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Vanora

A new petition started calling for action on prescription drugs like antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

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Vanora

A number of us have submitted a petition to the Scottish parliament asking that action be taken on PDD or Prescription Drug Dependence. The focus is on antidepressants and benzodiazepines. We ask that they acknowledge the harms these drugs are causing to many people like ourselves.

 

Read the petition below and please sign within the 4 week time limit. People from any country can leave their signature and comment. Thank you in advance and we really appreciate your support for our petition.

 

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651

 

 

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Vanora

Professor Peter Gotzsche has signed our petition.

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Vanora

Just an update. We had a final figure of 285 people sign our petition, thank you to all who signed. Including Professor Peter Gotzsche we also had Dr David Healy, Professor John Read, Dr James Davies and Dr Terry Lynch add their names. The petition will be debated by the petitions Committee on the 29th June at the Scottish Parliament. I will keep you posted. 

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Vanora

The committee meeting to discuss our petition - Prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal - will meet on the 29th June at approximately 9.45am. For anyone interested in following proceedings the link to the Parliament TV is:  http://www.scottishparliament.tv/Home/Index/cc33a648-0571-48fc-ac79-b26d264c950b 

 

Please ensure you are on the webpage for Committee Room 3.

 

For those not able to follow proceedings live the video recording is archived and usually published within a few hours on the Parliament TV website under 'archive' .

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powerback

hi Vanora good on ye and thanks from someone in absolute torture trying to get off these nasty  drugs and I see you were on the devil Effexor like myself ,this drug should be banned for new prescriptions .

PB 

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Vanora

Thanks PB. A lot of people have worked very hard to get this far. We have submissions from Prof. John Read, from a NHS Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Peter J Gordon who works within Scotland, and from The Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry. It's all good so far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the 29th June. I hope you manage to get off that poison Effexor, it definitely needs banning. Best of luck to you.   Vanora 

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bubble

I only so this thread now so couldn't sign. But just wanted to thank you for initiating this. We need to get this out! We are all either too busy surviving all the horrors of these drugs or don't want to be reminded of them once we get better.

 

But people have to know. Our experiences need to be validated. Thank you for keeping us updated on the progress of this initiative and best of luck in getting the word out!

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Vanora

Thank you bubble. I personally have struggled to find a doctor or psychiatrist who will accept that I have been put through hell because of withdrawal from psych drugs like antidepressants, apparently I should accept I have a mental condition that requires me to take antidepressants for life. Everyone involved in this petition is fed up with the ignorance and denial. We are trying to do our bit to educate our politicians and the wider public about this scandal. We are going to need all the luck we can get but I hope we can make a difference. I think they will find our stories hard to ignore.  

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Vanora

For any of you who missed the meeting of the petitions Committee on the 29th of June here is the link:  http://www.scottishparliament.tv/20170629_public_pets?in=00:38:40&out=01:02:17

 

The panel has decided to seek the responses of the Scottish Government, the British Medical Association, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Prescription Drug Dependence, as well as the Samaritans and the Scottish Association for Mental Health. Their responses will be published on petitions Committee website in 4-6 weeks. 

 

On the same day we had some publicity in the media - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-40442178

Fiona French was prescribed a benzodiazepine for myoclonic epilepsy 40 years ago and has been left seriously unwell since coming off her benzo in 2013. She was also prescribed antidepressants for the depression she suffered during those year as a result of the benzodiazepine. Fiona no longer has epilepsy and she no longer suffers depression.

 

We also had a piece written in today's Daily Mail (30th June, 2017). The paper has carried a number of articles recently on the issue of prescription drug dependence.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4650774/Prescriptions-antidepressants-DOUBLED.htm#reader-comments  

 

In the next parliamentary term we will have our chance to respond, hopefully the process will advance beyond this initial meeting and we will receive the recognition we deserve and fingers crossed a helpline and specialist website dedicated to helping people with prescription drug dependence to psych drugs like antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

 

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Vanora

For anyone following our petition you might like to know that over the summer we had further responses from the Scottish Government, the British Medical Association, the Samaritans, the Scottish Association for Mental Health and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Prescription Drug Dependence and we, Recovery and Renewal,  responded. You can see all these new written submissions here:  http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651

 

The Official Report of the first meeting is now available at the Parliament's website and can be accessed by following this link:  http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11051

 

The date for the next Committee reconsideration has not as yet been set but is likely to be in November. Watch this space!

Edited by Vanora
mistake made in link

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Vanora

 For anyone interested our petition is due for its second consideration by petition committee at the Scottish Parliament on the morning of the 7th December. I will post nearer to the date with further details.  

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powerback

Had a read through there vanora ,this article will bring great solace and validation to all of us that keep getting beaten down by the very broken and wrong system .

Brilliant thanks for the post .

PB

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Vanora

I'm glad you liked it PB. We battle for validation and this article goes a long way to redress that. Great isn't!  

Vanora. 

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Vanora

This morning our petition saw it's second petition committee consideration. I think we got quite a good response from the committee members. The Scottish government usually defends the rise in prescription rates in Scotland as evidence that more people are seeking helping for mental health problems and getting appropriate treatment but the convener questioned this argument. Newly released Scottish suicide statistics which shows a rise for the period 2009-2015 were added to the evidence, a new report published on the 14th November, 2017 indicating that, "Over half (59%) had at least one mental health drug prescription dispensed within 12 months of death. Over four out of five (82%) of these individuals were prescribed an antidepressant drug, alone or in combination with other medication..." was also duly noted. They acknowledged the Welsh petition on prescribed drug dependence that saw it's first consideration on the 5th of December.  

 

There was an earlier petition which the committee felt had considerable tie-in with our own. Annette McKenzie lost her 16 year old daughter to an overdose of Propanol, she had no idea that her daughter had been prescribed this drug and now wants to ensure that under-18s cannot be prescribed meds to treat mental health issues without parental consent.  

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-38680233#

 

Maureen Watt Minister for Mental Health in the Scottish government will be interviewed by the petitions committee early in 2018. Hopefully more positive things will follow.    

 

 

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Vanora

Sorry about the last minute nature of this but if any of you might feel able to write a few paragraphs to the Scottish parliamentary committee about your experiences whilst taking and withdrawing from antidepressants it would really help us out. Unfortunately, you only have until Monday morning, the 8th of January, to submit something. The most you can write is 3 sides of A4. I appreciate that not everyone will want to reveal their identity, you can ask to remain anonymous if you want to. All you need do is send your submission by email to Petitions@parliament.scot and include the reference PE01651 in the subject bar along with your name. Thank you in advance.  

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Vanora

I should have made it clear earlier that by asking to remain anonymous you are ensuring that only the committee members will see your submission and not the general public. 

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nz11

Do you have to be a Scottish resident to write a submission or can anyone world wide submit?

No doubt a Scottish resident would carry more weight.

So you still give your name but to keep it out of the public domain you say you want to remain anonymous right?

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Vanora

You don't have to be Scottish nz. I think it would help our cause very much to show that this is a world wide issue. And as to your final point, yes, just provide them with your name but tell them you wish to remain anonymous. Say it is for the committee only and not for general consumption. I hope you will consider submitting something, tell them just how bad it can get!

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Vanora

I've been asking about the anonymity part nz, just say that you don't want your submission uploaded to the parliament's website. That should do the trick.

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nz11

I owe you an apology Vanora.

I didn't do the submission.

I went to do it but couldn't see where you submit it. 

I am sorry. 

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Vanora

Don't worry about it nz, you had good intentions. We've been pretty inundated with loads more submissions so it's all good. People like Professor David Healy, Dr Terry Lynch and Baylissa Frederick have written some great things for us as well as the victims of prescribed drug dependence sending in their stories. Many have already been downloaded to the parliament's website, you can check them out. And there are many more to come.  🙂

 

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651

 

 

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nz11

Thanks Vanora

Wow what an tremendous response.

Thanks for the update.

yes I will check out some of the submissions. 

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Vanora

Important news flash nz, we have until Friday for more people to submit something to the petition's committee. Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name any doctors you've consulted. Remember and tell them you wish to remain anonymous. If you could write even a few paragraphs that would be great.

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Vanora

For anyone reading the above just to clear up any confusion I may have created the deadline has now definitely expired. If you submitted something I thank you very much. I our cause has been helped enormously by the large volume of recent submissions, the committee members can't say they haven't been well informed! 

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nz11

Done!!

Mission accomplished.

nz11

What...expired?...oh blow I just submitted it in this last half hour....I only just woke up!!

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Vanora

Thank you nz, I'm truly grateful for your efforts at this last minute. I thought your submission was excellent, it would be very bad luck indeed if they don't allow it. We will have to wait and see.

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nz11

Thanks Vanora.

We will just have to wait and see maybe they will email to say its not accepted I suppose.

Personally I cant see why they cant accept it even if its a day late. 

Thanks for all you are doing.

nz11

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Vanora

I thought you should hear some good news nz. I've heard that the petition clerks were still accepting submissions during the weekend. I've got not only my fingers crossed but my toes as well!!  🙂 Great quote by the way from Dr Mosher. 

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nz11

:)

Excellent news...sounds like I just made it in the door. Hooray !!

 

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Vanora

The public petitions committee meets on Thursday at 9am. There are two petitions under consideration and both have relevance for our campaign. The first concerns Annette McKenzie whose 16 year old daughter Britney Mazzoncini tragically died after an overdose of Propranolol prescribed for anxiety. Consideration of our petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence follows. The Scottish Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt, among others have been called for questions.

 

http://www.parliament.scot/S5_PublicPetitionsCommittee/Submissions 2017/18_January_2018_public.pdf    

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nz11
5 hours ago, Vanora said:

The public petitions committee meets on Thursday at 9am. There are two petitions under consideration and both have relevance for our campaign. The first concerns Annette McKenzie whose 16 year old daughter Britney Mazzoncini tragically died after an overdose of Propranolol prescribed for anxiety. Consideration of our petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence follows. The Scottish Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt, among others have been called for questions.

 

http://www.parliament.scot/S5_PublicPetitionsCommittee/Submissions 2017/18_January_2018_public.pdf    

 

Taken from the above link: [insert mine]

 

26. Fiona French contends that, whatever the age of a patient, “most … do not give informed consent when they are prescribed medication for mental health issues”, as doctors do not provide them with sufficient information about potential risks or adverse effects.

[That's because doctors don't have any info on risks ...how can they talk about something that doesn't exist!]

 

She considers that “the onus should most certainly not be on the patient to do extensive research” about any medication, and argues that—
“…even with the involvement of parents … it is likely that only partial information will be provided to the young adult. This leaves the patient at a considerable disadvantage and with little idea of the risks they are taking in agreeing to consume psychiatric drugs.”

 

[Excellent point but sadly I cant see this changing any time soon]


27. Ann Kelly considers how limited information about potential risks may affect a patient’s support network—
“What’s really sad also is that, because doctors habitually minimise the effect these drugs have on the mind, the friends and family of people in these situations may dismiss pleas for help as exaggeration.”


28. Alyne Duthie also refers to the trust that patients and families place in the medical profession—
“As patients, adult or child, we have to rely on the knowledge of our doctors to best guide us in decisions that may make the difference between good health or bad, life or death.”


29. She also considers that there is “an unprecedented medicalisation of childhood and teenage problems” and notes that in 2016 the World Health Organisation voiced its concerns after the findings of a study from 2005 to 2012 showed a 54% increase in the prescribing of anti-depressants to young people.

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Vanora

For anyone interested you can watch proceedings re our petition here. They don't actually get to ours until about 90 minutes in but the discussion about the first petition is of great interest to us to concerning the death of 16 year old Britney Mazzoncini by way of an overdose of the beta blocker Propranolol which was prescribed for anxiety.

 

https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/public-petitions-committee-january-18-2018

 

The members of our campaign group felt our concerns over the prescribing of drugs of dependence - antidepressants and benzos - weren't properly addressed by the Scottish Minister for Mental Health Maureen Watt or by Dr John Mitchell, psychiatric adviser to the Scottish Government. Personally, I think they were given a closer grilling on the first petition. Increased prescribing of antidepressants was seen as evidence of a successful strategy, of more people willing to seek help for mental health problems and an example of the reduction of stigma. We had the old arguments that they are only following evidence based guidelines (SIGN or Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network) which show that antidepressants work and that there is under treatment of depression. On withdrawal advice, patients should return to the original prescriber. Dr Mitchell expressed the view that antidepressant withdrawal is "mild and self limiting" and that the people who'd offered submissions to the parliament don't represent the norm!

 

We are all upset and disappointed by the ignorance displayed in the committee meeting today but this is not the end of the petition by any means. The committee will meet again to discuss our petition and we will have our arguments ready.   

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