Most people assume that a those affected by drug addiction abuse hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine, but this is not always the case. In fact, a growing number of people are developing a physical dependence on prescription medication and are struggling to cope as a result. Illnesses such as codeine addiction are becoming more and more common across the UK as most people are unaware of the dangers of certain medication.
Prescription medication is safe to take when taken as directed by a GP. It is usually prescribed to treat conditions such as chronic pain or sleep disorders. However, prescription medication can be highly addictive and should only ever be taken for a short time. Those who abuse their medication by taking more than they are advised to could easily develop an addiction. But it is also possible for those who take them exactly as prescribed to develop a dependence if they take them over an extended period.
Deborah Rackley developed a codeine addiction after being prescribed dihydrocodeine while in recovery from an accident at work. She developed a dependence on the powerful opiate, and in her desperation to get her hands on the drugs she required, she began ordering them online in the name of her next-door neighbour.
Rackley was taking up to eighty pills a day and started ordering from internet medical consultancies. She would order them to her neighbour’s house and intercept the courier as they were delivered. She did this because she had ‘exhausted the possibilities of buying dihydrocodeine in her own name’, according to prosecuting solicitor Emily Pitts.
Miss Pitts added, “This is a highly unusual case. The only person who was impacted was the defendant herself. The fraud in this case is the false representations made to the online pharmacy.”
Rackley’s long-term codeine addiction led her to create an account in her neighbour’s name, and she began ordering large numbers of pills. She arranged to pay cash on delivery so that she would not have to use her own bank card and then she waited for the delivery driver to arrive before intercepting him and paying there and then. She told police that her frail neighbour had agreed to this arrangement.
Recorder James Watson QC ordered her to do sixty hours of community service, and said, “I bear in mind the person the drugs were obtained for was yourself, and the background was your addiction. There was no profit, and the only person who was harmed was yourself.”
Rackley’s solicitor, Jeffrey Segen, said that since her arrest, she had engaged with a drug service and had managed to overcome her codeine addiction. He said she ‘deserves credit’ for overcoming this addiction.
Most people assume that drugs prescribed by their doctor are safe to take and would never even consider the possibility that they could be addictive. Nevertheless, strong prescription medication is only available on prescription because it is highly addictive and dangerous when abused.
Prescription drug abuse is something that many individuals do not comprehend. For example, taking a prescription medication that was prescribed for another person is classed as prescription drug abuse. It is also abuse to take more of the drug than advised to or to take it at increasingly frequent intervals.
What often happens with prescription medication is that over time, the effects of the drug will lessen because the body has adapted to its presence. The temptation to take more of the drug can lead to a physical dependence and subsequent addiction. This means that those struggling with illnesses such as a codeine addiction will usually require professional help to get better.
It is hard to imagine needing drug rehab when you have never used an illegal drug, but those who have a dependence on prescription medication will need the same type of treatment as those addicted to substances such as heroin, cocaine and alcohol.
Here at UKAT, we have a number of clinics where patients can overcome their addictions in quiet and peaceful surroundings. Our staff are fully trained and dedicated to helping patients get better.
We want you to know that we have a wealth of experience helping people with all types of addiction and we can help you too. No matter what type of substance you have been abusing, we can help you take the next steps on the road to recovery.
For more information on our programmes, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.
If you successfully complete our 90-day inpatient treatment program, we guarantee you'll stay clean and sober, or you can return for a complimentary 30 days of treatment.