f05d7_2100_hl_painkillers_0703When you think of drug addiction in the UK many people would guess that heroin or cocaine were the biggest killers but it is simply is not the case. An alarming amount of people in the UK and oversees are abusing prescription painkillers, forming and prescription drug addiction and in some cases are dying due to ingesting unsafe levels of these substances.

According to the latest data collected in the UK by the Office of National Statistics approximately 1.5 million people are using benzodiazepine tranquillisers and similar painkillers. The report also revealed the shocking statistic that more people died taking painkillers in the UK last year than heroin and cocaine, 807 deaths to 718 deaths respectively.

Politicians are blaming doctors for ‘over-prescribing’ painkillers and fear that the UK could follow trends in the US where 16,000 people a year die of a painkiller overdose. Several high-profile celebrities have died due to links to painkiller abuse including Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson.

Prescriptions for painkillers in the United States have nearly tripled in the past two decades and fatal overdoses reached epidemic levels, exceeding those from heroin and cocaine combined, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

High-income nations, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, had the highest rates of abuse, 20 times greater than in the least affected countries, according to the Lancet study published in the British Medical Journal.

In the United States, enough painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult around the clock for one month. Three years later things are even worse.

As always at addiction Helper we would advise caution when prescribed any substance. Do your research and ensure you follow the guidelines for safe usage. If you are suffering from an addiction to painkillers or are worried about a friend contact us today on freephone 0800 44 88 688 or text HELP to 66777.

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