5 petitions

Started 4 days ago

Petition to Prof Tim Greenaway, Prof Tim Greenaway

Pregabalin (Lyrica) should be rescheduled as a Controlled Drug (S8) in Australia

Pregabalin (Lyrica) is a medication used to treat epilepsy, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia and anxiety disorders. In Australia, Pregabalin is currently classified as a Prescription Only (S4) medication, however doctors hand it out readily without being aware of its potential for abuse and it’s nasty withdrawals. I became addicted to this medication after being prescribed it for anxiety. It worked so well in the beginning and completely melted away all my fears - my social anxiety was gone, my suicidal thoughts were gone and I felt truly happy. However, overtime, I no longer felt the effects that I once did and started taking more, hoping I would feel the same. I was trapped in a vicious cycle and before I knew it I was taking up to 1.5g a day. The recommended maximum dose is 300mg a day. I was hospitalised after seeking help and my dose was decreased to 300mg overnight. The withdrawals were horrific - nausea, headaches, sweating, difficultly sleeping, nightmares, extreme anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, mood swings, confusion, agitation and loss of appetite. The Guardian News in the UK wrote an article (22 September, 2017) which caught my eye “Pregabalin, known as 'new valium', to be made class C drug after deaths”.  “Pregabalin was mentioned on 111 death certificates registered in England and Wales in 2016.”  “Testimony from doctors, pharmacists and drug counsellors, who were responding to a Guardian callout, suggests abuse of the drug is widespread. One emergency medicine nurse, who asked to remain anonymous, said her department had seen five cases a month since summer 2016, when someone had overdosed. She said: “Most people who are affected are those with other addiction problems, and ‘pregabs’ is taken along with other substances.” “Earlier this year the British Medical Association (BMA) called for the drug to be made a controlled substance in the UK in the same class as steroids and valium. Last year the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs wrote a letter to the government making the same recommendation. It would mean the drug could not be repeat-dispensed and prescriptions would only be valid for one month. The letter warned of the risk of addiction for both pregabalin and a similar drug called gabapentin.” I believe that in Australia, Pregabalin (Lyrica) should be rescheduled as a Controlled Drug (S8) to prevent any future cases of missuse, abuse and addiction. I am aware that many of the people who are prescribed Lyrica take it as directed, however there are many people who fall into the trap of addiction without even realising. By rescheduling Pregabalin (Lyrica) we can protect our families, friends and communities from being affected by this medication which at the moment has no warning or alert system placed on it.

Natasha Smith
18 supporters
Update posted 7 months ago

Petition to Representative Timothy R. Madden, Representative Benjamin Swan, Representative Gloria L. Fox, Secretary Marylou Sudders, Governor Charlie Baker, Representative Brian S. Dempsey, Representative Stephen Kulik, Representative Angelo M. Scaccia, Representative James R. Miceli, Representative Thomas M. Petrolati, Representative Robert M. Koczera, Representative Colleen M. Garry, Representative Ruth B. Balser, Representative Thomas M. Stanley, Representative William Smitty Pignatelli, Representative Linda Dean Campbell, Representative Sean Garballey, Representative James M. Cantwell, Representative Carolyn C. Dykema, Representative Marcos A. Devers, Representative Paul Brodeur, Representative Tackey Chan, Representative Nick Collins, Representative Michael J. Finn, Representative Russell E. Holmes, Representative Chris Walsh, Representative Claire D. Cronin, Representative Marjorie C. Decker, Representative Jeffrey N. Roy, Representative Alan Silvia, Representative Todd M. Smola, Representative Angelo L. D'Emilia, Representative Nicholas A. Boldyga, Representative Kate D. Campanale, Representative Shawn Dooley, Representative Peter J. Durant, Representative Kimberly N. Ferguson, Representative Donald H. Wong, Attorney General Maura Healey


On March 14, 2016, Massachusetts passed and published MGL, Ch. 52 - Sessions Law and Acts of 2016: AN ACT RELATIVE TO SUBSTANCE USE, TREATMENT, EDUCATION AND PREVENTION - With an emergency preamble:  "Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to increase forthwith the availability of substance use treatment, education and prevention, therefore, it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience." Specifically,  Section 51½: (b) A person presenting in an acute-care hospital or a satellite emergency facility who is reasonably believed by the treating clinician to be experiencing an opiate-related overdose, or who has been administered naloxone prior to arriving at the hospital or facility, shall receive a substance abuse evaluation within 24 hours of receiving emergency room services. A substance abuse evaluation shall conclude with a diagnosis of the status and nature of the patient’s substance use disorder, using standardized definitions as set forth in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as published by the American Psychiatric Association a diagnosis of a mental or behavioral disorder due to the use of psychoactive substances, as defined and coded by the World Health Organization. Each patient shall be presented with the findings of the evaluation in person and in writing, and the findings shall include recommendations for further treatment, if necessary, with an assessment of the appropriate level of care needed. Findings from the evaluation shall be entered into the patient’s medical record. [No acute-care hospital or satellite emergency facility shall permit early discharge, defined as less than 24 hours after presentation or before the conclusion of a substance abuse evaluation], whichever occurs sooner. If a patient does not receive an evaluation within 24 hours, the treating clinician shall note in the medical record the reason the evaluation did not take place and authorize the discharge of the patient.  We (Heroin is killing my town, Inc.) have been getting a large number of reports of hospitals releasing patients immediately following an overdose.  Moreover, my family was directly affected by Leominster Health Alliance Hospital's failure to adhere to the mandate. My niece, Julia Raposa, suffered an initial overdose September 29, 2016 and was discharged within an hour and a half upon presenting to the ED by way of ambulance and after receiving a life saving dose of Narcan from the EMTs. I was unable to get to the hospital in time before her release and she died of a subsequent overdose on October 9, 2016, because services were not rendered as prescribed under the law at the onset of her initial overdose on September 29th. If Leominster Health Alliance Hospital had followed this mandate, I would have been able to respond in time, and our family would have sought a Section 35 while she was being held while awaiting and undergoing the mandated evaluation; as we previously did following her overdose on Jan. 26, 2016. At that particular time, she was transported to Nashoba Valley Hospital and they followed the mandate appropriately, thus resulting in a successful intervention, which lead to a period of sobriety for 6 months prior to her death.  Please note the lead language within the text of the law:"No acute-care hospital or satellite emergency facility shall permit early discharge..." Next note the definitions: Early discharge is "defined as less than 24 hours after admission or before the conclusion of a substance abuse evaluation..." The word "shall" in legalese is to mean that there is no other alternative in following this law and it is not meant to be followed in how it is percieved to mean. The meaning is plain.  When used in statutes, contracts, or the like, the word "shall" is generally imperative or mandatory.[Independent School Dist. v. Independent School Dist., 170 N.W.2d 433, 440 (Minn. 1969)] "In common, or ordinary parlance, and in its ordinary signification, the term 'shall' is a word of command, and one which has always, or which must be given a compulsory meaning; as denoting obligation. It has a peremptory meaning, and it is generally imperative or mandatory. It has the invariable significance of excluding the idea of discretion, and has the significance of operating to impose a duty which may be enforced, particularly if public policy is in favor of this meaning, or when addressed to public officials, or where a public interest is involved, or where the public or persons have rights which ought to be exercised or enforced, unless a contrary intent appears; but the context ought to be very strongly persuasive before it is softened into a mere permission," etc.[People v. O'Rourke, 124 Cal. App. 752, 759 (Cal. App. 1932)] Since this law has gone into effect, many of the Hospital Administrations across the Commonwealth are deliberately failing to adhere to the practice of this mandate. We need this law and vital tool to be enforced as a common practice within the medical community, if we are to make any real and significant progress in fighting the epidemic.  It is my understanding that hospitals argue consent, but that is not how the law is written and consent is addressed under Section 51½(c) and should only be considered after the prescribed steps are taken in Section 51½(b), which requires the 24 hour hold and evaluation.  Your constutients demand an immediate call to action on this issue to enforce this law across the Commonwealth in uniformity to prevent further unnecessary and preventable opioid overdose deaths. 

Heroin is Killing My Town, Inc.
1,672 supporters
Update posted 1 year ago

Petition to Department of Racing Gaming and Liquor

Mental Illness should take priority over just another bar in Fremantle

Dr O'Daly is a Fremantle based psychiatrist who treats many vulnerable people in the community who suffer from mental illness and addiction. His current premises are at risk of being closed due to the opening of a bar next door. Many of us feel that the treatment of severe mental illness, alcohol and substance use should be considered more important within the community than the addition of another bar. Closing a medical practice in favour of opening a bar could likely make Dr O'Daly's patients feel as though they are not valued by society. Mental illness stigma is a serious issue that patients face and the closing of his practice would only be adding to this burden. Patient Testimony: " Dr Kevin O’Daly, my psychiatrist, a man who saved my life and undoubtedly has saved countless others, is at risk of being forced out of his office in Fremantle because a pub is to be opened next door. This is especially concerning considering that many people with mental illnesses turn to alcohol and substance use to cope. It takes a lot of effort to stay sober and resilient. My Dr has been operating there for over two years, and he will be forced to leave because obviously, he cannot operate next door to somewhere serving liquor.  With issues related to alcohol and substance abuse falling well within the scope of what Dr O'Daly treats, this will create a conflicting environment for these patients, in what should be a safe refuge for healing. I don’t want everyone to know about my business but this is so important that I want to share it. This man is the reason I survived severe mental illness and can now contribute to society. I am so thankful for that opportunity. He helps so many of the most vulnerable citizens of Perth. I think it's outrageous and unfair, and sends the message that people with mental health issues aren’t important to the City of Fremantle; a part of Perth that is one of the more understanding, caring and beautiful. Hundreds of patients like me are seemingly being swiped aside so people can have a beer and chill. I think there are already plenty of places to go to do that. Places that aren’t next door to somewhere where people like me like to quietly attend and keep our business to ourselves. Dr O’Daly is not just another doctor, he is one of the most incredible health professionals I’ve had the privilege to be treated by. I have made it out of the darkest time of my life, but I know many of his patients have not and they do not deserve an additional worry. His practice, for us, can't just be replaced the way people can just go to another place to socialise. I find this heart breaking, and implore you to consider that people like myself already feel like society doesn't understand or care too much about us. His practice is a corner of or city where we can go to be heard and understood. I understand that real estate in Fremantle must be precious and sought after but I hope that just in this case, it can be noted that people like myself seek refuge at the end of High Street."  

Felicity Holroyd
1,150 supporters