Prescription Drug Abuse

Posted by Access Diagnostic Tests UK Ltd on

prescription drug abuse uk

Which prescription drugs are most likely to be abused?

Prescription drug misuse and abuse is a growing problem in the UK. The prescription drugs that are most likely to be abused, are also those that are most addictive, many of them have a sedative or calming effect.

There is a black market in the UK for NHS and veterinary prescription drugs, mainly painkillers, which then end up sold on the streets of the UK and abused.

The most commonly abused prescription drugs in the UK are:

  1. Painkillers including common opioids, oxycodone, Tramadol, Fentanyl, Gabapentin Pregabalin
  2. Benzodiazepines
  3. Antidepressants
  4. Sleeping tablets
  5. Ketamine (veterinary drug )
  6. Stimulants such as Ritalin commonly used to treat ADHD

How the NHS has adapted to prescription drug abuse

Many of the older prescription analgesics such as DF118, distalgesic and dihydrocodeine extra strong where widely abused in the past, and have since been restricted or even removed from the british national formulary.

These painkillers have been replaced with modern drugs like Tramadol, which although perceived initially as being safer and less open to be abuse and overdose, have in fact suffered the same fate and are widely abused.  tramadol capsules

Tramadol prescription is widespread by UK vets

If you have taken your dog to the vets recently and it needed a pain killer it is quite likely to have been given Tramadol. These painkillers that are prescribed by vets often end up on the streets. Another widely abused drug in the UK is Ketamine, which is in fact a veterinary tranquiliser.

How are these prescription drugs obtained

Some of the prescription drugs are being obtained deceptively from GP's or vets as a source of income, others are being prescribed for chronic conditions and are just being shared in family groups and finding their way out into general supply. 

How do you drug test for these prescription drugs?

Increasingly drug testing kits for urine and saliva are including screens for common prescription drugs such as Tramadol and Benzodiazepines. 

Our 16 drug test cup screens for a 16 drugs including many common prescription drugs. 


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