How to really get involved and take action for World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day.
About Participating in
World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day
The concept for W-BAD is really quite simple. It’s a concerted effort of people coming together once a year on July 11th and raising awareness in whatever way they can. Check out the video below for some ideas.
Depending on where you are in your or your loved one’s recovery and level of functioning, iatrogenic benzodiazepine-related illness and disability can limit even the most determined activists – especially while experiencing a wave (a flare-up of symptoms). But, as listed above, there are a variety of ways you or your functional loved ones, can participate.
- Supply the pamphlets alongside a W-BAD fundraising event
- Host a W-BAD awareness event and bring your pamphlets with you to a simple picnic, in-person benzo withdrawal support group, pot-luck, sporting event, or other appropriate venues to talk about W-BAD
- Sponsor W-BAD during a sporting event, such as running a marathon, going on a hike, or walking for a cause
- Rallying outside Health Ministries or District Health Boards or Boards of Medicine (or see Japan example: making an appointment)
- Drop off pamphlets in public places and on bulletin boards where informative brochures and ads may be found (hospitals, in particular ones with detox facilities, can sometimes be a good place to start!)
- Ask businesses who seem receptive to W-BAD for their permission to set up a campaign station
- Getting state recognition in your state
- Take a stroll through your city or peaceful park or other public places. Talk with anyone who may be interested in hearing your story. Supply them with a pamphlet and/or brochure and encourage them to get involved too!
- Talk about W-BAD with a stranger, a friend or relative. Discuss the information on the pamphlets and effect Change Through Unity!
“High impact, low intensity” activities to help observe this day for those whose abilities are more limited:
- Liking/subscribing and/or sharing the W-BAD Facebook page, Twitter or YouTube
- Simply telling any one person when it’s World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day
- Spreading the word by including the W-BAD website link when posting comments in reply to related online articles or discussions about benzodiazepines.
- Posting something somewhere on the internet that isn’t usually associated with benzodiazepines (to reach those who wouldn’t otherwise know).
- Doing research on benzodiazepines and sharing what you’ve learned with others
- Sharing pamphlets (anywhere and everywhere).
- Wearing a W-BAD T-shirt / Sharing gifts from the W-BAD store (to bring awareness).
- Telling a medical worker when it’s World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day.
- Writing a letter (local MP, politician, medical worker etc).
- Giving a doctor a copy of The Ashton Manual or something similar.
- Writing to the media (local newspaper, local radio or TV station) explaining World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day and why “being aware” is so important.
- Making and putting up posters
- Making a video testimonial (please share them with W-BAD)
- Telling your story
- Blogging about benzodiazepines and World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day
- Liking and commenting on shared posts of #WORLDBENZODAY to open up a dialogue
- Sharing and liking other people’s videos, stories, testimonials, blogs, etc on social media (use the hashtag #WORLDBENZODAY on all of the social media platforms).
In contributing towards raising awareness for W-BAD in any way, you are being proactive!
Please share your activism on social media and set these posts to “public” and use the #WORLDBENZODAY hashtag for further reach.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Not everyone is comfortable publicly associating themselves with a medication that harmed them which just happens to also be a controlled substance. This inappropriate stigma could be one of the contributing factors to ignorance of the matter and a reluctance to speak openly about it. However, W-BAD seeks to clarify that most people who are injured by benzodiazepines are not addicts nor do they have substance use disorders. Addiction can occur alongside dependency, but treatment for that may entail addiction counseling treatment. In most cases of people injured by benzodiazepines, however, they just took a medication as prescribed—and it made them sick.
This day is primarily about:
- Education and awareness
- Providing victims a sense of purpose
- Commemorating Prof. Ashton’s research
- Validating the damage sustained by sufferers
- Acknowledging a medication-induced health condition
- Building a sense of camaraderie so sufferers, supporters and their loved ones do not feel alone
FOCAL POINTS OF OUR ACTIVISM EFFORTS
- The problem is with the mismanagement of the drugs (over / prolonged / poly – prescribing with no help for victims); not so much the drugs purely by themselves, which may benefit some people in some cases, when used for less than the recommended maximum of 2-4 weeks (Objectivity is more powerful than slander. Although there is, no doubt, understandable reasons for it).
- This is not a question of “drug abuse” or “misuse” (see addiction versus physical dependence). This is about reckless prescribing and decades of propaganda, incompetence, neglect, and failure to recognize the withdrawal syndrome and/or the resultant lingering damage to the brain and central nervous system, which can last years (protracted withdrawal syndrome).
- Trust in doctors and politicians has been shattered.
- Socioeconomic implications and impact on taxpayers (not just the sufferers): accidents, fatalities, suicides, aggressive behavior/assault, job loss, the cost of hospital admissions, etc.