Analgesics: Addictions

Department of Health written question – answered on 5th December 2017.

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Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Government takes seriously the issue of addiction to prescription medicines. People who feel that they might be dependent on either prescribed or over the counter medicines should seek help from a health professional in the first instance (such as a general practitioner or pharmacist). Help and advice is also available from, for example, the 111 helpline or the on-line NHS Choices service.

Public Health England has been involved in a range of work to raise awareness of addiction to medicines, including:

- Providing advice and data for commissioners on treating dependence on prescription and over-the-counter medicines, such as the guide for National Health Service and local authority commissioners available at:

http://www.nta.nhs.uk/uploads/pheatmcommissioningguide.pdf

- Outlining an option for sustainability and transformation partnerships to consider reviewing prescriptions of medicines liable to dependence within primary care, which is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-health-and-care-planning-menu-of-preventative-interventions

- Supporting the recent update to the drug treatment clinical guidelines, which offers new guidance to clinicians treating people with drug problems including the misuse of prescribed and over-the-counter medicines. The guidelines can be downloaded at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/drug-misuse-and-dependence-uk-guidelines-on-clinical-management

- Producing advice with NHS England for prescribers on the risks of the misuse of pregabalin and gabapentin. This is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pregabalin-and-gabapentin-advice-for-prescribers-on-the-risk-of-misuse.

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