Recession Ahead? Don’t Turn to Drugs as a Solution!
A study in the UK has found that people living in more economically disadvantaged areas are 50% more likely to form an addiction to drugs, a problem that is being labelled a crisis all over the world.
Drug addiction is rife at present, and drug rehab centres across the world are seeing more and more people arrive through their doors not with an addiction to cocaine, cannabis or heroin, but prescribed dependency-forming medicines like fentanyl and gabapentinoids.
The study, undertaken by the NHS found that the number of patients that had been prescribed dependency-forming medicines was over one and a half times higher in more deprived areas and that opioids among the most common, with 39.6million items prescribed.
Published in the Dependency Forming Medicines England 2015/16 to 2021/22 report, the figures found that 1.8million million patients were prescribed in the more deprived areas of England alone, while just 1.09million were in the least deprived areas, marking a real gulf.
It’s a similar story in other parts of the world. In the USA there’s a clear correlation with fentanyl overdoses and the most disadvantaged areas, with a number of studies finding this to be the case, and there are a number of schemes now in place to not prevent usage, but prevent overdose, with centers being set up to inject, with medical assistance on hand to prevent overdose.
The report from the NHS found “in general, more people were prescribed dependency forming medicines in more deprived areas in 2021/2022”.
A Pattern of Dependency
That pattern has remained consistent since 2015/16 and interestingly the most common group among those being prescribed dependency-forming medications being females aged 55-59.
The cost of such medicines has decreased dramatically over the years. In 2015/16 over 67.5million prescriptions totalled a cost of £779million. Today, for a similar figure, that cost is now £405million. Whether that is making the drug more accessible to patients is another story, potentially leading to further addiction. However, it’s an issue that is more and more becoming front and centre not just in the UK, but all around the world.
It’s a crisis of epic proportions, and treatment centers only have a certain capacity to aid people on the path to recovery. Preventing prescribed drug addiction in the first place is what is needed, and that is certainly going to be an uphill battle with the drugs so accessible.