Over-the-counter painkillers taken by millions of people around the world can become addictive within just three days, according to scientists. The drugs in question include Nurofen and Solpadeine and contain one of the opiates – codeine. They are routinely used to ease headaches, period pain and backaches.
The UK authorities have officially announced about thousands of Britons who are dependent on codeine-based painkillers. Most of them got hooked on codeine in Nurofen and Solpadeine accidentally, with women developing an addiction more often than men.
Concerns about a “hidden addiction” got the government to address the problem. From the next year, the warnings will be put on all packets of those drugs, saying: “Can cause addiction. For three days use only”. The packet size available to buy without prescription will be reduced to 32 pills from the current 100 pills per packet.
The efforts followed the parliamentary group report on drug misuse which highlighted the dangers related to the drugs. Officials say that there are about 32,000 people hooked on painkillers in the UK. All the drugs contain codeine, an opiate related to heroine and morphine. There are examples of drug-induced addictions when people took 71 pills a day, jeopardizing their lives and health.
Codeine withdrawal symptoms include sweating, irritability and nausea. However, this kind of addiction often goes unnoticed because the regular intake of painkillers is seen as socially acceptable. Physicians often don’t know about the addiction and addicts are too ashamed to look for help or struggle for the support they need.
Don’t let it get to this point. If you feel as though you or a loved one is suffering from any of these problems, then seek drug addiction treatment as soon as possible. It is frighteningly easy for someone to get hooked on prescription opiates, and it becomes exponentially worse each day. A rehabilitation specialist can provide a unique form of care that has a great chance of helping someone kick their addiction. The special attention to detail and forward thinking treatment methods such as holistic therapy have a high probability of assisting someone with their addiction.
If you suspect you’ve become addicted on painkillers, consult your physician.