Medication Misuse

Dependency on both prescription and over the counter drugs has become a subject of increasing severity in recent years. In the last decade the incidence of dependency on medications such as benzodiazepines (tranquilisers) and anti-depressants has increased significantly, reflecting a worrying trend. Government statistics suggest an 11% rise in the number of deaths related to the use of benzodiazepines between 2007 and 2008 and a figure of over 300 deaths directly related to the use of anti-depressants in 2008.


The rise in popularity of these medications is thought to be inextricably linked to the impact of a more hectic and stressful lifestyle and it is therefore no surprise to find that a considerable proportion of people suffering from dependence on medications like the tranquiliser and valium are highly-educated working professionals, who start taking these medications with a view to being better able to cope with the demands of modern working and family life and then become increasingly addicted to them.


In terms of anti-depressants, research shows that many of those undertaking a course of anti-depressants to treat acute anxiety or depression feel that they will not be able to function once the prescribed dose has come to an end; this in turn causes them additional anxiety and they find themselves worrying about how to get the next dose as well as their original mental concerns and anxieties.


Research has shown that dependency on over the counter medications such as painkillers has become increasingly common. People are increasingly using painkillers, such as codeine, even when they are not suffering from the headaches or muscle pains associated with using this form of medication. It is obviously much easier to get hold of these drugs than prescription medications and therefore a more appealing way of feeding a dependency on medication. Monitoring and controlling the distribution of over the counter medicines is extremely difficult as individuals can go to several different outlets to obtain their medication making it hard both to assess the extent of the problem and form a strategy to tackle it.

If You Need Help

Taking medication can also alter the effects of any additional medication being taken and therefore mixing drugs can be extremely dangerous; it is important to discuss any medication you take with a healthcare professional to avoid this issue. If you feel you are becoming dependent on a drug or are suffering withdrawal symptoms or anxiety surrounding your medication it is recommended that you discuss these issues with your GP. In additional to local health services there are numerous charities who can offer help and guidance; these include, Battle Against Tranquilisers (BAT), Depression Alliance and the National Association for Mental Health, or MIND. Additional support from friends, colleagues or family members can also be instrumental to battling drug dependency.