Whether a drug benefits or harms is above all a matter of dosage. What is helpful in the amount that the doctor prescribes can do excessive harm in excess - and make it dependent over time. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, around 1.5 million Germans have already crossed the threshold to drug addiction. The fatal: "In public, the problem is barely noticed - although the drug abuse has similar serious consequences as the alcoholism and statistically affects even more people, " says Ralf Kremer, specialist in addiction issues at the DAK.
From the cure to the drug
Almost always, the drug in question is first prescribed by the doctor. It is therefore legitimate for many to continue taking it on their own. First signs of dependency are ignored. If the effect of the agent diminishes over time, the dose is simply increased.
"A vicious circle, because drug abuse can lead to mental disorders, social isolation and serious physical damage, " explains DAK expert Kremer. Confusion, fears and paranoia, heart failure and liver or kidney problems are common.
Drugs with addictive potential
Around six percent of all commonly prescribed drugs have addictive potential. At the top: sleep and tranquillizer with the so-called benzodiazepine drug, which can make you physically and mentally dependent after just a few days. This alone affects 1.1 million Germans.
Other highly addictive drugs are painkillers, codeinhaltige remedies and stimulants such as appetite suppressants. According to estimates of the German main office for addiction questions e. V. is not prescribed a third of these funds because of acute medical problems, but to avoid withdrawal symptoms!
Drug addiction: Especially dangerous are ...
- Sleeping and sedative, z. B. benzodiazepines
- Stimulant, z. B. appetite suppressant
- Painkillers and anesthetics, eg. B. over-the-counter headache medication
- Codeine containing preparations, eg. B. in painkillers or as
Mother's little helper
"More and more people are trying to solve their problems with tablets, " says search expert Ralf Kremer from the DAK. "Mother's little helper" was the title of the Rolling Stones. Because obviously women are especially at risk: About two-thirds of the addicts are female.
"While men typically use alcohol as a source of stress, many women take sedatives or tonics to cope with work, family and relationship pressures, " explains the DAK specialist. "As 'family health managers', many women regularly take medication, The downside of their commitment is obviously that they too obviously resort to strong means. "