THE leader of the Seanad has called for “robust action” to prevent people from becoming addicted to over the counter products as a result of self-medication and over-prescribing.
Senator Jerry Buttimer (FG) said the issue is having a major impact on people and their families.
He said that prescriptions for some medication that is readily available over the counter should be considered and called for a review.
“More action is needed to tackle the ever increasing use of over the counter drugs to prevent people from becoming addicted,” he added.
“The impact on their lives and families can be detrimental to their wellbeing.”
“The continuing over-reliance on the stronger types of medication such as codeine and the overuse or dependency can lead to an individual becoming addicted to the medication,” said Senator Buttimer.
“We as a society need to evaluate these types of medicines and include, as we do on cigarette packaging, warning notices as to the impact and usage of certain medications.
“People seek immediate relief from pain but we must not allow overreliance on medication and ensure the public have access to all types of treatment.
“This may require a limit to certain products, requiring instead a prescription from a doctor or health professional for the duration of their treatment.”