A drug detox is something that is required when an individual has developed a physical dependence on substances such as heroin or cocaine. However, it may also be necessary for those who have developed a physical dependence on medication prescribed by their GP.
Shocking figures from the University of Roehampton have been published by the Daily Mail that shows around a quarter-of-a-million people here in the UK are struggling with prescription drug addictions and are now in need of a drug detox to help them get their lives back on track.
Lead researcher Dr James Davies, said, “This is a scandal for which there can be no excuse.”
He pointed out that despite recommendations that particular prescription medication be prescribed for a period of no more than four weeks, some people have been left on their pills for months and even years. He said that the longer a person is on drugs such as benzodiazepines, the more difficult he or she will find it to quit. Withdrawal symptoms get tougher, the longer a person is taking benzodiazepines and can include feelings of a sensation similar to electric shocks as well as confusion, agitation, hallucinations, sleeplessness, blurred vision, and even epileptic fits.
While most people assume that anything prescribed by their doctors is safe to take, the reality is that some prescription medication can be dangerous in terms of causing addiction and side effects, particularly if taken over a long time.
Nevertheless, what is even more shocking is the fact that Dr Davies found that a third of long-term antidepressant users did not even need the drugs as they ‘have no clear clinical indication for [them]’.
Despite antidepressants not being classed as addictive, Dr Davies said, “The longer you are on antidepressants, the worse and more protracted the withdrawal will be.”
Prescription medication can cause a number of side effects including memory problems, lack of concentration, anxiety, fatigue, unsteadiness, and depression. However, those who try to quit can also suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoid delusions, mood swings, anxiety, and depression. One of the biggest problems with prescription medication is that it is often wrongly assumed that the side effects of the drug are a sign that the original health issue is getting worse, which can lead to an increased dose of medication.
With so many different types of prescription medication prescribed for a variety of conditions, the risk of addiction is quite high, particularly for those who have been prescribed opium-based medication such as fentanyl, tramadol, or codeine. These drugs are highly addictive, and many people may be taking them unnecessarily.
Dr Davies estimates that the cost of over-prescription of certain medications such as antidepressants and tranquilisers to the NHS is more than £60 million per year. However, he believes that the cost to the patients trapped on these drugs is much higher. Many individuals across the UK are ensnared in a cycle of drug abuse that they cannot get out of. The drugs they are taking are having a negative effect on normal functioning, but they are unable to quit because of the severe withdrawal symptoms that occur when they try to cut back. Many will need a drug detox in order to overcome their addictions to medication that they were advised to take by a doctor.
It is important to point out that not everyone who takes prescription medication will go on to develop an addiction or require a drug detox. In fact, prescription drugs can help many people with debilitating conditions.
It is never a good idea to stop taking prescription drugs suddenly. This can cause problems, particularly if severe withdrawal symptoms occur. It would be wise to speak to your GP about weaning yourself off your medication if you are in this position and are worried.
For more information about drug detox, contact us here at UKAT. You do not have to fend for yourself when it comes to prescription drug addiction. Despite there being little support from the NHS for those with this type of illness, we have plenty of experience when it comes to treating those who have developed a physical dependency on their prescription medication.
If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, call us today for more advice and information on the steps you should take to get your life back on track. We have a number of excellent clinics in locations around the UK, and we can help you to regain control of your life. Our staff are dedicated and professional, and many have their own experiences of addiction. Call today for advice and information on drug detox and rehabilitation programmes.
Source: Exposed: National disgrace as a quarter of a million patients are turned into DRUG ADDICTS by their doctors (Daily Mail)
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