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Reporter: Marina Berry
Date online: 19 June 2012
Public Health Minister Anne Milton has visited Oldham on a fact-finding mission over the difficulties facing those addicted to prescription drugs.
She met Uppermill man and trip organiser Barry Haslam – one of the nation’s most vociferous campaigners on the issue – and sufferers.
Mr Haslam and addiction charity Addiction Dependency Solutions organised the meeting at Oldham’s Link Centre, attended by members of the support group Oldham Tranx, ADS chief Lady Rhona Bradley, and Oldham director of public health, Alan Higgins. The meeting was chaired by Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams.
ADS has been running a benzodiazepine withdrawal service in Oldham since 2004, and last year worked with 120 clients. The service is offered predominantly by 13 GP surgeries.
Mr Haslam said: “I am incredibly pleased with how the event went, and I hope we can build on this.”
Mrs Abrahams added: “The visit has highlighted the importance of raising the awareness of prescription drug dependency within Oldham and nationally and the importance of evidence based services such as the ADS benzodiazepine service.”