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Seven million take painkillers regularly

26th February 2013

Data collected by Nuffield Health has found that millions of people in the UK are regularly taking painkillers in order to be able to work.

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The survey suggested around 7.5 million people might be reliant on painkillers in order to do their jobs, as the data they collected showed around a fifth of respondents had to use painkillers to work.

The survey showed 25% of British adults had been "regularly" using pain relief for the last five years.

The researchers said painkillers were used by people in the study to deal with the effects of head injuries, back pain and migraines.

Manoj Krishna, a consultant spinal sugeon at the Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, said: "I was surprised at the overall extent of painkiller usage in the UK...this whole problem has got out of control. But work can be painful: for instance back pain is aggravated by sitting. If you have it, you need painkillers to get through the working day."

He added: "A lack of knowledge, or fear of treatment, can lead patients into long term use of painkillers, often without a clear diagnosis by a specialist."

"This can be a very bleak existence with patients becoming depressed, losing their jobs, and often becoming dependent on the drugs."

 

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