'My addiction to prescription drugs ruined my marriage and sent me to rehab'
New figures released this week show prescription drug abuse in the UK is amongst the worst in Europe, with 16% of women surveyed admitting to the addiction - and one of five of those popping prescription pills more than once a week. Mum of two Michele Kirsch (58) was taking up to 40mg of Valium a day - three times the recommended amount. Initially used to aid her anxiety, Michele was eventually sent to rehab to get help. Michele's book 'Clean' is available now and she joins us today with her stark warning for others, alongside Dr Zoe.
Dr Zoe's advice
Are you concerned that you might be addicted to prescription drugs?
Firstly, don't panic! There is support to help you and you don't need to go 'cold turkey'!
The NHS Choices website states; "If you need treatment for drug addiction, you're entitled to NHS care in the same way as anyone else who has a health problem. With the right help and support, it's possible for you to get drug free and stay that way."
You can tell your GP anything and everything in confidence, and as GP's we do not judge. Drug addiction is a chronic disease and should be treated in the same non-judgemental way as any other disease. However, if you do not feel comfortable speaking to your GP you can contact your local NHS addictions service, who can support with prescription drug addictions, in the same way that they do with other addictions.
There are numerous ways to reduce and eventually stop taking prescription drugs, such as gradual dose reduction, which can take month or even years, switching to less addictive drugs and psychological therapy