Dr Denise O’Hagan and Dr Gillian Armstrong (QUB)
Rates of prescribing of drugs for anxiety and sleep problems are higher in Northern Ireland than other parts of the United Kingdom. This may be related to the higher burden of mental ill health among the NI population. The research presented in this seminar will highlight data from the Self Harm Registry in NI and the Republic of Ireland regarding the use of such medications in acts of self harm presenting to the Emergency Departments. It will also include the findings of systematic reviews looking at national prescribing rates and whether or not there is an association with suicidal behaviour. This presentation will be of interest to the Health sector in relation to prescribing policies, substance misuse policies and access to alternatives to drug therapy, such as self-help and psychological interventions to support people with problems related to anxiety and sleeping problems . It will also be of interest to the Criminal Justice sector in addressing access to and misuse of prescribed medication.