References

Brodie L, Donaldson J, Watt S. Non-medical prescribers and benzodiazepines: a qualitative study. Nurse Prescribing. 2014; 12:(7)353-359 https://doi.org/10.12968/npre.2014.12.7.353

British National Formulary. British Medical Association & Royal Pharmaceutical Society. 2021. https://bnf.nice.org.uk (accessed 20 September 2021)

British Pain Society. Opioids Aware. A resource for patients and healthcare professionals to support prescribing of opioid medicines for pain. 2021. https://www.fpm.ac.uk/opioids-aware (accessed 20 September 2021)

Department of Health. Improving Patients' Access to Medicines: A Guide to Implementing Nurse and Pharmacist Independent Prescribing within the NHS in England. 2006. https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20130107105354/ (accessed 28 September 2021)

One in four adults prescribed addictive medicines says PHE review. 2019. https://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/clinical-areas/prescribing/one-in-four-adults-prescribed-addictive-medicines-says-phe-review/ (accessed 20 September 2021)

Lee MO, Silverman SM, Hansen H, Patel VB, Manchikanti L. A comprehensive review of opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Pain Physician. 20113:(14)145-161 https://doi.org/10.36076/ppj.2011/14/145

McIntosh T, Stewart D, Forbes-McKay K, McCaig D, Cunningham S. Influences on prescribing decision-making among non-medical prescribers in the United Kingdom: systematic review. Fam Pract. 2016; 33:(6)572-579 https://doi.org/10.1093/fampra/cmw085

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Opioid overdose crisis. 2021. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis (accessed 20 September 2021)

NHS Scotland. Guidance for Nurse Independent Prescribers and for Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribers in Scotland: A Guide for Implementation. 2006. https://www.gov.scot/publications/non-medical-prescribing-scotland-guidance-nurse-independent-prescribers-community-practitioner-nurse-prescribers-scotland-guide-implementation/ (accessed 28 September 2021)

Office for National Statistics. Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2018 registrations. 2019. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsrelatedtodrugpoisoninginenglandandwales/2018registrations (accessed 20 September 2021)

Public Health England. Dependence and withdrawal associated with some prescribed medications. 2019. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/940255/PHE_PMR_report_Dec2020.pdf (accessed 20 September 2021)

Public Health England. Advice for prescribers on the risk of the Misuse of pregablin and gabapentin. 2014a. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pregabalin-and-gabapentin-advice-for-prescribers-on-the-risk-of-misuse (accessed 20 September 2021)

Public Health England. Non-medical prescribing in the management of substance misuse. 2014b. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/769007/Updated_guidance_on_non-medical_prescribing_in_substance_misuse_treatment.pdf (accessed 20 September 2021)

Royal College of General Practice. Prescription and over-the-counter medicines misuse and dependence. 2021. https://www.sldtraining.co.uk/media/353asuov/rcgp-factsheet-1.pdf (accessed 20 September 2021)

Shaping and delivering services in primary care: benzodiazepine and opiate withdrawal service

02 October 2021
12 min read
Volume 32 · Issue 10

Abstract

Dependency on benzodiazepine and opiates is an increasing problem. Jeff Fernandez uses case studies to show how a nurse-led addiction service based in primary care can improve patient outcomes

This article looks at the development of the benzodiazepine and opiate withdrawal service (BOWS) based in addiction services in London. The service was created to implement a manageable and sustainable model that would treat patients with benzodiazepine and codeine-based dependencies. It was envisaged the service would effectively treat patients in GP practices in two boroughs in London. The article outlines what is possible in terms of treatment for patients with issues of opioid dependency, by examining two in-depth case studies. It also illustrates what is possible for nurses in the modern NHS and can be used as a resource to shape and deliver services with positive patient outcomes. Nurses should be seen as shaping and delivering care in the NHS. This is a role that should be promoted to a greater degree, wherever possible.

Evidence collected by Public Health England (PHE) shows an increase in the use of over-the-counter codeine medicines (PHE, 2014a). It is also increasingly recognised by health professionals, that opioid medications used to treat pain become less effective over time. Doses can be increased to high levels and this usually does not work and can create a dependency on opioid medication in the long run, particularly codeine-based medications (PHE, 2014a; 2019; British Pain Society, 2020).

In the US, the prescribing and the illicit drugs trade in opioid painkillers has led to an increase in mortality figures (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2021). The government has called the situation at present a national crisis as 130 people die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. In the UK there is evidence that opioid analgesic prescribing has increased in the last decade, with a doubling of mortality figures (Office for National Statistics, 2019).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting Practice Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for general practice nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month