Quotes from World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day’s Inaugural Year (2016):
Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, and Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions, was quoted as saying (submitted by Kari Mawhood Senior Parliamentary Assistant to Debbie Abrahams Member of Parliament for Oldham East and Saddleworth):
I am pleased that World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day has been established to draw attention to this important issue. Increasing numbers of prescriptions for addictive, psychoactive drugs are being given to both adults and children, including benzodiazepines. While these drugs may help some people in the short term, there is growing evidence that long-term use leads to worse outcomes, and many patients report devastating persistent withdrawal and other negative effects.
Oldham is lucky to be home to committed campaigners, who have for many years have highlighted the appalling damage that over-prescribing and long-term use of benzodiazepines has had on many people.
As a result of their efforts, and in collaboration with our Director of Public Health, since 2005, Oldham has one of a handful of dedicated withdrawal facilities in this country—a service that I believe should be replicated nationwide. I hope World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day helps drive the campaign for improving services globally.
In a statement for the inaugural World Benzodiazepine Day on the 11th July 2016, the British Medical Association said:
Benzodiazepines can cause short and long term harm to patients when their prescription and withdrawal is not carefully managed. Not enough is known about the levels of dependence and withdrawal and the level of harm that is being caused. There is also too little research about the long term effects of these drugs.
Alan Higgins, Oldham Council Director of Public Health, was quoted as saying:
Oldham Council is pleased to support the first World Benzodiazepine Day. It is important we recognise the problems associated with the use of Benzodiazepines. As the commissioner of a service to help people withdraw from Benzodiazepine use, we are proud to support the continuation of work to raise awareness of the problems associated with the use of Benzodiazepines.