The good news in advance: The Epidemiologische Suchtsurvey 2018 of the Therapeutic Research Institute shows that the opiocrisis did not develop as in the United States in this country. Still, the situation seems serious: according to the Survey, 17.5 percent of respondents – equivalent to nine million people – have taken prescription drugs in the last 30 days. The proportion of those taking OTC analgesics is about twice as high (31.5 percent, 16.2 million people). That means about 26 million people have taken painkillers in the last month – as many as 1.9 million daily. With fatal consequences.
Many people would not know, "that improper use of non-opioid over-the-counter non-opioid analgesics (starting at 15 days a month) may be a concern," Dr. Johannes Horlemann, Chairman of the SBS, in connection with the survey. The consequences can be medication-induced headache or addiction.
An estimated 1.6 million 18-64 year olds depend on painkillers. Women are more affected than men. The 12-month prevalence of analgesic addiction is about 3.1 percent in women and about 1.9 percent in men. The proportion of all psychiatric disorders caused by analgesics is estimated at 12 percent. "It's not common enough that over-the-counter opioid-containing drugs also lead to addiction and very often trigger or occur with psychological illnesses," Horlemann says.