In September, the Irish Medical Council warned doctors about over-prescribing of a range of highly addictive drugs.
They said that benzodiazepines and so-called Z-drugs (primarily sleeping tablets) should only be given to patients when absolutely required, and for a very limited time.
Addiction problems are widespread but it is difficult to even accurately know how many of these drugs are being consumed each year in Ireland.
GPs face significant problems dealing with patients, with some hooked to benzodiazepines for decades while others will switch doctor if their prescription is reduced.
HELP US INVESTIGATE
We want to look into the issue of benzodiazepine addiction in Ireland, its prevalence and what is being done about it.
We will dig deeper into the official data that is available to see if over-prescribing is particularly problematic in certain areas of Ireland.
We also want to examine what actions have been taken by the health services here to address the problems caused by prescription drug addiction.
Have you any information that you think would help this investigation, contact us at [email protected]
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