What does W-BAD stand for?
World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day (W-BAD)
What is W-BAD’s official motto?
“Change through unity”
What are W-BAD’s official logos?
W-BAD’s “Change Through Unity” symbol. The symbol highlights unifying everyone whose lives have been affected worldwide.
The W-BAD official logo.
What are W-BAD’s Objectives?
- To gain governmental and medical recognition that ‘medical-induced (iatrogenic) benzodiazepine physical dependence’ is a massive global problem that needs urgent addressing (these are innocent everyday people taking benzodiazepines as prescribed).
- To raise worldwide and public awareness about this decades-old problem that has been continuously swept under the carpet by global governments.
- To encourage the establishment of a mandatory maximum prescribing period of no more than 4 weeks of regular use (based on the UK Committee on Safety of Medicines’ 2-4 week prescribing guidelines), unless deemed absolutely necessary and accompanied by adequate informed consent about the risks of prolonged, repetitive exposure. (Note: Patients already taking these drugs long-term as prescribed due to repeat prescription shouldn’t be forced to stop if they don’t want to—see The Ashton Manual).
- To encourage the establishment of ‘specialized’ iatrogenic dependence and withdrawal facilities and/or 24-hour helplines for those who so desperately need them.
- To encourage the implementation of the much-needed, fully-funded research (e.g., as discussed by the BMA) to thoroughly investigate the long-term health implications of prescribed benzodiazepines and Z-drugs.
- To encourage the provision of proper training for doctors and medical staff and to help them learn more about the serious implications of benzodiazepines.
- To provide victims with a sense of purpose and the opportunity to unify, so that they aren’t left alone in the dark—as has been the case for much too long.
- To give recognition and a voice to those who haven’t survived and to those who have been abandoned or left alone to suffer.
- To commemorate Dr. Heather Ashton for all that she has contributed to the cause over so many decades (July 11th is her birthday). If you are campaigning, please honor W-BAD’s mission and objectives in your activism and awareness efforts.
What does W-BAD want to achieve?
In a nutshell…
- Patients to receive informed consent (be it via a black box warning or a signed form prior to prescription) about the risks and dangers of taking benzodiazepines (dependence, tolerance, withdrawal, adverse effects) before starting the drugs as well as the risks and dangers of combining benzodiazepines with certain other drugs.
- New patients to be given short-term prescriptions only (unless there is a proven medical need/exception, which should be the rare minority), which are limited to 2-4 weeks (4 weeks should include the tapering off time), as well as informed consent prior to prescription (including that even short-term use does not negate all risks).
- Existing physically dependent patients to not be forced to come off the drugs abruptly against their will or at a taper rate that is faster than their body can tolerate.
- Support made available in the form of slow, patient-controlled tapering for already-dependent patients who do wish to taper off.
- Medical students and other prescribers to be required to be better-educated about recommended benzodiazepine prescribing practices, tapering practices, and the signs and symptoms of benzodiazepine tolerance/toxicity/interdose withdrawal/physical dependence/withdrawal/protracted withdrawal syndrome.
The following video (2:43) briefly details the wants and needs, or what W-BAD is campaigning for, in regards to the changes that are so badly needed to remedy the iatrogenic benzodiazepine problem that has been allowed to persist for decades:
Click on CC for captions in English.