The Health Minister is being urged to take action following an increase in codeine addiction in Ireland.
A senior doctor has written to Stephen Donnelly, warning of a 'secret codeine epidemic'.
According to CSO figures, over 30 people died from a dependency on the pain killer since 2017.
Addiction expert Dr Garrett McGovern says the opioid can cause severe health issues, especially when combined with other drugs.
"When patients take these kinds of medications regularly, particularly ibuprofen and codeine mixtures, they're exposed to the ibuprofen in large amounts.
"That can lead to kidney problems and ulceration or burst ulcers in the stomach.
"These can be perforated or bleed and that can cause significant problems for people."
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