Steve Arnott’s Painkiller Addiction Is The Line Of Duty Storyline We Need To Talk About

Line of Duty is back and episode one of season six has already left us with a list of burning questions and a new acronym to contend with.

While fans have been eagerly exchanging their theories on the latest potential “bent copper”, there’s a subplot emerging that deserves more of our attention: Steve Arnott’s painkiller addiction.

The detective sergeant was shown visiting two pharmacies back-to-back. The camera then panned to show what he’d bought, displaying over-the-counter ibuprofen, plus codeine. A later shot showed him at home, opening a cupboard stockpiled with the drugs, before washing down several tablets with a beer.

The short but stark scenes are part of a storyline that’s been carefully developed over three series. Longtime viewers will remember Steve was thrown down the stairs in season four, then began to rely on prescription painkillers to get through a day’s work in season five. Now, in season six, he’s showing signs of opioid addiction – a growing problem in the UK.

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