Article in Daily Mail exposing the medical profession of over-prescribing of Benzos and anti-depressants
This is why today the Mail is backing a plea to the Government issued by the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society and 16 other leading medical organisations and patient groups for a national 24-hour helpline for people innocently hooked on prescription drugs.
Even when it's done properly, withdrawal from benzodiazepines can take 'months or years', says the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Withdrawal should be done gradually, and only with proper support, adds Stephen Buckley, Mind's spokesperson on mental health problems and their treatments.
'We hear from lots of people who have been on antidepressants for a long time and want to come off them but with limited time and money and a huge number of patients to see, not every GP is set up to help,' he says.
Indeed, while some GPs are aware of side-effects and withdrawal effects, and understand, for example, the importance of slowly reducing the dose, 'others deny that the drugs can cause these problems, or insist on rapid tapers which can cause great harm to patients', according to a report on the helpline proposal presented to the Government last year.
GPs point to a lack of specialist services to which they can refer patients.