Doctors in Ireland could face potential investigations if they are found to be over-prescribing the likes of benzodiazepines, z-drugs and Pregabalin for patients.
Benzodiazepines can be prescribed for short periods to help with sleeping problems, or to help with episodes of severe anxiety.
The Medical Council says they are not for long-term use and can be dangerous if a patient develops a dependency for them.
The Council says it will take disciplinary action against medical practitioners in relation to the over-prescribing of benzodiazepines, z-drugs and Pregabalin.
It has revealed that prescription rates of sedative drugs in Ireland is on par with the opioid prescription epidemic in the US.
President of the Medical Council, Dr Rita Doyle, says "It's a big problem, and it is definitely influencing social behaviour."
"Patients who become dependent... their whole life can fall apart, and they can become homeless. It's just a huge patient safety issue."