abuse ia a clear health problem in our community.”
  • “We need to rethink how we tackle the issue of chronic pain management.”
  • “Physiotherapy, with a multi-disciplinary approach, has proven benefits in managing and reducing chronic pain conditions.
  • “The health system must fund effective services. These put the patient at the centre of their health choices and educates them about how best to manage their pain .”
  • “The medicare system must subsidise Physiotherapists who specialise in chronic pain.”
  • It’s the best way to support the growing number of Australians whose increasing reliance on opioids is leading to overdoses and, tragically,sometimes death.”


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