Silent epidemic of addiction to prescribed drugs

Maricruz Casares
Enero 26, 2018

Public Health Minister Steve Brine said the issue has become a "huge problem" in countries such as America and "we must absolutely make sure it doesn't become one here".

A review into the scale of addiction to prescribed medicines has been ordered after government fears that Britain is heading in the same direction as the USA, where an opioid epidemic is killing tens of thousands a year. This includes painkillers, antidepressants and medication to treat insomnia.

The public health minister, Steve Brine, has made a decision to step in after it was revealed one in 11 patients treated by the NHS past year was given a potentially addictive drug.

Antidepressant prescriptions in England have more than doubled in the past 10 years.

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Have you had difficulty withdrawing from prescription painkillers or other drugs?

"While we are world-leading in offering free treatment for addiction, we can not be complacent".

Rosanna O'Connor, director of drugs, alcohol and tobacco at PHE, said: "It is of real concern that so many people find themselves dependent on or suffering withdrawal symptoms from prescribed medicines".

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