Drug counselling centre warns against abuse of over-the-counter medication
A study has revealed popping pills and drinking alcohol is what young professionals are using to cope with stress.
CAPE TOWN - The Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre says that abusing over-the-counter medication is equally as dangerous as taking hard drugs.
The United Nations' (UN) International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was observed on Monday to raise awareness about the dangers of illicit substances.
A study has revealed that popping pills and drinking alcohol is what young professionals are using to cope with stress.
Clinical psychologist Cathy Karassellos says she sees many patients who are abusing medication.
“We do see people who have addiction to over-the-counter medication, like tranquilisers, heavy pain medication, codeine and diet tablets.”
The UN is calling on all countries to honour their commitments to address the scourge and to ensure that steps to do so are consistent with human rights and promote equality, peace, security and sustainable development.
“Despite the risks and challenges inherent in tackling this global problem, I hope and believe we are on the right path, and that together we can implement a coordinated, balanced and comprehensive approach that leads to sustainable solutions,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
In his message on the International Day, the UN chief also recalled the special session on the World Drug Problem, convened by the UN General Assembly, where Governments agreed upon a series of steps which are more effective and humane, and leaves no one behind.
“I know from personal experience how an approach based on prevention and treatment can yield positive results,” noted Mr. Guterres, referring to steps he took as the Prime Minister of Portugal, including introduction of non-criminal responses to the possession of drugs for personal use – a flexibility afforded by the three international drug control conventions – and greater resources for prevention, treatment, and social reintegration programmes.
The steps helped the country achieve one of the lowest death rates for drug use in Europe, as well reduce the prevalence of HIV amongst injecting drug users.
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)