Throughout the EU, over the counter drug addiction is becoming a problem surpassing in number the high effect of addiction to heroin and other opiate drugs. Treatment centers everywhere are seeing a sharp increase in admissions and calls for help from individuals as well as their family members desperate for a solution. Codeine, a liquid form of opiate used to treat severe cough, is mostly legal throughout the EU and certainly legal in Ireland. Normal over the counter cough drops one can buy while picking up other necessities from the store contain the addictive and easy-to-abuse cough drops. Benzodiazepines are used as anti-anxiety medications which act as muscle relaxants. These highly addictive medications are also readily available. Treatment providers are seeing a growing problem with cheaper, easier to access drugs than with alcohol and hard drugs.
Part of the allure to over the counter drugs lies not in the addictive quality of the drugs but the lack of shame associated with buying the drugs. Comparatively, going to the local drug store to fill a prescription by a doctor or purchase innocent cough drops comes with less stereotype than meeting a drug dealer in a darkened alley way. Myths and illusions about addiction prevent people from understanding when they have truly developed a problem. Daily, twice daily, or multiple trips per week to the drug store to buy the same medications, without signs of improvement, is suspect. Addiction is neither good nor bad, nor are the people who become addicted. It isn’t good to let addiction grow into what can become a fatal problem.
Typically, over the counter drug addiction is coupled with alcohol addiction or may be concurrent with mental health disorders which need treatment. Information about addiction, the warning signs of addiction, and the risks of addiction is still sparse. Addiction remains a taboo subject despite the increasing amount of addicts in need of help. Codeine, benzodiazepines, alcohol, and other substances affect the mind, body, and the spirit.
Frequenting the drug store
Going to great lengths to visit other drugstores in other towns
Constantly needing something at the drugstore
Chronically complaining of new symptoms
Having multiple appointments with multiple doctors
Increasing amount of prescriptions
Loss of productivity in jobs or school
Change in personality, appearance, or participation in relationships
Seemingly under the influence of drugs; specifically slurred speech, slowed responses, or social withdrawal
Smarmore Castle Private Clinic offers patients real change for a lifetime of new possibilities. A leader in providing treatment for addiction and mental health disorders, our programmes are focused on restoring optimum health to mind, body, and spirit. Call to speak with one of our caring staff members today for information on our treatment programmes and how Smarmore can be part of your recovery journey. +353 41 214 5111.
Last updated & clinically assessed 26 March, 2021