From the All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence: “The All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence (APPG-PDD) today welcomes the publication of a report by Public Health England which recognises for the first time the scale of prescribing of drugs that can cause dependence and withdrawal. The report shows that one in four adults in England has been prescribed a benzodiazepine, z-drug, gabapentinoid, opioid or antidepressant in the past twelve months, with up to a third of these receiving a prescription for at least three years. Prescribing rates are significantly higher in deprived areas of England, while women and older adults have the highest rates . . .
Responding to the report, Sir Oliver Letwin, chair of the APPG-PDD, commented: ‘Prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal can have terrible consequences for the lives of many patients who simply follow their doctor’s instructions. This report from Public Health England reveals the disturbing scale of the problem in this country and makes several urgent recommendations, including the setting up of a national 24 hour helpline and website, the provision of dedicated support services for those who need help, as well as the development of new clinical guidelines and training for doctors. The APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence supports these recommendations and will now be working to help ensure their implementation.’ ”