A shocking reality
I couldn't help but comment on the article I read in the Mirror earlier this month which reported a staggering 807 people died in Britain last year from over-the-counter and prescription drugs such as anti-depressants and pain killers, compared to 718 deaths linked to heroin and cocaine abuse - the type of drugs the general public usually associate with drug-related deaths.
As an organisation, we are too seeing an increasing number of patients presenting with over the counter addictions.
Patients find it difficult to make the transition from thinking they are treating pain and discomfort reasonably, to realising that they have developed a severe addiction. Also, many of these OTC medicines come in compound form with other drugs such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. This results in health risks when people are increasing the addictive (usually opioid) drug dose but inadvertently increasing the dose to potentially toxic levels of the drug that accompanies it.
A worrying statistic indeed - one which needs to be acknowledged and addressed nationally as a matter of urgency.