Thursday, May 13News For London

The silent addiction to painkillers

Shane D’Souza, a software engineer, has been treating himself with painkillers for 6 years. When he tries to avoid gulping two codeine containing pain killers frequently at work, the withdrawal symptoms consist of this unbearable pain. Ultimately he has no choice, but, to surrender to his addiction.

From migraines to arthritis there is a pill available for every condition today, but, with a heavy price to pay. More and more people in the UK are becoming victims of an unseen addiction, The addiction to painkillers.

While painkillers provide relief for acute conditions, a wide group of people misuse are dependent on them for long term, chronic pain relief. Opioid painkillers, such as those containing codeine, are known to initiate a dependency in the long run.

According to Neal Patel of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Britain, pharmacists are only allowed to provide a single box of opioid painkillers, so how do more than 900,000 people across the UK continue to feed their painkiller drug dependency?

The charity, DrugWise says, the options are countless. The internet for example, is one of the largest sources for painkillers and people continue to purchase painkillers in bulk.

Shiksha Arora investigates why there is minimal talk regarding painkiller dependence, even though there is evidence that proves it to be affecting the UK faster than ever.

A report written for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Prescribed Medicine, shows that UK has the largest market for over-the-counter drugs in the EU.

An over familiarity when it comes to pain-killers could potentially be one of the many reasons behind a nation silently suffering from addiction. 

Listen to the complete documentary below.

When it comes to finding help by approaching misuse services, a very small percentage of people find themselves reaching out for these services. This sparks concern as there is a large but concealed group living with painkiller dependency.

The BBC radio 4 aired out an investigation carried out by addictions researcher, Dr. Sally Marlow, on the easy accessibility of pankillers.

If you or somebody you know is misusing painkillers seek urgent advice from your GP. Alternatively you can get support through charities such as Pain Killer Addiction Information Network (PAIN), (Call their helpline; 01424532551)

For further information on painkiller addiction and how specific painkillers affect your body, click here.