The above head line appeared in a May 3, 2007 article from the online BBC News. This article is an article based mostly upon a letter in the May 5, 2007 issue of the esteemed British Medical Journal (BMJ). The BBC article starts off with an ominous warning, "The risks of becoming addicted to over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are going unrecognized, doctors warn."
This kind of article raises many questions regarding a growing problem and the lack of research done in this area. Dr. Chris Ford, one of the writers of the BMJ paper starts off by noting, "The development of dependence on over the counter (OTC) drugs is often forgotten." He also notes in his letter the lack of significant research into this growing critical issue. Dr. Ford writes, "A Medline search found hardly any research into addiction to Over-the-counter medication dependancy in the UK. Numerous websites usually are, however, documenting cases of addiction and offering support to these people trying to withdraw from these drugs."
In the BBC article, Dr. Ford restated his concern that this growing problem is going undetected. He states, "But our anxiety is that it's a problem which is not being picked up by the public or physicians, and that we're merely seeing the tip of the iceberg." Dr. Ford continued, "But we have no idea how big the problem is because there has been no research to quantify it."
Several representatives of the drug companies who supply some of the OTC drugs questioned in the article state that these drugs come with warnings that if followed do not lead to addition.
The authors of the BMJ letter, Drs. Chris Ford and Beth Good are asking for more in-depth studies into this problem. In their paper they call for large scale research to assess and monitor the extent of the problem