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Too many people in region are taking too many powerful painkillers
PAIN sufferers in the North-East are the most likely in the UK to use potentially 'habit forming' painkillers, to manage pain or injury, according to a new report.
North-Easterners are more likely to use Codeine and Tramadol, according to Nuffield Health.
People in the region are also the most likely in the UK to take more than the recommended safe dose of painkillers.
More than one in three people (37 per cent) questioned said they are worried about their dependency on pills to manage their daily life, with a similar number (39 per cent) requiring painkillers to continue working.
The research provides a snap shot of painkiller use across the UK, and shows long term, daily use of strong or potentially addictive drugs to be commonplace.
Experts say painkillers are seen as an 'easy option' rather than diagnosing and treating underlying causes of pain or injury.
Of more than 3,100 people surveyed nationally, more than half - 1,659 people - had managed pain or injury with painkillers in the last year.
More than four in ten (43 per cent) people in the region reported taking strong and potentially habit forming drugs, including Codeine and Tramadol, to manage their pain or injury - the highest number in the UK.
Experts say patients need to be aware of the side-effects of taking painkillers, which can cause sickness, stomach problems, including bleeding or ulcers, constipation, drowsiness or serious medical problems like liver disease, kidney problems and heart disease.
Consultant spinal surgeon at Nuffield Heath Tees Hospital, Mr Manoj Krishna, said "I regularly see patients who struggle to deal with drug addiction after their medical condition has been successfully treated."
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