These drugs are potent and highly addictive and withdrawal can be complicated, painful and traumatic. Successful and safe withdrawal from the prescribed dose can take up to eighteen months or more, and may be followed by a post-withdrawal syndrome. Many addicts are unable to withdraw without specialised help.
The Department of Health has for many years excluded this illness from treatment.
The National Treatment Agency (now Public Health England) which provides drug services for the Department of Health had no remit to provide tranquilliser withdrawal services until April 2013 and still does not provide appropriate treatment nationally.
GPs often do not have the time, training or expertise to deal with this problem.
After taking benzodiazepines for longer than two weeks DO NOT STOP ABRUPTLY STOP – gradual tapering is required.
A list of Voluntary Support is given below:
- BenzoBuddies Community Forum – Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Support.
- The Bridge Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Service based in Bradford, UK, to help individuals from the Bradford area to reduce and stop their use of prescribed benzodiazepines (including z drugs) Contact 01274 715 860, Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Angie.Warrington@bradford.nhs.uk
- Oldham Tranx, The Link Centre for Independent Living, 140 Union Street, Oldham OL1 1DZ, England, UK. Meets on Mondays from 11:00am – 1:00pm. Phone: 01457 876355 or email Barry Haslam.
- Bristol and District Tranquilliser Project, 88 Henleaze Road, Henleaze, Bristol, BS9 4JY. Telephone 0117 9500020 (Helpline) · Mon – Thurs 10am – 4pm (UK Time) · Email bristranx
- Belfast Health and Social Care Board: Tranquilliser Withdrawal Support. Contact David Mckeown.
- NECA (North East Council for Addiction), Bridge View House, 15 – 23 City Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 2AF · Tel: 0191 222 1262 · Fax: 0191 263 9908 · Email: email@example.com. Professor Heather Ashton is a member of the NECA Executive Committee.
- Reconnexion (formerly Tranx Australia). Australian site treating anxiety, panic, depression, benzodiazepine dependency.
- Tranx Services Incorporated, New Zealand, PO Box 68-701, Newton, Auckland, NZ. Telephone (09) 356-7305. Fax (09) 356-7315. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PATIENTS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY, Waikato Incorporated, 65 Tawa Street, Hamilton, New Zealand. Telephone (International): + 64 – 7 – 8435 837 . Contact: Anna de Jonge. Email: email@example.com.
- CITAp, the Council for Information on Tranquillisers Antidepressants and painkillers, founded by the late Pam Armstrong in the 1980s, sadly closed recently due to lack of funding, losing an invaluable national telephone help-line