Overdoses on opioid painkillers more than double in a decade

Number of hospital admissions in England rose to 11,660 last year as doctors say drugs are being prescribed too readily

The number of patients admitted to hospital for overdosing on powerful and potentially addictive opioid painkillers has more than doubled in a decade, with doctors saying it is the “very worrying” consequence of the drugs being prescribed too readily.

Data from NHS Digital shows an increase in people attending hospital with poisoning from prescription opioids such as codeine, morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl rising from 4,891 in 2005-06 to 11,660 last year in England.

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