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Prescription Drugs

Guidance on avoidance of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication

All Tranquillisers         

This group of drugs includes benzodiazepines, e.g. Ativan, Diazepam, Librium and Xanax.


Sleeping medications which are sedative and dependence inducing. You should aim to establish normal sleep pattern without mood-altering chemicals.

Cough Mixtures and Expectorants

Many of these contain codeine or morphine derivatives, alcohol and antihistamines. Honey and lemon is a safe alternative. You should avoid sedative expectorants and sedating cough medications, e.g. Benylin. Many of these contain antihistamines and are mood altering.


You should avoid those painkillers which are derivatives of opioids, e.g. codeine, co-codamol DF118, tramadol. Even paracetamol should be used sparingly and with caution, unless prescribed.


These include Piriton, a sedative hay fever drug available over the counter.


You should avoid these unless prescribed by your doctor for clinical depression.

Kaolin & Morphine

Avoid anti-diarrhoeal drugs which contain morphine.

Appetite suppressants

Contain amphetamines.

Avoid all unnecessary drugs sold at chemists’ shops.

  • Ensure that you have a clear medical condition warranting.
  • Prescription of any medications that could be mood-altering.
  • Avoid seeking “a pill for every ill”.
  • Recovery from alcoholism and addictive disease requires abstinence from all unnecessary mind-altering drugs.
  • Alcoholics and addicts are addiction prone and therefore vulnerable to the effects of a wide range of mood-altering drugs.
  • There is a risk of relapse with the use of tranquillisers, painkillers, sleeping tablets, and a range of medications available from the pharmacy shop.
  • These chemicals can reactivate the compulsive drive and lead to eventual relapse, and as such should be avoided.

Last updated & clinically assessed 26 February, 2020