Prescription Drugs – UK

Health chiefs within the UK are worried that hundreds of thousands of people are becoming addicted to prescription drugs.  A Public Health England Review found that a quarter of adults were using strong prescription drugs such as antidepressants, painkillers and sleeping tablets. There is a fear that if people within the UK are using these prescription drugs over a long period is a sign that they are becoming dependent.


This review also found that there are large numbers of people in the UK who are misusing certain specific prescription drugs. These prescription drugs included Opioid painkillers, Sleeping tablets, benzodiazepines, antidepressants and gabapentinoids.

Among the users of the prescribed drugs, the levels of abuse were higher in deprived areas and women were prescribed at higher levels than men were.

In terms of prescription drugs, according to Claire Anderson, the chairman of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England said; “These medicines can be very useful for some patients, but they are also associated with dependence and risk of harm.  Patients with pain, mental health issues and anxiety want to be free of them and often the long-term answer for these conditions doesn’t lie in the prescription pad.”

In England, it is estimated that approximately 12 million adults a year in the UK are prescribed drugs that they end up becoming dependent on. These drugs include benzodiazepines, gabapentinoids and Z drugs. In roughly half of the cases, those adults who had been prescribed these drugs had been using them for at least 12 months even though it is recommended that powerful sedatives and opioids are to be used for short term treatment.

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