Eric asked in TravelUnited KingdomLondon · 2 months ago

Why are doctors in the UK/Ireland reluctant to prescribe benzodiazepines and opiates?

I live in Ireland and have friends from the UK. We both find that getting a GP/psychiatrist to give us these medicines is very difficult.

My cousins on the other hand who live in the States get a 30 day script for Xanax (alprazolam) and Vicodin (hydrocodone). I know the DEA has been cracking down on physicians who over-prescribe these meds but it seems that even the 'stricter' prescription culture in America is still way laxer than that of Europe.

6 Answers

  • snafu
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The opioid crisis, in a word.  Over prescription has led to a huge dependency problem, especially in the US.  Doctors there, are paid to push these drugs by big pharma. 

  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Highly addictive medication are not 'routinely' precribed now in Ireland/UK simply because they are highly addictive and there has been a drive to move away from these highly addictive medication for the last 30-40yrs..the US is a society where medicine manufacturers, doctors and hospitals are run for profit, they all work for the same goal AND the US is a society of high dependance of legal and illegal drugs many of which the US states have legalised meaning they have a high medicated society, so have created a society 'need' for other high dependancy/addictive society 'norms' are very different

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The U.K. has a huge addiction problem with these drugs. So they are rarely prescribed long term these days.

  • pmt853
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    A better question might be why doctors in the USA dish these out to so many and for so long. They're known to be addictive and of questionable long-term benefit to the patients. They do often seem to be just a quick and easy fix wqhich doesn't address any of the underlying problems, maybe they're financially beneficial to someone too.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 2 months ago

    Because opiates are extremely addictive and often not the best option. 

    The US has a weird relationship with prescription drugs, which are advertised on TV: in the UK, doctors prescribe the best thing for the patient, not the patient's requested drug of choice. 

    See also - opiate health crisis

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Because the view of the NHS is that these drugs are too dangerous to prescribe routinely. And presumably the HSE agrees. I wouldn't go so far as to say US doctors are in the pockets of the drug companies, but it does look that way.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.