Specialists Shocked by Crazy High Prescription Drug Addiction in UK
A review from Public Health England into prescription drug habits in the UK has led specialists to lament the number of individuals becoming addicted to medications.
A total of 5 classes of medicines were included in the review: benzodiazepines, Z-drugs (for insomnia), gabapentinoids (for neuropathic pain), opioids (for chronic non-cancer pain), and antidepressants.
The main findings include state that 1 in 4 adults had been prescribed at least one of the above medicines in the year ending March 2018.
The review also stated that the number of prescriptions for antidepressants and gabapentinoids are rising.
The study added that long-term prescribing is likely to result in dependence or withdrawal problems, but it is not possible to put an exact figure on the prevalence of dependence and withdrawal from current data.
It also added that people who have been on these drugs for longer time periods should not stop taking their medication suddenly, and if they are concerned, they should seek the support of their GP.
While the scale and nature of opioid prescribing does not reflect the so-called crisis in North America, Public Health England (PHE) has called on government and the NHS to stop a similar situation happening.
Professor Paul Cosford, Emeritus Medical Director at PHE said: “This report shows that while the vast majority of new prescriptions for these medicines are for short term use, within clinical guidelines, it also highlights significant numbers have been taking these medicines for a long time. It is vital that clinical guidelines for prescribing are followed and regular reviews with patients take place to address this.
“We also know how difficult it is for some people to come off these medicines and more research is needed for us to understand better how we help people to stop using them when they are no longer clinically helpful.”