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Dependence on prescription medicines linked to deprivation


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Dependence on prescription medicines linked to deprivation



PHE has published the first-ever evidence review of dependence and withdrawal problems associated with 5 commonly prescribed classes of medicines in England.


The Prescribed medicines review assesses the scale and distribution of prescribed medicines – and makes recommendations for better monitoring, treatment and support for patients.


It uses available prescriptions data, a literature review and reports of patients’ experiences.


A total of 5 classes of medicines were included in the review:


-- benzodiazepines (mainly prescribed for anxiety and insomnia)

-- Z-drugs (insomnia)

-- gabapentinoids (neuropathic pain)

-- opioid pain medications (for chronic non-cancer pain such as low back pain and injury-related and degenerative joint disease)

-- antidepressants (depression)


READ MORE HEREhttps://www.gov.uk/government/news/dependence-on-prescription-medicines-linked-to-deprivation

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I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Note that these are the medications that GPs will prescribe for anything you go to them.

I always questioned why I needed to take antidepressants for back pain and their best answer was: they block the brain from feeling pain.

In other words, we make you stupid and in the mean time as you don't understand that you have pain, you damage your back further. 

Never touched that stuff.

When I decided nhs was not for me I found that private consultants don't prescribe many medications,  but have a better approach in trying to fix the cause of the pain rather than mask the effects with drugs switching your brain off.

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Wow, some major assumption there.


Firstly that the meds will mean you will become so insensitive to pain that you will cause further injury : unlikely.


Secondly that the antidepressant make you “stupid” (and / or that they are being used as an antidepressant at all!)

Low dose amitryptyline is indeed used for back pain (and at doses below those used for its antidepressant effect)



They probably worked out you were dismissive, so didn’t bother going into detail if they felt you weren’t listening or willing to try it anyhow.


Then again, what does your GP know, anyway?.

5 years of med school, at least 5 years post qualification, and then any number of years once a fully qualified GP. Yet, you know better.


it doesn’t “switch your brain off”. Mind you, from some of your posts .....

Edited by BazzaS
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Well, if you could read for longer than 6 seconds you would have got to the point in which I said I never took those drugs.

So all that comes from me is a natural talent 😂

Also, you could have noticed that consultants (possibly more qualified than GPs?) looked and found a solution to the root of the problem,  not some masking palliative to turn off the pain.

32 minutes ago, BazzaS said:

Firstly that the meds will mean you will become so insensitive to pain that you will cause further injury : unlikely.

I shall say that to a couple of my colleagues who after years of "feeling great" had to come off the brain pills prescribed for knee injury and found themselves on the operating table (eventually at NHS pace) for knee AND hip replacement as they kept on walking and running on injured joints.

 "it only hurts in the morning" (incidentally when the pills effect has worn off).


NO thanks!

I rather pay and get the cause of the pain fixed rather than the pain itself.

Having experienced that myself,  my son didn't mess about and got his back sorted before it was too late.

He too was told that he had to be on "pain management" pills for the rest of his life.

What a lot of bollox!


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For SOME people, the pain meds allow things like physio, and avoid interventions.


For those who go on to surgery, some get cured and some get worse : surgery  has risks.


Yet again : you extrapolate your (limited!) experiences and apply them to everyone as “gospel”


it was that that made me consider if your brain wasn’t considering other possibilities: it was clear from your post you were too narrow-minded to fully appreciate your GP’s advice.


Specialists are specialists ; they see the cases that reach them.

GP’s are specialists in being GP’s : they prevent the specialists getting overwhelmed with people who don’t need them.

”The wizard and the gatekeeper”. From ? 1989?

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It’s because there is no medicinal cure for what one GP coined ‘sh!t life syndrome’. It’s perfectly reasonable that someone struggling with lots of external factors beyond their control would have physical manifestations of their difficulties. Unfortunately the pills don’t cure financial problems, mend broken hearts or fix Rocky relationships but the pain these things, and more, can cause is very real indeed. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are lots of reasons why these drugs are more commonly prescribed in more deprived areas, addiction is of course an issue but it is not the cause. The vast majority of working people in deprived areas are in jobs where they are more likely to have injuries or wear and tear that would require these medications - manual jobs are likely to lead to back pain for example. People in deprived areas are far more likely to suffer from depression for multiple reasons, some of which are obvious but also reasons like a lack of facilities, a lack of green space, job stress, an inability to take time off work; there are tonnes of reasons. The social determinants of health are really interesting, 'the Glasgow effect' is fascinating, although old research now I guess. People in more well off areas are likely to have more money and perhaps go for a massage to relieve stress, go to the gym or any number of other things they can do to improve their health simply because they have the money and facilities that people in deprived areas are less likely to have. Those in deprived areas sit taking medication whilst they wait on ridiculous waiting lists for the services that do exist in their area which are usually few and far between. Research also suggests that people from more well off areas are more likely to actively seek alternatives to medication such as talking therapies or physio than someone from a more deprived area (off hand I cant remember which piece of research this was but it was fairly recent). 


I referred myself to physio some time ago, waited a while then someone pointed out to me that I had access to physio through my job so I referred there I was seen the next week and started my course of physio which gradually reduced my need for painkillers. I forgot to cancel my referral for NHS physio and eventually an letter came to tell me I was high enough up on the list to make an appointment for three months time - that letter arrived at least six months or so after my original referral so that means it would have taken the best part of a year to be seen. That would have been almost a year of strong opioid painkillers. I was fortunate to have access through work, people in deprived areas are less likely to have access like this so they need to stay on the painkillers whilst they wait - what choice do they have? Should the GP not manage their pain while they are waiting for an alternative? 

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