• Question: can you get addicted to drugs prescribed by a doctor

    Asked by Lucy to Anne, Florence, Mark, Neil, Sinead on 16 Nov 2015.
    • Photo: Sinead Balgobin

      Sinead Balgobin answered on 16 Nov 2015:

      Yes you can- some painkillers come from the same family of molecules as some very addictive drugs (e.g. the opiods: morphine and heroin). This is why doctors need to be very careful about prescribing drugs that can be addictive, and take care of their patients to make sure they are not becoming unhealthily dependent on the drugs.

      Ideally, we will be able to design drugs in the future that aren’t addictive, but are just as effective!

    • Photo: Mark Collins

      Mark Collins answered on 16 Nov 2015:

      Unfortunately yes and not even drugs prescribed but also drugs that can be purchased from the pharmacy such as normal painkillers, many many deaths every year are related to addiction of painkillers. Always read the insert label on all medications for potential side-effects and the maximum time you should take that medication, particularly for any you buy in a shop as they will not have doctors instructions so we must self-medicate and stay safe.

    • Photo: Florence McCarthy

      Florence McCarthy answered on 16 Nov 2015:

      Yes, you certainly can and this accounts for a significant portion of drug misuse. These types of medicine tend to be well regulated though and a register is kept of how often they are dispensed at a pharmacy so this can be kept in check.

    • Photo: Neil Day

      Neil Day answered on 17 Nov 2015:

      Yes, you can Lucy – especially certain painkillers and some anti-depression medicines. That’s why there is a regulatory authority in most countires that oversee’s drug manufacture, supply, prescription by doctors and dispensing by the pharmacist to ensure that misue can’t occur and patients are aware that they should not use the medicine other than as prescribed if it is potentially addictive