Every tenth person in Switzerland regularly takes medicine which can become addictive. According to conservative estimates, 60000 people are already addicted, and a further 170000 in serious danger of becoming addicted, to such medicines, mainly sleeping pills, painkillers and sedatives. Women are twice as likely as men to become addicted, especially in the second half of life. Because pills can be inconspicuously swallowed, abuse of these drugs passes unnoticed in society. Yet dependency on prescription medicines is, after tobacco and alcohol dependency, the third largest type of addiction.