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Report on drug use: Many Czechs use painkillers

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Prague, Dec 4 (CTK) – Almost one-fifth of Czechs used palliative drugs or painkillers last year, while each eighth person between 15 and 64 acquired the means without a medical prescription or in contradiction with the doctor’s recommendation, the annual report on drug use and other addictive substances for 2016 has said.

Women use sedatives, hypnotic drugs and analgesics more often than men, the report said.

Experts warn that people often do not realise that addiction may emerge due to the long-standing use of palliative drugs.

“The use of psychoactive drugs grows along with age. In young age groups, there is a dominance of opioid analgesics, in the age groups over 35 that of sedatives or insomnia drugs,” the report said.

The drugs against pain, convulsions, muscle fatigue and insomnia usually must be prescribed. However, some preparations can be bought in pharmacies without it.

Last year, psychoactive drugs were used by each eighth man and each fourth woman, in all by 17 percent of Czechs. Sedatives and hypnotic drugs were used by one-tenth of Czechs over 15, including 6 percent of men and 14 percent of women.

Opioid painkillers were taken by 8 percent of Czechs.

The survey showed that some 23 percent of those polled took some drug with a sedative or hypnotic effect or opioid painkillers.

Experts said the high proportion of young people between 15 and 34 was appalling. In this age group, each ninth person used the preparations without any recommendation last year.

Czechs also use marihuana to ease pain and alleviate their health problems. Last year, cannabis was used for medical purposes by roughly 880,000 Czechs in the 10.5 million Czech Republic. Its use is especially widespread among the elderly, the report said.

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