Action on Prescribed Drug Dependence (Scotland) has been established to campaign for recognition of the suffering experienced by patients who have unwittingly become dependent on prescribed medication such as sleeping pills, tranquillisers, antidepressants and painkillers. The medical profession is responsible for creating this problem. Dependent patients deserve appropriate NHS support during the withdrawal period which can be horrendous and prolonged, sometimes lasting for years.
The campaign is driven by Fiona French, Aberdeen, Marion Brown, psychotherapist and Ann Kelly, Recovery and Renewal, Helensburgh.
Fiona has spent 5.5 years, mostly in bed and has been left with brain damage after tapering off only 5 mg nitrazepam (3 months) as well as 150 mg effexor/venlafaxine (10 months). She is largely housebound and requires a walking frame or wheelchair outdoors. Nitrazepam and various antidepressants were prescribed for almost 40 years. Ann has also been left disabled after also tapering off the antidepressant, effexor, over many months. Our stories are detailed elsewhere in this website.
APDD aims to do the following:
(1) Raise public awareness of the issues involved by seeking publicity via newspapers, magazines, television and radio.
(2) Raise questions about the year-on-year increases of antidepressant prescribing in Scotland.
(2) Make contact with fellow sufferers and gather evidence of patient experiences of PDD.
(3) Lobby the Scottish government to take action to provide specialist support to those patients adversely affected by benzodiazepines, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs.
(4) To work in parallel with the ongoing campaign in England, particularly the All Party Parliamentary Group on PDD in the House of Commons. The APPG is calling for a national helpline, specialist support services and research into the long-term effects of these drugs. GPs also need to be better educated on the devastating effects of PDD. Surely patients in NHS Scotland deserve similar action.
This is not a support website. The links page provides details of online support groups.