Use of painkillers by adolescents on the increase / News / The Foreigner

Use of painkillers by adolescents on the increase. One out of four 15-16 year-olds takes pills daily or weekly. Pain-management seems to be getting more popular amongst young people. The number of painkillers taken by adolescents has risen sharply in the last eight years whilst generally-speaking, the use of other medications hasn’t. In other countries, increased availability of these pills has led to a rise in the number of poisonings.Lower threshold In 2003 the rules about only being able to offer painkillers in pharmacies were relaxed, meaning that pills could be sold in shops and petrol stations.

painkillers, pills, paracetamol, ibuprofen, youth, drugs, norwegian, institute, public, health, erik, pomp, pharmacist, sotra, bergen



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Use of painkillers by adolescents on the increase

Published on Thursday, 13th August, 2009 at 23:23 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

One out of four 15-16 year-olds takes pills daily or weekly.

Glass and packet of Paracetamol
Glass and packet of Paracetamol
Photo: Pelham Jones Mitchinson/Shutterstock


Pain-management seems to be getting more popular amongst young people. The number of painkillers taken by adolescents has risen sharply in the last eight years whilst generally-speaking, the use of other medications hasn’t. In other countries, increased availability of these pills has led to a rise in the number of poisonings.

Lower threshold

In 2003 the rules about only being able to offer painkillers in pharmacies were relaxed, meaning that pills could be sold in shops and petrol stations.

According to the latest periodical published by the Norwegian Medical Association (NMA), sales of the most commonly used prescription-free painkillers such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen almost doubled between 1990 and 2006.

“This has led to them developing more of a relaxed view about the use of pills, and made them turn to tablets more easily,” Erik Pomp, a pharmacist in Sotra outside Bergen tells The Foreigner.

But their increased availability is not the only reason for this; the Association also blames the parents. “Children’s attitudes to medicines are shaped by the parents. It’s important to be aware of this both as a doctor and a parent,” Jørgen G Bramness, a psychiatrist and researcher on medicinal epidemiology at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet) writes in a leading article for the NMA.

A study in pain

The statistics make painful reading. Out of 626 pupils in six different schools in Drammen, 50 percent of the boys and 71 percent of the girls said they had used painkillers regularly in the past month. Menstrual pain, headaches, and a stiff neck were the main reasons for girls popping pills, whilst it was headaches, back pain, and pain relating to sports injuries that sent the boys off to the medicine chest.

Overuse can cause, rather than solve pain-related problems too.

“What worries the experts is that if some individuals take approximately 15 pills per month, this can actually cause headaches, but nobody is quite sure of the reason for this,” says Pomp.

He does have a possible explanation as to why adolescents are more likely to break open the packets, though.

“Probably because the youths of today are not very good at coping with things anymore.”



Published on Thursday, 13th August, 2009 at 23:23 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: painkillers, pills, paracetamol, ibuprofen, youth, drugs, norwegian, institute, public, health, erik, pomp, pharmacist, sotra, bergen.





  
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