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Unlike stimulants and other illicit drugs, over-the-counter pills aren’t illegal, which has led to many young people overdosing. Interpersonal relationships weakened due to the pandemic, and many people seem to have learned about OTC-drug overdoses while surfing the internet.

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Yoshito Kamijo, who heads Saitama Medical University’s clinical addiction center. Young women are increasingly abusing over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, according to a research group of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. Females accounted for 80% of 122 people taken to hospital in connection with OTC drugs between May 2021 and December 2022, based on the group’s statistics.

© Yomiuri Shimbun

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Really? What kind of OTC medicines are these people taking? Most Japanese OTC meds are so weak, they have far less the amount of medicine that medicine in the west has. One of the only fairly strong OTC medicine I know of SS Bron a cough medicine can only be purchased by asking a pharmacist for it.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

You cannot buy any decent painkillers OTC in Japan, as I know to my cost. Something anyone thinking of retiring to Japan might want to think long and hard about, as old age is often painful. You can overdose on anything (including vitamins) if you really want to. That's no reason to ban them (or impose restrictions on the net). Covid restrictions and the damage they wrought were enough to drive anyone to damaging behaviours. Offer more support for addictive behaviours - whatever the addiction is to. And end the stigma surrounding it. It's nowhere near as rare as you might think.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My hospital doctor wrote a script for strong painkillers. If needed they are not difficult to obtain. I mostly don't use them only if really needed.

The article fails to mention the names of the drugs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Really? What kind of OTC medicines are these people taking? Most Japanese OTC meds are so weak, they have far less the amount of medicine that medicine in the west has. One of the only fairly strong OTC medicine I know of SS Bron a cough medicine can only be purchased by asking a pharmacist for it.

Exactly! It's not like pharmacists are going to reject anyone, or ask for ID, for someone purchasing Bron. Mix it with a few Chu-Hi strongs, and you've got a night to "forget¨.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Really? What kind of OTC medicines are these people taking?

Most drugs can be very risky even if packaged on low doses, the reference to interpersonal problems indicates this is done on purpose, there is not that much difference in taking half a box of a drug that comes in high concentration and the full box of another that comes at half the concentration.

Women are also frequently of much lower weight, making any medication taken to end up having a much higher dose per kilogram, that could explain the much higher percentage of female patients overdosing.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Pseudoephedrine has been banned over the counter in Australia for a decade, so I'm surprised that pseudoephedrine analogs such as Paburon are so easily bought OTC in Japan. Especially considering Sudafed is prohibited, but when mixed with antihistamines and acetaminophen, it's everywhere. This last point increases liver-toxicity, so it's not surprising more harm is coming about. Not sure of the relevance of weak interpersonal relationships, websurfing and overdose comes in...bit of a weak connection there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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