Letter from Jim Dobbin, MP to Prime Minister David Cameron (24 June 2010)

House of Commons Portcullis

H O U S E   OF   C O M M O N S

APPGITA – All Party Parliamentary Group for
Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

June 24, 2010

The Prime Minister
The Right Honourable David Cameron MP
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister,

Thank you for your helpful response to my question on involuntary tranquilliser addiction at Prime Minister’s Questions. We hope now to pursue this issue with the relevant departments, the Department of Health and the Department of Work and Pensions. We have had a productive meeting with Anne Milton MP and hope to meet Lord Freud again in the near future.

I agree with both of the points that you made. Firstly we need to treat causes rather than symptoms in the National Health Service. In the case of tranquillisers that involves the use of talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy.

Regarding addiction I also agree that all addictions need to be tackled and with treatments designed to provide patients with the opportunity to be free of all drugs, prescribed and otherwise. For tranquilliser withdrawal we recommend as appropriate treatment the slow tapering method developed by Professor Heather Ashton in her clinic at Newcastle University. This method has been used safely and successfully around the world for twenty years.

Involuntary tranquilliser addiction is a unique illness in that it is created by the health service but not treated by the health service. The social cost of tranquilliser addiction is enormous, like all drug addictions it destroys marriages, jobs, homes and careers. Tranquilliser withdrawal services are extremely cost effective and I believe they will provide a real benefit for both the individual and the taxpayer.

Kind regards

Jim Dobbin MP

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