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Shep

Campaigners Marion Brown and Ann Kelly beg MSPs to tackle 'health scandal' of prescription pill harm

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Shep

Campaigners Marion Brown and Ann Kelly beg MSPs to tackle 'health scandal' of prescription pill harm

 

A great article from the Herald Scotland that gives a really honest accounting of psychiatric drug withdrawal. The Herald is going to re-run the article if there is enough reader feedback in the comments (you don't have to live in Scotland to comment).

 

Some key points made in the article:

 

  • Scottish mental health charity, SAMH, said its own research indicated that "around half of GPs" were unfamiliar with guidance that patients with mild to moderate depression should initially be offered therapy, self-help or physical activity instead of antidepressants.

 

  • Dr Des Spence, a Maryhill GP who has called for a public inquiry into pharmaceutical addiction describes it as "a disgrace, a scandal, and the biggest public health issue of our time".  He said patients were dying from unintentional overdoses and that he encountered patients "all the time" harmed by prescription drugs.

 

  •  Half of all suicides in Scotland between 2009 and 2015 involved individuals prescribed antidepressants in the 12 months to their death.

 

  • While some will have been depressed, many patients are prescribed the pills for other conditions - such as anxiety - and clinical trials have long highlighted that the risk of suicide spikes as patients undergo withdrawal.

 

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nz11

Good find Shep, thanks for posting. 

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nz11

Reading the replies was interesting.

 

Here is one of them:

Barry Haslam 

 
A massive thank you to Ann Kelly and Marion Brown and all those in Scotland fighting for public recognition for the harm and suffering and injustice caused by prescribed drugs of dependence. This medical disaster has been swept under the carpet by vested interests for decades and patients have been treated worse than lepers. There is no national directive to provide dedicated withdrawal services and after care facilities, no 24 hour helpline, no national statistics on the numbers of those dependent, who only ever took their meds as directed by their doctors, no research into the long term health implications of ingesting drugs that where only trialled for short term use. From 1976 to 1986 , then aged 32 to 42 I was prescribed a polypharmacy of benzodiazepines, antidepressants and pain killer drugs which resulted in me currently being left brain damaged, with brain atrophy, fluid on the brain, narrowing of ventricles, neuropathic pain all down my right leg, daily chronic headaches, thyroid and B12 deficiencies The worst though is a COMPLETE 10 year memory loss of my family and working life. Zilch. I was in a 10 year prescribed drug coma. No memories of my 2 lovely daughters aged 6 and 7. No memories of my lovely wife Sue. No memories of my working life..
 
Benzodiazepine drugs (tranquillisers ) have been described as " Worse than heroin to withdraw from" by Professor Malcolm Lader and by Professor C. Heather Ashton as " A medical disaster akin to Thalidomide". We now know that benzodiazepines are responsible for an increased risk of brain damage, an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease and an increased risk of lung cancer. In 2004 here in Oldham, Lancashire I was directly responsible for setting up the first NHS funded dedicated withdrawal service for those patients dependent on long term prescribed benzodiazepine drugs. ( at the time Oldham had 5,200 such patients ). This current service has now been extended for those dependent patients with problems concerning z drugs, SSRIs...antidepressa
nts and pain killers. We need this type of dedicated withdrawal services to be extended all over Great Britain and to be the norm and not the exception
.
 
A few years ago I met with Anne Milton MP, the then Public Health Minster who stated that " This issue has fallen through the cracks". Not only had it fallen through the cracks Minister, it had fallen down a massive government led crevice. At this meeting she asked the Public Health Minister for Oldham what had brought him into leading this Primary Care Trust initiative to fruition. Pointing his finger at me and smiling he said " It was because of Barry, he was a pain in the backside with his campaigning so we had to take action." So Ann and Marion and all Scottish campaigners, continue to be a "pain in the backside" of officialdom and continue to make your views known and heard, so that this national scandal is given the urgency, compassion and action it so very richly deserves. Thank you. Barry Haslam. Ex Chair of Oldham Tranx.

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Shep

Thanks very much for posting Barry Halsam's comment, NZ. When I found this article, he hadn't posted yet, so I'm very happy to see you quoting it here. 

 

Barry Haslam is an excellent writer on behalf of the withdrawal community. Think I'll link to his MiA articles, which are also excellent reads:

 

Mad in America - Barry Haslam's articles

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nz11

Ad wdl is worse than benzo see this excellent post from Vanora.

 

 

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