Contrary to popular belief, prescription drugs are just as addictive and dangerous as illegal drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy. Many people are under the false impression that because prescription drugs are legal and prescribed specifically by a doctor that they are harmless. However, a prescription drug addiction is not harmless, and it is something that affects many individuals, having life-shattering consequences in many cases. According to a substance abuse and medical health services administration report by the British Medical Association (BMA), it is estimated that approximately 2.1 million people around the world had abused prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012.

A Widespread Problem

The BMA believes that a twenty-four-hour dedicated helpline should be available for those who are suffering from a prescription drug addiction. They have said that this could assist with combating the devastating health issues that can come with the extended use of prescription drugs. The BMA’s GP clinical and prescribing policy lead, Dr Andrew Green, has explained that many patients who are being prescribed drugs by their doctor are increasingly upset after becoming addicted to the substances that were supposed to help them. Dr Green described prescription drug addiction as a “widespread problem”. He thinks that these services should be re-designed to be specifically targeted to those who suffer from a prescription drug addiction, as these individuals can often feel misplaced when being referred to current services, which are more commonly used by the likes of cocaine abusers. “The situation has been made worse because they have come to the NHS for help and they have found that the services are not available for them. We have even had some patients say they feel they are being blamed for the situation that they find themselves in. Establishing a national helpline should be a top priority to provide better service to individuals with prescribed drug dependence.”

Concerns About Prescribed and Over-the-Counter Medicines

The director of alcohol, drugs and tobacco at Public Health England, Rosanna O’Connor, responded to the concerns of the BMA by saying, “Addiction to prescribed and over-the-counter medicines is obviously a concern and it is essential that people only take these medicines in accordance with medical advice. Public Health England supports local authorities to develop tailored responses to existing and emerging drug misuse issues in their area and, in conjunction with the NHS, to address specific concerns about addiction to prescribed and over the counter medicines.”

It is now common knowledge that more people are becoming addicted to a range of prescription drugs, especially Benzodiazepines, which are prescribed to deal with severe cases of anxiety and insomnia. Rosanna O’Connor went on to say, “It remains important that all health professionals make every contact count with patients and are alert to possible signs of misuse and dependence, including to prescribed drugs.”

Overcoming Addiction

Many individuals will experience extreme difficulty when trying to overcome a substance addiction. This is because the body has become so accustomed to these substances that it “needs” them to function correctly.

Many different treatments can assist with overcoming addiction and which have proved to be highly effective. If you are an affected person, it may be the case that you do know where to turn or which treatment option would be best suited for your situation. Nevertheless, blueskies-recovery.com can help and support you when it comes to choosing the treatment that will ultimately benefit you the most. We can assist by offering advice and information about your addiction and further provide the tools you need to go forward and live a happy, sober life. Contact us today for any further information.

Source: Prescription drug addicts should have 24-hour helpline, doctors urge (BT)