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Monday, 8 November 2010

Addictive tranx drugs recklessly over-prescribed long ago are linked to lasting brain damage

Yesterday's Independent on Sunday article informs us that the link between benzodiazepines and similar psychotropic drugs and brain shrinkage was made years 30 years ago and the Medical Research Council agreed in 1982 there should be large-scale studies done, but they were not done. I urge you to read the article.

The IoS tells us that Catherine Hopkins, the legal director of Action against Medical Accidents, has stated, "The failure to carry out research into the effect of benzodiazepines has exposed huge numbers of people to the risk of brain damage. This research urgently needs to be carried out, and if the results confirm the suspicions of the 1981 expert group, it could lead to one of the biggest group actions for damages against the Government and the MRC ever seen in the courts.""

I remember these extremely harmful, extremely addictive tranquilliser and hypnotic drugs - Valium, Librium, Mogadon, et al being prescribed with reckless abandon for all kinds of purported conditions. I remember people taking them in the 60s and 70s - taking them in good faith - and some of them becoming Zombie-like in consequence. Years later I took them myself (they were mainly prescribed to women, in a ghastly example of rampant medical sexism), along with amitriptyline, a dangerous anti-depressant, as the caring professions played a cruel game of pretending that my agonising toothache was 'really' Depression - still a favourite 'diagnosis'/insult used to cover up dental/medical negligence. Read my Mensa article on Cruelty, Clinical Negligence and the Abuse of Power in the NHS

It took me 8 months of monumentally difficult struggle to wean myself off the Mogadon, which is reportedly far more addictive than heroin. Some poor souls took these drugs while pregnant and have had to live with the corrosive guilt of irreparably damaging their babies while they were still in the womb. Many unfortunate victims are still addicted to tranquillisers today, decades after starting to take the drugs, and incredibly, doctors are still prescribing these drugs. I would strongly advise anyone to decline to take any of this pharmaceutical junk. It is far more likely to harm you than to help you.

The country should be grateful to Esther Rantzen, who on her programme, That's Life, fought to curb the terrible consequences of the medical profession's love affair with tranquillisers. Until she took up the matter, doctors, guided by profit-motivated, not-to-be-trusted drug company reps, were assuring patients who reported their dreadful symptoms of addiction that the drugs had not caused their symptoms and that they should continue to take them.

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