A study of over-the-counter codeine abuse and misuse in the Republic Of Ireland

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Authors
Tuckey, Roberta
Issue Date
2009
Degree
MA in Addiction Studies
Publisher
Dublin Business School
Rights
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Abstract
Even though codeine is a very widely used pain medication, the related problem of abuse and dependence of codeine have rarely been studied (Sproule, Busto, Somer, Romach & Sellers 1999). It is not uncommon for Opiates to be used to control pain, however it is now being used more and more as a recreational drug. A recent study conducted by University College Cork showed that 97% of pharmacists in Ireland believed that there was a misuse and abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) codeine products in their pharmacy (Dalton, Kennedy & Weedle 2009). A total of 649 surveys were emailed to pharmacists all over the Republic of Ireland, 31 replies were received. The questionnaire was to be completed anonymously and was emailed to community pharmacists in the Republic of Ireland. Interviews with addiction counsellors and specialists were carried out and case histories with individuals were also carried out. Attempts by the researcher and pharmacists to establish a type of abuser or misuser of over the counter was unsuccessful as there seems to be no definite abuser or misuser. A number of methods and procedures are reported of use in pharmacies, these include keeping the product out of sight or telling the customer that there was none of the requested medicine in stock.