Administering a Drug of Dependence
Drugs of dependence (often referred to as ‘DDAs’, in reference to the former act under which they were regulated) are prescription medicines that have a recognised therapeutic need but also a higher potential for misuse, abuse and dependence (SA Health 2017). The supply, use and storage of drugs of dependence are regulated by the Controlled Substances Act 1984 (SA) and the Controlled Substances (Poisons) Regulations 2011 (SA). There are similar regulations in other states and territories.
Administration of drugs of dependence in a health services facility includes additional documentation requirements to other medications, such as completing a register to account for: quantities used and discarded; details of the prescriber and patient; and the persons administering and witnessing the administration. Regular counting and record keeping of stock (shift change and when supplies are received) is also undertaken as a reconciliation measure, ensuring security of supplies is maintained.
It is essential that you consider your scope of practice before undertaking or supporting the administration of drugs of dependence, to meet the additional legislative requirements of your jurisdiction.