Doctors' leaders call for prescription drug helpline
Doctors' leaders are calling for the urgent introduction of a UK-wide 24-hour helpline for prescription drug dependence.
The British Medical Association (BMA) has said there should be more support for people coming off the drugs.
Benzodiazepines - taken for severe anxiety, insomnia and sometimes pain relief - are a particular concern. Public Health England said it supported local services to help address drug addiction issues.
Dr Andrew Green, the BMA's GP clinical and prescribing policy lead, told the BBC 5 live Investigates programme: "Establishing a national helpline should be a top priority to provide better service to individuals with prescribed drug dependence. There is also the need for specialist services to be consistently available across the country."
He added: "Patients have not had their problems adequately recognised in the past and we need to put that right."
The BMA will publish its recommendations on Monday. It will also call for clear guidance for practitioners on helping people manage to cut down and stop taking prescription medications.
Please visit the BBC News website for more information.
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