A DOCTANT warned against a "free and easy" approach to administering addictive analgesics because it became known that one out of every seven adults in South Essex is taking them.

Dr. Krishna Chaturverdi, who was a partner of Southbourne Grove Surgery in Westcliff for more than 30 years, insisted that the trend to spend heavy pills should cease.

He reported that public health figures showed that more than 60,000 adults – one in seven – were prescribed addictive opioid analgesics throughout South Essex last year – and one in six antidepressants.

The new report reported that 14 percent of people in Castle Point, 13 percent in Southend and 13 percent in Basildon had been prescribed the extra-strong painkillers.

Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptors to achieve morphine-like effects – and effectively relieve pain.

Dr. Chaturverdi, now a family doctor at the Shoebury Health Center, said: "Patients taking these medications are extremely at risk.

"To the best of my knowledge, most patients should become heavily dependent, get used to it, and do nothing good after a week of taking it.

"They become completely ineffective but have toxic side effects. They should not be given so freely and simply. "

He was confident that most doctors give the right advice.

He added, "They can be effective in the short term, but we are all aware that they should not be used for a long time.

"I think we need more regulations and alternatives. Physical therapy has come so far that we need to look at these options, not medical therapy. "

In the Clinical Commissioning Group of Basildon and Brentwood, 25,648 adults received at least one prescription for opioid analgesics in 2017/18. In Southend, there were 18,188, in Castle Point and Rochford 18,421 adults who took the highly addictive prescription drugs.

At Castle Point and Rochford, 25,017 people received antidepressant prescriptions between 2017 and 2017 – 18 percent of the adult population – compared to 17 percent in Basildon and Southend, which equaled 34,350 and 24,235, respectively. Health Minister Matt Hancock says the country is "in the crisis of over-medication".

Southend, a spokesperson for Southend, Castle Point and Rochford, NHS, said: "It is clear that collaboration between different parts of the healthcare system is needed to ensure that people who are prescribed opioids have adequate services and support stand.

"We need to understand better why more opioids are prescribed and make sure that support is available.

"Increasing public and physician awareness of alternative or complementary treatments, as well as the risks and benefits of medicines, is crucial."