Addiction to prescription medication and over the counter medicines has a significant effect on patients’ lives and can present a challenging clinical scenario for GPs. Although it is not always as obvious as other forms of addiction, for example, to illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine, it probably affects much larger numbers of patients. There are two links to Radio 4 programmes which are both very interesting.
The first programme focuses on the role of the GP – I will leave it to you decide whether or not it accurately reflects what we as GPs are really thinking and doing. The second programme looks at how over the counter medications can lead to very severe addiction problems. If you are looking for practical, hands-on clinical advice the RCGP have a section on their website dedicated to the above problems – see the factsheets at the bottom of the page.