Health fears after Bundy prisoner 'stripped of opiate meds'
SINCE he was sentenced to 18 months' jail last Thursday, the family and friends of Alan Bunt say the Bundaberg man has been in agonising pain.
They say before he was taken to prison, he was stripped of his high dosage opiate medication, which he was prescribed for various spinal injuries.
Long-time friend and pain relief advocate Shaune Fisk said Mr Bunt's family were at their wits' end worrying about Mr Bunt and had yet to hear when he would be given access to the drug.
He said Mr Bunt had gone days without his daily medication and described the incident as "a heart attack" waiting to happen.
"His partner got a phone call from him a couple of days ago and said he was screaming and crying in agony," Mr Fisk said.
"No one is doing anything about it. No one understands or cares."
Mr Fisk said his friend was prescribed the highly addictive medication, in liquid and pill form, after two incidents that left him with severe spinal injuries.
"His first one was when he was kicked in the back by a horse and then after that he had a motorbike accident," he said.
"He has had spinal surgery twice."
Last week, Mr Bunt was sentenced to 18 months' jail, of which he will have to serve three, at the Maryborough Correctional Centre for firearm and drug offences.
During the court hearing, the 38-year-old pleaded guilty to a string of charges, including producing dangerous drugs, possessing drug utensils and unlawfully possessing a weapon and explosives.
Mr Fisk said his friend's medication was taken from him before he arrived at the facility but he was told he would be given it again in the coming days.
He said the court was provided documentation from Mr Bunt's doctor about his prescription, which he was to take twice daily.
He said he still had not heard if Mr Bunt had received his pain relief or why it was taken off him to begin with.
"He could die without it. To be on a high dose of opiates and just to go 'no, you are not getting any...'
"He could become even more depressed... he could kill himself."
Severe pain is something Mr Fisk understands after a car crash left him with rods through his pelvis and screws in his hips.
Australian Medical Association Queensland vice president and addiction specialist Dr Jim Finn said it was not dangerous for someone to be taken off opiate medication, however he said it would be "quite unpleasant".
Dr Finn said the best judges for a course of treatment were the doctors on the ground.
A spokeswoman from Queensland Correctional Services said on admission to prison, all property was removed from prisoners for the safety and security of the centres and for the personal safety of the prisoner.
"All prisoners are triaged on admission by medical staff based on a range of information including medical history, and they can request assessment by clinical staff day or night," she said.
"If a prisoner is identified as having the need for medication, it is provided to them as necessary. Prisoners requiring medication are not deprived of them.
"It should be noted that some scheduled medications are not prescribed in prison, for the safety of prisoners, as some medications are highly valued by other prisoners, and this can lead to assaults."