Prescription drug addiction ‘to overtake heroin use’

The number of people addicted to legal medicines is overtaking those struggling with heroin abuse, a leading rehab provider has warned.

The company, which runs six addiction treatment centres across the country, said admissions for prescription and over-the-counter drugs had risen by 22 per cent in the last two years.

Around 65 per cent of patients at UK Addiction Treatment Centres (UKAT) have problems with legal substances, from alcohol to common painkillers such as codeine.

In the last six months, the rehab company admitted 48 people for addiction to codeine or benzodiazepines – the class of drugs that includes valium – compared to 26 for cannabis and 17 for gambling, reported The Mirror.

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