OTC Painkiller Addiction & Natural Alternatives


Generally, OTC painkillers are safe when they are used as prescribed and recommended. However, many people are unaware that they can be abused in the same way that illegal drugs often are. If you are looking to avoid potential dependency, we are here to help. We are here to offer expert advice, as well as a variety of natural alternatives to OTC painkillers, to help ease some of your discomfort associated with a variety of health concerns.


What might provoke an OTC painkiller addiction?


According to UK Addiction Treatment Centres, it is often assumed that prescription medications are less addictive than substances such as alcohol and illegal drugs. However, if the medications in question have psychoactive properties, this means that they have the potential to become addictive. In the UK, opiates such as Codeine, Morphine and Fentanyl are characterised as being some of the most common causes of OTC painkiller addiction. The NHS states that taking prescribed painkillers such as co-codamol can lead to dependency when they are taken over a longer period of time.

According to data collated by The Faculty of Pain Medicine, the misuse of prescription painkillers is more evenly-distributed across the general population than the use of illegal drugs. 5.4% of people in urban areas reported misusing painkillers, compared to 5.3% in rural areas, whilst 9.1% of people in urban areas reported using illegal drugs, compared to 6.5% in rural areas.


What are the risks of overusing OTC painkillers?


According to FRANK, most people who take codeine do not experience side effects, as long as they use it in the way that it was prescribed. However, increasing your dosage or taking illegal codeine, individually or alongside other substances, heightens the risk of negative side effects which can prove fatal, such as:


– Overdose
– Low blood pressure
– Breathing difficulties
– Worsening mental health
– Kidney or liver failure



natural alternatives to OTC painkillers

How can I identify an addiction to over the counter painkillers?


OTC painkiller addiction generally manifests in one of the following ways:


– Through a tendency to visit the doctors regularly, or to complain frequently about medical conditions that appear to justify drug use.
– A decreasing interest in personal appearance of school or career-related performance.
– Defensiveness in reference to prescription medication


If you, or someone you know, are struggling with relation to OTC painkiller addiction, we have included a list of resources below for further guidance and help if you need it.


– UK Addiction Treatment Centres

– NHS Getting Help for Drug Addiction

– NHS Drug Addiction Support Services

– Narcotics Anonymous Support Group

– DrugFAM – support helpline for those affected by someone else’s drug addiction


How we can help you choose natural alternatives to OTC painkillers


If you suffer with chronic pain, and are looking to substitute over the counter painkillers with a more natural alternative – we are here to help. We offer professional guidance and support, as well as a variety of safe, natural remedies to help you manage your pain without having to rely on high doses of painkillers.



natural alternatives to OTC painkillers



If your pain is getting in the way of your daily life, we offer portable pain relief in the form of NuroKor®. Our NuroKor® devices offer different modalities for targeted pain relief on-the-go. The flexibility of the device’s multiple functions allows you to tailor your relief to suit your individual needs.


Find out more about our NuroKor® pain management devices here.


CBD Products


Moreover, we also offer a range of CBD-based products to help soothe a multitude of ailments. CBD oil can be used if you are looking to take advantage of the broad therapeutic properties of cannabis, but without its psychoactive or mental state-altering effects. When used alongside pre-existing treatments or therapies, CBD oil has been known to enhance their effects. It can be used to ease discomfort associated with a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, nausea, epilepsy and anxiety. We would recommend that you come and see us in store for expert advice on how to tailor your use of natural remedies to complement any existing treatments.


More information surrounding CBD can be found within our recent blog post.





Whether you are struggling with OTC painkiller addiction, or are looking for alternative methods for easing your chronic pain, you should never feel embarrassed to reach out to friends, family or a medical professional.


Visit us to take back some control over your pain today.

This blog post was written on behalf of The Health Dispensary by Carla Moore from Pharmacy Mentor.

Categories: Health, Wellness