Tablets – Live Well Centre

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The use of tablets is on the rise in Middlesbrough. There are a wide variety of tablets, and they can be misused either when prescribed or when bought on the street.

Tablets can vary in strength, particularly when you’re buying them on the street, when you have no idea what the drug contains or how strong it is.

In Middlesbrough, deaths where tablets were a contributing factor are at the highest they’ve ever been, so it’s clear that the risk from misusing tablets is very high.

Types of tablets

These are the most commonly-used tablets in Middlesbrough. If you’re misusing drugs which have been prescribed to you, speak to your GP for help. If you’re buying tablets on the street and need help to stop or reduce the amount you’re taking, contact the integrated solutions team.


Pregabalin is used to treat epilepsy, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome, and generalized anxiety.

Withdrawal symptoms can occur even from short-term use, and include insomnia, headaches, nausea, anxiety, diarrhoea, flu-like symptoms, nervousness, major depression, pain, convulsions, excessive sweating, and dizziness.

Benzodiazepine (benzos)

Benzodiazepines like diazepam are drugs which lower brain activity. They are used to treat conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. They can cause tolerance (where you have to take more of the drug to produce the same effects) and physical dependence.

Withdrawal symptoms can occur even from short-term use, and can range from insomnia and anxiety to more serious symptoms like seizures and psychosis.


Zopiclone is a sedative, and is used to treat sleeping difficulties. After prolonged use, the body can become accustomed to the effects of zopiclone. If the dose is then reduced or stopped, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. These include a range of symptoms similar to benzodiazepine withdrawal.


Opiates like codeine and morphine are generally used to treat pain. Common side effects include vomiting, constipation, itchiness, light-headedness, and drowsiness. Serious side effects may include breathing difficulties, addiction, and death.

Withdrawal symptoms include craving the drug, runny nose, yawning, sweating, insomnia, weakness, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle spasms, chills, irritability, and pain.

Keeping you safe

Be aware of poly drug use. This means taking more than one substance at the same time. It can be very dangerous as combining multiple substances in your body may change or strengthen their effects. Don’t forget, tablets can also mix with drugs you’ve been prescribed by your GP. In Middlesbrough, 50% of drug-related deaths were poly drug related, and in those cases, tablets were involved in a large number of cases.

With drugs, the best way of keeping safe is to stop using them altogether. But we know that right now this could feel like an unachievable goal.

Any change is a good change, so why not start small and cut down gradually? For example, if you’re using every weekend, start by having one drug-free weekend every month. Then try limiting yourself to one weekend every month where you use, and then eventually stopping completely.

Remember, when it comes to drugs bought on the street, there is no ‘safe’ amount to take.

Supporting someone else

If you’re worried about a loved one or friend, check out the information in the supporting someone else section.

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