Most people have heard the term â€˜addictionâ€™, but it is often used incorrectly. For example, these days many individuals describe themselves as addicts when they do or like something too much. However, addiction is a pattern of behaviour that begins to have a negative impact on the life of the person in question as well as those closest to him or her. But addiction does not just refer to illegal drugs, alcohol or gambling, as many people assume. In fact, prescription drug addiction is a growing problem here in the UK and one that has already reached epic proportions in the United States.
Is Prescription Medication Safe?
Due to the number of people being affected by prescription drug addiction, there is a growing question about how safe these pills actually are. The truth is that when these are taken as prescribed, they are safe and can be very effective at treating severe pain or disorders such as anxiety disorder and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
Nevertheless, when prescription medication is abused, it can be highly dangerous. Those who take higher doses of this medication are risking their health and are more likely to develop an addiction to their tablets.
There are many reasons individuals are prescribed medication by their doctor; Jaqueline Munroe was trying to escape the horrific memory of seeing the body of her nephew who had been stabbed to death outside her home.
Two years ago, she found Lucas Bishop lying outside her house after he was stabbed by James Murphy, his best friend when the pair had an argument that turned violent. Lucas had been stabbed in the neck and back, and Munroe was traumatised by the event.
Her doctor prescribed her the sedative Zopiclone, but she soon developed a devastating addiction that saw her taking up to forty tablets per day. As with all prescription drug addicts, Munroe had to source her medication elsewhere when her habit got out of control. She turned to the internet and began shipping them in from overseas.
On the day the pills were made illegal, officials at Customs intercepted a shipment of tablets heading to her home, and Munroe was arrested. When police searched her house, they found another 2,766 pills as well as a further 551 Diazepam pills, commonly prescribed to treat anxiety.
When messages on Munroeâ€™s mobile phone were searched, police found incriminating evidence of dealing. Munroe was charged with possession of a Class C drug with intent to supply. She was sentenced to eight months in prison, which was suspended for two years. Munroe was spared an immediate jail sentence because of her family tragedy and the fact that she had previously been of good character. The two year wait from the time of the offence to the actual hearing also played a role in sentencing.
Nigel Soppit, Munroeâ€™s barrister, said, â€œShe knows this is a very serious matter and has known since June 2014 it has been unlawful to trade in these particular drugs. She knows she could face an immediate custodial sentence, but for the fact there has been a two-year wait. There are other things to say on her behalf, but the most outstanding reason is the tragedy she witnessed with her nephew in 2013.â€
He went on to point out that the trauma of seeing her nephew dead is the cause of Munroeâ€™s addiction, and how difficult it would be for her family if she were sent to prison since she now cares for her sister, Mr Bishopâ€™s mother.