Media articles and documentaries on benzodiazepines. 1985 to the present day.

Articles in the media from 1985 to the present day

http://www.benzo.org.uk/media.htm

And personal accounts

http://www.benzo.org.uk/stories.htm

TV Documentaries

ITV, The Cook Report, 1988 – Ada vs Ativan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfflAZbh-V4&feature=youtu.be

BBC Brass Tacks, Dangers of Benzodiazepines, 1987, Parts 1 and 2.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2iZQ9tVSAU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWHKri71qaE&t=26s

BBC Panorama, 2001 – The Tranquiliser Trap

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2vhop3

Benzodiazepines linked to brain damage 30 years ago – Independent, 7 November 2010

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/drugs-linked-to-brain-damage-30-years-ago-2127504.html

The Benzodiazepine Medical Disaster, by Shane Kenny, former radio presenter, damaged by benzodiazepines.  Featuring Prof Sir Malcolm Vader and Prof Heather Ashton, leading UK experts on benzodiazepines.

https://vimeo.com/188181193

“As prescribed” by Holly Hardman

https://vimeo.com/153513444

Media articles

And more recent media exposure by some very brave individuals, willing to tell their stories to the press.

Neil Evans, Barbara Bell, Catherine Marshall and Jen Hider, driven to the brink of suicide, Daily Mail, 26 September 2017

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4919048/The-nurse-driven-brink-suicide-anti-depressants.html

Shane Kenny, driven to the brink of suicide, The Times, 9 October 2016

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tranquillisers-drove-me-to-the-brink-of-suicide-z23npq76r

Fiona French “The hell of my prescription drug withdrawal”  BBC News,

29 June 2017

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-40442178

Personal Account, Sonja Styblo, 11 May 2017

https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/05/informed-consent-benzodiazepines-personal-account/

An Open Letter: Ativan stole my only remission from terminal cancer. Lori Jean Heckenkamp, deceased.  published 5 June 2017

https://www.benzoinfo.com/single-post/2017/06/04/An-Open-Letter-Ativan-Stole-My-Only-Remission-From-Terminal-Cancer

Fiona French, prescribed benzodiazepines for 40 years, 3.5 years in bed due to withdrawal.  Daily Mail, 22 May 2017.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4531548/Betrayed-doctors-turned-DRUG-ADDICTS.html

Pamela Wilson robbed of 35 years of her life.   Daily Mail, 17 April 2017

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4419540/Painkillers-sore-neck-robbed-27-years.html

An Open Letter: Cardiologist and Cancer Survivor Speaks on the Dangers of Benzodiazepines  Dr Laura Huff, 15 October 2016

https://www.benzoinfo.com/single-post/2016/10/15/An-Open-Letter-Cardiologist-and-Cancer-Survivor-Speaks-Out-on-Dangers-of-Benzodiazepines-and-Her-Personal-Withdrawal-Story

Janet Waterton awarded £200,000 by her local NHS Trust, Claire Hanley attempted suicide more than once.  8 November 2016, Daily Mail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3915114/Why-250-000-lives-ruined-mother-s-little-helpers-Doctors-finally-admit-patients-hooked-tranquilisers.html

Clare Morgan. The Sunday Times, 2 October 2012

“These drugs took me to hell and back, and I lost everything, even my sanity.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/these-drugs-took-me-to-hell-and-back-and-i-lost-everything-even-my-sanity-l8lmkhxhn6l

Ray Nimmo, valium addict wins payout of £40,000 – landmark victory against GPs – The Guardian, 23 June 2002

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2002/jun/23/health.NHS

Independent article on professor in the employ of pharma.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/professor-who-wrote-coalition-health-policy-was-paid-by-drugs-firm-2325928.html

In 2015, the British Medical Association published a report after gathering evidence from many stakeholders including victims.  It requested that the Department of Health set up a UK-wide helpline and specialist services for prescribed drug dependence.  The devolved administrations were also approached.

https://www.bma.org.uk/collective-voice/policy-and-research/public-and-population-health/prescribed-drugs-dependence-and-withdrawal

The current All Party Parliamentary Group on Prescribed Drug Dependence supports the BMA’s call for appropriate services.

http://prescribeddrug.org

The BMA and APPG have formally requested a Health Select Committee inquiry.  We, the victims, wish to see a full-scale public inquiry similar to the Hillsborough Disaster.  It is unknown how many victims there are or have been due to benzodiazepines.  We are kept hidden, behind closed doors, and although we strive for justice, it is very difficult when the victims are unwell and unable to mount a strategic and successful campaign.

The UK Department of Health continues to argue that there is sufficient evidence of demand for such services.  Instead funds are concentrated on drug and alcohol addiction.  Surely this is a deliberate policy to divert attention from the irresponsible behaviour of our prescribing doctors.   We know that benzodiazepine withdrawal is much worse than heroin withdrawal.

News Report – Xanax – More Addictive Than Heroin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjpD41mMG8o&t=21s

When language is used to obscure the issue

Addiction and dependence are not synonymous.   Addiction services are totally inappropriate for patients dependent on prescription drugs.

http://w-bad.org/addiction-dependency/

https://www.benzoinfo.com/single-post/2017/01/27/Benzodiazepines-Why-the-term-addiction-must-go-The-term-addiction-is-pejorative-and-misleading-Iatrogenically-harmed-Not-addicted

And so research is now being conducted to satisfy the demands of the Department of Health.  Why is this necessary in 2017?  We, the victims, would contend there is ample evidence and if there isn’t why has no effort been made to gather it years ago?

Long-term benzodiazepine and Z-drugs use in the UK: a survey of general practice, James Davies, Todd C Rae, Luke Montagu

First reliable, evidence-based estimate of patients prescribed benzodiazepines for more than one year.   Why has it taken decades to even attempt to estimate the scale of the problem.

http://bjgp.org/content/67/662/e609

2017 Prescribed Drug Withdrawal Survey – Initial Findings

It was left to the sufferers to circulate this online survey in the support groups.  This is of course a very cheap way of conducting a research study.  No attempt was made to cast the net wider to GP surgeries, for example.  We suspect that the Department of Health is simply using delaying tactics by requesting that more evidence pf suffering be found.

http://cepuk.org/2017/09/20/2017-prescribed-drug-withdrawal-survey-initial-findings/

We are a group of very sick people.  Most of us have had our lives devastated by benzodiazepines.  Some of us have lost 40 years. Younger people are now suffering needlessly.   Our doctors ignore us, tell us our symptoms have nothing to do with the drugs.  They prescribe more drugs and make us even more sick.  It is a complete waste of human lives.  We are now driven to setting up petitions, contacting the media, telling our stories to the press and writing to the medical journals. Yet, the Department of Health continues to ignore us.

Petition to Health Select Committee, UK Government – Inquiry Needed.

https://www.change.org/p/health-select-committee-an-independent-inquiry-into-benzodiazepines

Petition to Scottish Parliament, Prescribed Drug Dependence.

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

Petition to National Assembly for Wales – Prescribed Drug Dependence and Support.

https://www.assembly.wales/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=1235

We hear very little from the medical community but some brave doctors are willing to speak out.  See e-letters for some victim responses.

Bad Medicine: The Medical Untouchables – GP, Dr Des Spence, Glasgow.

http://bjgp.org/content/67/661/363

Some academic research is now being published on patient’s experiences.

Stories of Hell and Healing: Internet Users’ Construction of Benzodiazepine Distress and Withdrawal. Fixsen & Ridge 2017

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1049732317728053?journalCode=qhra

And finally, it seems the new cover up is the labelling of patients with “Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms” and other misleading diagnostic labels, all with a psychiatric bias.  GPs are being encouraged to use such labels and to remain “agnostic about aetiology”, astonishing advice indeed.

Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms or Drug Side Effects /Withdrawal Symptoms?  GP View, 25 September 2017, Marion Brown  

Please also read comments to the article.

http://gpview.co.uk/update-managing-patients-with-medically-unexplained-symptoms/

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