Geraldine Burns has been a pioneer in helping to spread awareness about the potential dangers of benzodiazepines. In 1999 she started the first Internet support group for people who were wishing to withdraw from tranquilizers or who were already off and having problems. This was the first group of its kind and, before it closed, it had close to 4,000 members internationally. The support group was started with the goal of offering 24 hour/7 days a week support to people who had been made ill by prescription medications; to allow for members to learn about symptoms of withdrawal, tapering methods, and non-drug methods of healing. She is dedicated to the responsible and informed prescribing and use of prescription drugs which have the potential to cause physical dependence and withdrawal syndromes.
She was instrumental in having Dr. C. Heather Ashton, Professor Emeritus from the University of Newcastle write her manual “Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdraw” also known as The Ashton Manual. This manual has now been translated into 11 other languages.
In 2006, she launched the website www.benzobookreview.com. BenzoBookReview.com was started after she was given the rights by eleven internationally known authors of books that had been written on the subject of tranquilizers, of which some were no longer being published. She worked to have some of them revised and updated so we could bring the most up-to-date information on tranquilizers and sleeping pills to the public.
She has done a number radio shows including Prescription Addiction Radio, The Frankie Boyer Show, Dr. Gloria Gilbere’s Your Health Matters Show, and Blog Talk Radio.
Currently, Geraldine is being filmed for the documentary-in-the-making As Prescribed, which is a documentary film project about benzodiazepine dependence and discontinuation syndromes.
On February 24, 2016, a bill was filed in Massachusetts which received the official bill number H.4062—’An Act Relative to Benzodiazepines and Non-Benzodiazepine Hypnotics’. She worked closely with Representative Paul McMurtry to have this first-of-its-kind bill filed in the United States. On April 4, 2016, she testified in support of the bill in front of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse. The bill ended up going to study.
On January 23, 2017 a second updated bill number H.3594—’An Act Relative to Benzodiazepines and Non-Benzodiazepines Hypnotics’—was filed and is scheduled to be heard on July 25, 2017. Geraldine will attend the hearing and present her testimony in support of the bill.
Geraldine has also been extended an invitation to sit on the panel at the first Benzodiazepine Symposium in Bend, Oregon this coming September.