Legal drugs cause 75% of poisoning deaths

shaky

shaky

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#3
Legal drugs, including prescription medication and alcohol, account for three out of four of all deaths directly due to the effects of drugs.

Legal drugs cause 75% of poisoning deaths | Irish Examiner
Which means that 1/4 of all deaths due to drugs are from illicit drugs.
Which is a big number still.

Although I'm sure if those drugs were legal and controlled and unadulterated the number or deaths would fall.
 
R

Rose19602

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#4
Which means that 1/4 of all deaths due to drugs are from illicit drugs.
Which is a big number still.

Although I'm sure if those drugs were legal and controlled and unadulterated the number or deaths would fall.
I think you're missing the point Shaky!!

There shouldn't be deaths from drugs that have passed rigorous safety standards and testing and whose administration is controlled by qualified physicians surely?

Alcohol is the odd one out of course in those statistics....and over the counter drugs which may well account for lots of deaths (particularly if you think about over doses etc.)

It would be interesting to see a run down of which drugs cause death and how. Statistics on their own are so open to misinterpretation.

I also read that side effects account for a huge amount of ER admissions, which unfortunately medicine rarely recognises as a cause and mistreats accordingly.

Makes you wonder how much the doctors really know about the drugs they prescribe.

x
 
SomersetScorpio

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#5
I'm not being funny, but how many of these were accidental rather than intentional?

Alcohol with any prescription medication is a bad idea.
"More than half of the people who died took a mixture of drugs", again, not a good idea.

I know that just because a drug is available legally it doesn't make it any less lethal, but I feel like these statistics are a bit misleading.
 
R

Rose19602

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#6
HRB researcher Ena Lynn said polydrug deaths often included a combination of benzodiazepines, methadone and alcohol.

“There has been an enormous growth in polydrug deaths,” said Joan Byrne of Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign. “It’s really getting out of hand. People are coming into local groups not with an addiction to one drug, but to two or three.”
Addiction to benzos is within the control of GPs and psychiatrists. They know that these drugs cause addiction and prescribing habits are changing....certainly in my area. Methodone is slightly different in that it's a street drug substitute...so, although prescribed, it's still treating an established habit that came from a substance available on the street. As for alcohol....it's a national problem, and deserves all the resources that the country can throw at it IMO.

Having come off ADs and from my experiences on this forum, I think that withdrawl anxiety - from benzos and street drugs, and depression with regards to alcohol are side effects of withdrawl that are then treated with further drugs instead of being recognised for what they are. We need to stop prescribing drugs to treat drug withdrawl I think!

Dr Eamon Keenan, consultant psychiatrist in substance misuse, said this indicated more services were needed nationally.
But what kind of substance misuse information and support will they target and what will the quality of information be like that they offer?

I went to ADDAction years ago, to try and get support when I couldn't get off ADs. They had no idea how to help me because they had no information on the drugs and withdrawl issues. Hats off to them, because they really tried to help me, but the information on withdrawl was simply unavailable.

Doctors like Professor Healey have been trying to get the message across for years, with no success. The poor man is often vilified by the medical profession...yet IMO he speaks more sense than anyone on the topic and truly wants to make a difference. This is translated as "his personal war against the pharmaceutical companies". OK, he has his gripes with them...I accept that....but don't turn your back on the evidence that he has, nor his insight and experience. He knows his stuff and he helps people to make sensible, safe decisions on drug use IMO.

GPs and psychiatrists still refuse to acknowledge withdrawl issues and accident and emergency departments are none the wiser and often treat symptoms that are due to withdrawl with more drugs. I was given several drugs whilst being treated for a heart condition caused by withdrawl from ADs. My legs went into spasm and I couldn't walk, I drifted in and out of consciousness after investigative procedures and my blood pressure and pulse plummeted. Yet when I mentioned the part that ADs and withdrawl might be playing in the situation, I was treated with condescension.

Are they going to listen and take heed of patient experiences or not?????

With those appalling statistics on benzo deaths and the awareness surrounding addiction that has filtered through to GP surgeries, I was amazed to see, just a few months ago, on the Royal College of Psychs website of all places, a questionnaire for patients on their experiences with benzos. It read as if they were only just beginning to contemplate these drugs as a source of dependency!!!

It's as if they put blinkers and earplugs in and sing "la, la, la" when they receive patient experience reports of these drugs. To a cynic like me, it appears that there is no credibility whatsoever given to what mental health patients say....because they are the clever doctors and we have compromised abilities to comprehend and reflect. They need to listen and stop prescribing drugs to combat drug effects if things are going to improve....or at least start looking into drugs that will help people through the withdrawl process.

My vote is for centres to be set up across the UK for people needing to withdraw safely from legal drugs, with knowledgeable support and detailed logs kept of withdrawl symptoms so that we all, ultimately, get better information when we experience these problems. An expert - like Healy - put in charge would be very comforting!
 
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pepecat

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#7
The article isn't entirely clear whether they mean poisoning deaths as in 'overdose', or 'misuse' (which they do talk about in the article) - so a build up over time of excessive amounts of whatever, or correct usage of legal drugs (including cigs and alcohol).

Either way, isn't it obvious that more legal drugs are going to be the cause of these..... because they're easier to get hold of than illegal drugs? It's not exactly rocket science.

This is where I'm confused (and the article is unclear)
Are they talking about prescription drugs poisoning people?
Or misuse of prescription drugs (and alcohol)?
Or deliberate overdose?

Because if you take suicide stats by poisoning, I imagine a high number of those are from legal drugs- OTC stuff that people can easily get.
If they're talking about substance misuse - taking too much medication deliberately, combining with alcohol etc, then yeah, that will have a toxic effect eventually.
Or if they're talking about correct dosage of prescription drugs or correct use of alcohol as a cause of poisoning death, then I guess that's much harder to evidence / prove.
 
R

Rose19602

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#8
I don't think they are talking about the correct use of alcohol or any other drug.....but I do agree that it is unclear where these deaths are coming from and I also agree that the article isn't clear.

I think that the only clear point is that more people are coming for help with addiction to more than one substance, and that the 3 substances implied in the highest percentage of deaths are methodone, benzos and alcohol....and 2 of those are prescribed.

Mixing either with alcohol....or indeed both...however, does take the responsibility away from the prescriber.
 
R

Rose19602

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#9
Apologies for the rant above.....think I was letting off steam and not following the thread terribly well.
x
 
cpuusage

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#10
There's a lot of web sites/information looking at the dangers of prescribed medications/addiction issues around pharmaceuticals.

i think majority attitude is that general medicine/the system is well intentioned in focused on helping people who are unwell, & that pharmaceuticals are generally a good thing.

Very hard to argue that there may be a problem with it all - & people generally don't want to think there are any major problems within these areas.

Seems to be far worse problems within America with it all as well. The UK is following close behind.
 
pepecat

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#11
Agreed.

I think probably people have closed their eyes to the possibility that prescribed drugs could be harmful and taken a 'the medical industry has developed / prescribed these, therefore they must be a good thing', and refused to look at side effects.

Because of that, I doubt there are very many longitudinal studies into the effects of these drugs. If no-one believes they're harmful, no one is going to investigate.
 
cpuusage

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#12
Don't know what can really be done about it all? It's not really a subject that's up for debate at a more mainstream level & i don't see how anyone is going to change the current systems?

On we go - praise the Lord & pass the ammunition..........
 
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Rose19602

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#13
I think it's being publicised through the websites that you mention (and blogs) that prescribed meds are causing deaths when interactions with other drugs, withdrawl effects and side effects are not identified in hospital.
 
cpuusage

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#14
I think it's being publicised through the websites that you mention (and blogs) that prescribed meds are causing deaths when interactions with other drugs, withdrawl effects and side effects are not identified in hospital.
i think there are people out there trying to raise awareness on all these areas, as there always has been, they are very much the small minority - But the majority/establishment isn't interested - The Zeitgeist is what it is - feel unwell, get diagnosed & pop some pills - & that's not really up for debate - However intelligently some people have/are arguing otherwise.

i can't see it all really becoming a more serious debate any time soon at a more mainstream level. Anything that really deviates from Pathology/Labels/Drugs is minority/fringe - & easy really to ridicule/invalidate/deny/ignore.

i used to think that more people would want open & honest discussion on it all - But it's apparent that the majority don't, they're as much for mass drugging as the system is. The general attitude is that mainstream medicine is the best there is & drugs are good - there are increasing amounts of people being medicated yearly - the numbers steadily increase year on year - the pharmaceutical solution for all ills is winning, & is probably in a stronger position than it ever has been.

i have no idea how it can be changed to a more comprehensive approach to health care? i don't think it can at this stage. Better to accept it all, & it's what the majority want. Best allow society to continue in it's mass drugging experiment - Be interesting to see where it all leads?
 
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firemonkee57

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#15
Let's ban all prescribed meds and celebrate the reduction in life expectancy .
 
Per Ardua Ad Astra

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#16
I remember reading once, that many hospital admissions are a result of people having a toxic reaction, to medications prescribed by their GP.

One of the GPs at my local surgery was once asking me if I smoked or not, and how much? I said why do you want to know? He replied cos it's bad for your health. I said true, but then so is the NHS at times, and made reference to the hospital admissions, due to to the toxic effects of prescribed drugs....:)
 
R

Rose19602

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#18
Not sure that's so much of a theory as simply the way that things may evolve if sensible intervention and information is applied. I suspect that the interventions and information permeating through the system are the most important factors.

Hoping that society will learn from it's mistakes or that change will happen without that intervention will slow things down considerably......but CPU has a point. If society won't listen, is there any point in persisting?
....let them learn through experience I suppose.

It's interesting though that science feels that there is a lesson to be learned about prescription medication and resulting deaths.
 
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