benzodiazepine drugs

Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 03:58 am
benzodiazepine drugs

"The biggest drug-addiction problem in the world doesn't involve heroin, cocaine or marijuana. In fact, it doesn't involve an illegal drug at all. The world's biggest drug-addiction problem is posed by a group of drugs, the benzodiazepines, which are widely prescribed by doctors and taken by countless millions of perfectly ordinary people around the world...

Drug-addiction experts claim that getting people off the benzodiazepines is more difficult than getting addicts off heroin. For several years now, pressure groups have been fighting to help addicted individuals break free from their pharmacological chains. However, the fight has been a forlorn one.

As fast as one individual breaks free from one of the benzodiazepines another patient, somewhere else becomes addicted. I believe that the main reason for this is that doctors are addicted to prescribing benzodiazepines just as much as patients are hooked on taking them.

I don't think that the problem can ever be solved by gentle persuasion or by trying to wean patients off these drugs. I think that the only genuine long-term solution is to be aware of these drugs and to avoid them like the plague.

The uses of the benzodiazepines are modest and relatively insignificant. We can do without them. I don't think that the benzodiazepine problem will be solved until patients around the world unite and make it clear that they are not prepared to accept prescriptions for these dangerous products."

"It is more difficult to withdraw people from benzodiazepines than it is from heroin".

It just seems that the dependency is so ingrained and the withdrawal symptoms you get are so intolerable that people have a great deal of problem coming off. The other aspect is that with heroin, usually the withdrawal is over within a week or so.

With benzodiazepines, a proportion of patients go on to long term withdrawal and they have very unpleasant symptoms for month after month, and I get letters from people saying you can go on for two years or more. Some of the tranquilliser groups can document people who still have symptoms ten years after stopping."

As a victim some 30 years on Benzodiazepines at last free thank God

Nearly every second person, epecially the old are victums of this much abused drug

From Alan.
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Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 09:07 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;122334 wrote:

The uses of the benzodiazepines are modest and relatively insignificant. We can do without them.
They are the primary drugs to stop seizures, especially status epilepticus (an intractable, life-threatening prolonged seizure). They are also the primary drugs to sedate patients for procedures, and thus allow sedation without the risks of general anesthesia. They are the most effective drugs at aborting panic attacks, they are treatments for anticholinergic poisoning, and they are lifesaving for alcohol and barbiturate withdrawal (and far more people die of alcohol withdrawal than from any complication of benzodiazepines).

So no, we cannot do without them. No way, no how.

However, generally I agree with you in that they can be quite risky when used on a regular basis, like to treat chronic anxiety symptoms, and they often have paradoxically "agitating" effects in the elderly.
Didymos Thomas
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 12:19 pm
I wish we could do without them. Seen too many ODs on that stuff, too many blackouts, too many young women molested and abused who never really know what happened, too many things to tell about.

But I guess that's just it with any drug: when used properly, it's great. When abused, it's dangerous. If we got rid of anything and everything that can be abused, we couldn't eat.
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 01:08 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;122445 wrote:
But I guess that's just it with any drug: when used properly, it's great. When abused, it's dangerous.
Indeed true. This argues for better research into the most effective and safest uses of this class of drugs, research into alternatives that are safer, and better regulation.

It decidedly does not argue for getting rid of them altogether -- Alan's statement that they have relatively insignificant utility is completely wrong.
Didymos Thomas
Reply Mon 25 Jan, 2010 03:37 pm
Oh, I wouldn't want to see them pulled altogether despite all the ugliness I've seen through their abuse. I'm only working from my extremely limited experience, but I have known a few people who really do benefit from these drugs.

As always, I'm a big fan of more research. And my guess is that this research is essentially continuous. But you'd know more about that.
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