Australia’s Chronic Pain Sufferers Want Access To Medicinal Cannabis

Chronic Pain Survey - Cannabis

Yesterday marked the beginning of  National Pain Week in Australia and the results of the National Pain Survey 2019 released, in which cannabis was in the spotlight.

Close to 1,300 pain sufferers from across the country took part in the survey run by Chronic Pain Australia – and it seems medical cannabis has been on the minds of many as an option for managing/treating their pain. 35.75% indicated they had spoken to their GP about accessing it.

As for their own knowledge on the science behind medical cannabis, respondents indicated:

  • Good knowledge, no more information needed: 32.21%
  • OK knowledge, could do with some more information: 44.94%
  • Not great knowledge –  need more information: 22.85%.

“This year’s results focus largely on what GPs, Pharmacists and allied health clinicians can do to better help consumers, particularly in reducing stigma and believing and hearing consumer’s lived experience,” said Chronic Pain Australia. “The survey also shows that people in pain want access to medicinal cannabis and the barriers to the medication reduced including price.”

The National President of Chronic Pain Australia, Jarrod McMaugh, has previously stated whenever the group asks people with chronic pain what could be done to help, the majority of responses involve access to and information on medicinal cannabis. Last year’s survey involving 1,200 people found 75% of respondents would like their GP to prescribe cannabis to treat their pain.

Results from the National Pain Survey 2019 can be found here.

As for its own position on cannabis, Chronic Pain Australia states:

“Chronic Pain Australia recognises that access to effective pain management is a human right, and that barriers to access should be removed where it is practical and safe to do so. Access to Medicinal Cannabis where it is a legal treatment option should be subject to the same regulatory and evidentiary standards as all other medications used in the treatment of pain.”

Chronic Pain Australia is dedicated to reducing social and other barriers to living with chronic pain.

It’s estimated one in five Australians live with chronic pain, that is, pain lasting for more than three months; or in many cases, beyond normal healing time.