Epidemic harms from (over)prescribed drugs

MP writes to Prime Minister Cameron

Steve Taylor – Ex National Treatment Agency Official – dismissed activists calling for more help for people with addictions as a “few noisy activists”.

Jim Dobbin MP in a letter to the Prime Minister expressed serious concerns regarding the lack of appropriate action by the Department of Health and the Minister for Public Health on this very issue; involuntary tranquilliser addiction.

The Member of Parliament said “There are only about six small withdrawal charities providing treatment for involuntary tranquilliser addiction struggling for funding due to the health reforms. Services are not patchy, as the Minister claims in her letter, but nearly non-existent. We know that the Minister’s statement that ‘treatment is available across the country’ is incorrect.”

He added: “Since the health reforms and localism have been introduced the situation is even worse. There is negligible local expertise and understanding about the scale of involuntary tranquilliser addiction and how to treat it, exacerbated further by the PHE commissioning guide, which is not fit for purpose for reasons already explained to the Minister and PHE”.

Addictions UK applauds this attempt to bring recovery to a significant and growing group of people suffering from the effects of over prescribed prescription drugs.

Simon Stephens, Director of Casework, said “Many of my colleagues support our deep concerns that addiction is not being taken seriously by some Authorities at the moment. I have seen a letter from a Public Authority saying that there was no evidence base showing that abstinence programmes are effective. I cannot further disagree with their point of view”. Simon added “I fear that we are returning to the old policies of harm minimisation in many parts of the country – the Government must continue the push to more Recovery-based solutions”

Addictions UK works with people with pathological dependence to alcohol and drugs – including addiction to prescription drugs and other “Process Addictions”. For further information on our addiction services contact us on 0300 330 30 40 or though our website . Addictions UK works throughout the United Kingdom and is able to offer medial home detox services

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