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GPs routinely prescribe drugs to addicts

27th July 2011

A survey has suggested that nearly 80% of GPs are prescribing drugs when they think the patients could be addicted to them.

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The study, by the Family Doctor Association, said prescriptions for antidepressants, sleeping tablets and pain medication were all increasing.

Over half the 197 doctors who took part in the study said they were concerned about the issue and said more studies into the problem were needed.

The study showed 52.7% were "quite or very worried" about prescription drug abuse in their area.

Half of GPs said they knew that prescription drugs may be being sold for money to other addicts.

More than 40% said their practice had "minimal/no support" from addiction services. 

Dr Peter Swinyard, chairman of the FDA, said: "Our simple main concern is the patient - nothing else matters. But sometimes, somewhat misguidedly, we don't do the right thing.

"We need the research to back up and to prove to GPs as well that there's a problem here we need to address." 

 

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