Doctors defend benzodiazepines

This brief editorial is a statement to introduce a new working group on benzodiazepines, the International Task Force on Benzodiazepines, which comprises independent scientists, clinical researchers, and clinical psychopharmacologists. No references are included here as it would be beyond the scope and goal of this introduction, but a full review on benzodiazepines will be the topic of a number of papers and presentations in the near future.

Benzodiazepines have been with us since the dawn of modern psychopharmacology. Chlordiazepoxide, the first benzodiazepine, was discovered by Leo Sternbach in the late 1950s and was approved for use in the USA in 1960. Sternbach, a genial chemist, also discovered several other benzodiazepines, such as clonazepam, diazepam, flurazepam, flunitrazepam, and nitrazepam.

Benzodiazepines quickly became popular and widely used due to their versatility, tolerability, and ease of use. As they have anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, muscle relaxant, and sedative properties, they have been used widely and remain the most widely prescribed psychotropic medications among all medical specialties. Psychiatrists have been using benzodiazepines for the treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, and as adjunct therapy for many other indications since their discovery. The anxiolytic properties of benzodiazepines are still unsurpassed by other psychotropic medications, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics that are used in the treatment of anxiety disorders and anxiety symptoms in other mental disorders. Their adverse effect profile is relatively benign, with sedation and possible cognitive impairment being noted most frequently.

In spite of the unquestionable benefits of benzodiazepines and their popularity among physicians of various disciplines, we have witnessed a fairly negative campaign against benzodiazepines, which are often described as being readily abused (although their abuse liability is low and, if abuse occurs, it is in the context of other substance abuse). Interestingly, this campaign has intensified since the advent of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in the mid-1990s. The SSRIs, originally approved for the treatment of depressive disorders, were quickly approved for various anxiety disorders despite the lack of sufficient evidence (i.e., comparison to the existing efficacious anxiolytic drugs, benzodiazepines), and they are now promoted as the first-line treatment for these disorders. In addition, the scientific literature has gradually and surreptitiously been flooded with more and more articles on “negative” properties of benzodiazepines. While many of these publications have either not been based on good science or been frankly biased, they easily achieved a common goal that negative propaganda frequently reaches: they aroused suspicion of benzodiazepines and suggested difficulties in using them, while overlooking their benefits. An “illusion of truth” effect then occurred as frequently repeated negative information and half-truths gradually became the truth as benzodiazepines were given a “bad” name and their reputation was damaged, especially in some scientific circles. Even prescribing these drugs has become a cumbersome procedure around the world.

The International Task Force on Benzodiazepines, as a group of investigators and clinical psychopharmacologists with long-standing clinical and scientific expertise, has been concerned about this excessively negative trend. We feel that benzodiazepines have not been given proper attention during the last 2–3 decades, they have not been adequately compared to other psychotropic medications in various indications, and their risks and side effects have been overemphasized. Some of us feel that benzodiazepines have been the subject of an unspoken “commercial war.”

This Task Force will be working on presenting various psychiatric and medical audiences with information about benzodiazepines which is evidence based, balanced, unbiased, and clinically relevant and useful. We believe that our colleagues deserve such information as it will encourage our common goal of treating our patients effectively, properly, and safely. We hope to preserve benzodiazepines as a valuable part of our armamentarium.

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/489538

Kook petition for independent inquiry into benzodiazepines fails miserably

“The horrific life-destroying implications of benzodiazepines have been known about for decades and yet the medical profession remain largely in denial of the damage. The doctors are in denial not us. They conspired with Big Pharma to turn us into accidental addicts. Blah blah blah. The Department of Health, the BMA, and Parliament have a duty to give justice to those whose lives have been ruined. Blah blah. There must be an inquiry for the sake of future generations and for those undergoing the horrific consequences of this iatrogenically induced pandemic. Iatrogenic? Big word that means the doctors did it and we hate them. Pandemic? An epidemic of infectious disease that has spread throughout the world? Get a grip.”

https://www.change.org/p/health-select-committee-an-independent-inquiry-into-benzodiazepines

Even though it is a UK petition, signatures are being solicited, at secret online sites, not only from UK, but also from U.S. and Canadian, citizens. At last count they had 604 signatures. Their goal is 1000. One of the doctor-bashing groups claims to have over 1500 members but can’t even rouse a significant percentage of its members to sign the petition (they don’t have 1500 active members). Benzo Buddies claims 28,000 members but over 90% of the listed membership never posts, or has posted once, and ran from the site screaming (it is rumored Benzo Buddies even keeps deceased members on the membership rolls). If Benzo Buddies had that many members it would be very easy to get 5,000 of them to sign a petition that bashes doctors — some movement. It is as fake as their claims Big Pharma targeted them.

  • UK population 64 million
  • U.S. population 319 million
  • Canadian population 36 million

That is to say, out of a combined total population of 419 million only 604 people signed this garbage. What percentage is that? Pathetic is not even the right word to describe this.

Medication helps people live productive lives.

Kooks discover outside their tiny cult no one’s ever heard of Heather Ashton

Ashton's popularity
« on: February 08, 2017, 05:27:17 pm »

[Buddie]

I’m getting impression whenever I mention Dr Ashton / Ashton’s manual to GP’s or Psychiatrist no one of them seem to reflect. I feel like I’m mentioning name of some unknown shaman?

What’s your experience there?

Re: Ashton's popularity
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 05:33:00 pm »

[Buddie]

A lot of doctors in the US have never heard of Dr. Ashton. Some disregard her work simply because they “think” they know better. My doctor was receptive and was willing to use her taper plan for my withdrawal.

[…] 

Re: Ashton's popularity
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 05:35:54 pm »

[Buddie]

I am in the UK … and my psychiatrist had never heard of her. He also denied that my sxs were due to benzo withdrawal. He said something about there being no clinical trials …    on benzo withdrawal.

Re: Ashton's popularity
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 05:46:14 pm »

[Buddie]

So I’m in Ireland… same here.

In addition, the best thing I heard today from one psychiatrist is that my addiction at this stage is merely psychological .

Generally they are all aware Benzos are bad and they will be reluctant to prescribe it, but when it comes to Benzo addiction in their eyes it looks less significant.

Those two things are not in proportion…
I wish they are right though

W-BAD – World Benzo Awareness Day

“It was even suggested that Valium should be added, like fluoride, to the drinking water. Together people would be blessed both with tranquility and strong teeth.” – Prof. Heather Ashton, December 2011

W-BAD – July 11th (Ashton’s birthday)

The date was designated (by whom?) in recognition of Ashton’s contributions to the anti-psychiatry / anti-doctor / conspiracy theory cause over so many decades – together with all of the help (encouraging them to waste years, sometimes decades, of their lives on useless tapers) she has given to so many people around the world. She treated less than 400 people but what the hell…

Participation can be as simple as:

  • Telling any one person that July 11 is World Benzo Awareness Day (could be yourself if agoraphobic)
  • Suing your doctor
  • Sharing something on the Internet (the one activity the kooks are able to do no matter how bad their wave is)
  • Donating $1000 dollars, or more, to Scientology or its front group CCHR
  • Attacking a psychiatrist (or other doctor), nurse, office receptionist, family member of Big Pharma employee, total stranger, etc.
  • Putting a pamphlet in someone’s letter box, handing one out, leaving one on a bus seat or something…

Avoid words like:

  • Addiction
  • Addicts, users, abusers, etc.
  • Misuse, abuse, use, etc.
  • Benzos (even this abbreviation has been bastardized in some media so need to be careful – BZ / BZD / BDZ are acceptable medical abbreviations)
  • Hail Xenu

Benzo Buddies members threaten to murder Big Pharma exec

Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« on: January 23, 2016, 06:13:51 pm »

[Buddie]

I can’t believe it…..at 10.30 nearly a fight in US. 

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2016, 06:30:04 pm »

[Buddie]

Best video ever…..[…] got it from ITV London.

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2016, 06:41:10 pm »

[Buddie]

Effing bastards….I can’t get over it, so angry

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2016, 07:05:33 pm »

[Buddie]

I am very angry too. I am so pleased that ITV has unearthed it from their archives.

I wish we could have a really good up-to-date documentary on this subject.

Have sent the video to various politicians, journalists etc in Scotland.

[…] 

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2016, 07:11:22 pm »

[Buddie]

Quote from: [Buddie] on January 23, 2016, 07:05:33 pm
I am very angry too. I am so pleased that ITV has unearthed it from their archives.

I wish we could have a really good up-to-date documentary on this subject.

Have sent the video to various politicians, journalists etc in Scotland.

[…] 

Good find […]…..I’m still in shock about the golf course scene….
unbelievable, they should have called the cops.

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2016, 07:25:11 pm »

[Buddie]

UNBELIEVABLE!! This being uncovered in 1988………..freaking 28 yrs ago!! What a pompous arrogant prick that chairman of Wyeth was. Typical 

This just solidifies my suspicions and hatred of Ativan. Watching the vid brought back VERY vivid reminders of the horrible acute stage my wife went through after being directly crossed over to V from Ativan………….pure and absolute HELL!!!!

Thank you […] for this

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2016, 07:34:40 pm »

[Buddie]

Bunch of gangstas like I’ve always said…..at the golf course ?
Bagger off whilst you still have a chance…..thats underworld slang.

Give me a fucking break please…..I can’t believe it.         

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2016, 07:57:17 pm »

[Buddie]

Unbelievable… infiuriating … depressing… this was made in 1988, so it was already known how dangerous and addictive Ativan was then, and here we are in 2016 and doctors are still prescribing it and people are still getting addicted to it. Big pharma wins, and we all lose.

Watching this I wanted to be on that golf course – I’d shove that a**hole executive’s golf club up his f***ing a**.

Sorry about the language, but that scene made me so angry..

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2016, 08:02:32 pm »

[Buddie]

I think we would all like to do that but I expect he’s dead now!!!!

  

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2016, 08:05:49 pm »

[Buddie]

Quote from: [Buddie] on January 23, 2016, 07:57:17 pm
Unbelievable… infiuriating … depressing… this was made in 1988, so it was already known how dangerous and addictive Ativan was then, and here we are in 2016 and doctors are still prescribing it and people are still getting addicted to it. Big pharma wins, and we all lose. Watching this I wanted to be on that golf course – I’d shove that a**hole executive’s golf club up his f***ing a**. Sorry about the language, but that scene made me so angry…

Yep , overhere they are prescribing Ativan like smarties….its criminal,
what a corrupted system….its so so crazy thats why nobody believes it….

Wish I was on that golf course with […]….no on second thoughts
rather with Mr. Glock….. 

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2016, 08:48:57 pm »

[Buddie]

Makes me wanna puke……….

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2016, 10:54:51 pm »

[Buddie]

Quote from: [Buddie] on January 23, 2016, 07:11:22 pm
Quote from: [Buddie] on January 23, 2016, 07:05:33 pm
I am very angry too. I am so pleased that ITV has unearthed it from their archives.

I wish we could have a really good up-to-date documentary on this subject.

Have sent the video to various politicians, journalists etc in Scotland.

[…] 

Good find […]…..I’m still in shock about the golf course scene….
unbelievable, they should have called the cops.

That was an amazing video. Thank you so much for posting. As someone who did a cold turkey withdrawal from a large dose of Ativan this was really troubling, and boy that golf course scene…unbelievable to say the least. Well worth watching.

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2016, 04:14:29 am »

[Buddie]

28 YEARS LATER AND NO CHANGE WHATSOEVER – EVEN MORE PRESCRIPTIONS FOR ATIVAN ISSUED.

There is no justice when it comes to these very harmful drugs. Really sad, such a travesty.

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2016, 05:06:28 am »

[Buddie]

Unbelievable…but then again, it is all about money isn’t it.

It was far more important at the time, that he finish his golf game, then get right quick to cocktail hour in his mansion, than to honestly address the issues of hurting people, taking his toxic drug!

There really are no words for how sick it all is.  A few months back, there was no way I could have even watched this, because I was Ava. I cried just watching this old vid, because I knew that pain, I knew that anxiety and fear that made you feel you would lose your mind at any moment. It’s a flat out miracle that I got off that shit and survived that CT, just like many of you have and your all amazing!
That wd was inhumane and I thank God everyday for pulling me thru that terror. I am ashamed that mankind is willing to put money above human lives…its horrific.

Unbelievable to me that I am a year free now. Its like the first year is survival and realizing as you come out of it more and more, you survived, didn’t die and your brain and body are going to be ok once again. The second year, then becomes rebuilding your life. I’m still coping with, what THE HELL was that I just endured for the last year!

I had the opportunity today to share my story with some very close business associates and they all were either crying, or in total shock over such things going on. I feel somehow, someway, I will do what I can and when I can, to spread the news of this poison.

Ativan=Hell

Thank you or sharing this video, it validated me and also made me very angry and wanting to continue making a difference somehow with the knowledge I now have after this experience. My life will surely never be the same.


magic

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2016, 05:31:40 pm »

[Buddie]

I feel that you’re right, […]. There’s more and more talk about putting limits on sugary foods, more interest in the environment and climate change, more avenues for change in terms of health and well-being overall. The fact that just recently the NFL has finally, finally gotten a clue about concussions is good news (and the NFL has been in existence since the 1920s!). No more cigarette ads on TV. One day soon I hope to see drug commercials banned as well.

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2016, 06:05:44 pm »

[Buddie]

They cold turkeys her for two weeks n then sent her home to suffer there. Disgusting

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2016, 06:47:08 pm »

[Buddie]

I am in tears…
I cannot believe this. Absolutely criminal and inhumane.

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2016, 12:40:05 am »

[Buddie]

I feel so horrible for this lady. I’ve never taken Ativan and so glad I haven’t. I know all benzos are terrible but I’ve always thought Ativan was the worst. One can become addicted to it faster than other benzos.

Put that company’s president out of his misery.

Some people are born w/o a conscious. He is one of them. And that golf course scene? 
[…]

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2016, 01:32:42 am »

[Buddie]

I wonder if she ever managed to withdraw. Don’t suppose we will ever know now.

[…]  

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2016, 05:43:44 am »

[Buddie]

Remember this video was made in 1988 before anyone knew how to properly get off benzos. Dr Ashton’s groundbreaking work came later. Watching this video made me appreciate the incredible value of Ashton’s brilliant and wonderful work. We now know about tapering. In 1988 they had no clue.

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2016, 05:54:45 am »

[Buddie]

Quote from: [Buddie] on January 25, 2016, 05:43:44 am
Remember this video was made in 1988 before anyone knew how to properly get off benzos. Dr Ashton’s groundbreaking work came later. Watching this video made me appreciate the incredible value of Ashton’s brilliant and wonderful work. We now know about tapering. In 1988 they had no clue.

Unbelievable isn’t it ? Now I realize what an effort it must have been for
Ashton to complete her manual, bless the old Lady.

Re: Watch this video about Ativan....unbelievable !
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2016, 02:58:58 pm »

[Buddie]

Quote from: [Buddie] on January 25, 2016, 01:32:42 am
I wonder if she ever managed to withdraw. Don’t suppose we will ever know now.

[…]  

Yes, I wondered this as well. Is she still alive? Did she successfully get off this crap?
Who is she, and her age. I’ll assume she would be in her 80’s now if still alive. Poor woman

Defending science-based medicine: 44 doctor-bashing arguments (and their rebuttals)

Supporters of alternative medicine and purveyors of quack remedies love to criticize conventional medicine and science. They keep repeating the same tired arguments that are easily rebutted. This handy guide will help skeptics answer common criticisms from doctor-bashers.

Read more: http://www.csicop.org/si/show/defending_science-based_medicine_44_doctor-bashing_arguments_and_rebuttals

Benzo Buddies member calls site a mind fuck, warns people to flee

gini.roe says:
August 27, 2014

I was going to a Dr. that wanted to do a fast taper, it did not work out, it was horrible. Found a Dr. to do a slow taper, which I have not started yet, due to finding Benzo Buddies….it has scared the hell out of me! Now I have more anxiety than ever (I have anxiety disorder anyway). I wish I had never found BB, it is very detrimental. I also got so tired of reading the posts of people going through severe depression and other members telling them it’s a normal part of withdrawal, and to not take antidepressants as they are “poison”. The members should not be allowed to give out medical advice. For some people an antidepressant could very well save their life.

I’m going to now have to try to get through my taper wondering if I’ll become one of the ones that going into “paradoxical”, “inter-dose withdrawal” or “tolerance withdrawal” and be stuck in a living hell with no way out.

I wish I had never found that damn site. Those terms that they use are now branded into my brain…. I feel mind f**cked! I wasn’t scared of tapering/withdrawal until I found that place!

Please, if you read this, and have found or find Benzo Buddies, stay away! I wish I had!

IN PRAISE OF VALIUM

  • Valium much less sedating than its predecessors Miltown or Librium (Before Valium came along, millions of Americans begged their doctors for Miltown prescriptions. By 1957, a prescription for Miltown was filled an average of every second in the U.S. Suburbs became the site for Miltown parties, cocktails were named for the pill – a Miltown replaced the olive in a Miltini – and high-end jewelers designed rings with compartments to hold the “tranks.” In 1960, Swiss drug maker Hoffmann-La Roche unveiled Librium, less sedating than Miltown but just as calming. In one famous experiment, the bitter-tasting drug tamed lions and tigers at the San Diego Zoo.)
  • By the end of the 1960s, Valium was the top-selling psychotropic drug in the United States
  • Valium quickly surpassed Miltown and Librium
  • Among Valium’s biggest selling points: no bitter taste, and it was nearly impossible to overdose on (In one widely reported instance that came much later, a Reagan administration official tried to kill himself with a heavy dose of Valium but failed.)
  • In the 1970s, Valium became the most widely prescribed drug of any kind
  • Valium was everywhere: Mike Brady popped a couple on the television show “The Brady Bunch,” and the Rolling Stones composed an ode to the drug, dubbing it “Mother’s Little Helper”
  • Ten of millions of people with anxiety disorders have been able to lead normal lives due to Valium
  • Dr. Leo Sternbach a medical hero who deserves posthumous Nobel Prize in Medicine
Diazepam

Diazepam /daɪˈæzɨpæm/, first marketed as Valium /ˈvæliəm/ by Hoffmann-La Roche, is a benzodiazepine drug.

It is commonly used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, seizures (including status epilepticus), muscle spasms (such as in tetanus cases), restless legs syndrome, alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal, opiate withdrawal syndrome and Ménière’s disease. It may also be used before certain medical procedures (such as endoscopies) to reduce tension and anxiety, and in some surgical procedures to induce amnesia.

It possesses anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant, and amnestic properties. The pharmacological action of diazepam enhances the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA by binding to the benzodiazepine site on the GABAA receptor (via the constituent chlorine atom) leading to central nervous system depression.

Adverse effects of diazepam include anterograde amnesia (especially at higher doses) and sedation, as well as paradoxical effects such as excitement, rage or worsening of seizures in epileptics. Benzodiazepines also can cause or worsen depression. Long-term effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam include tolerance, benzodiazepine dependence and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome upon dose reduction. After cessation of benzodiazepines, cognitive deficits may persist for at least six months and it was suggested that longer than six months may be needed for recovery from some deficits. Diazepam also has physical dependence potential and can cause serious problems of physical dependence with long term use. Compared to other benzodiazepines, though, physical withdrawal from diazepam following long term use is usually far more mild due to its long elimination half-life. Diazepam is the drug of choice for treating benzodiazepine dependence, with its low potency, long duration of action and the availability of low-dose tablets making it ideal for gradual dose reduction and the circumvention of withdrawal symptoms.

Advantages of diazepam are a rapid onset of action and high efficacy rates, which is important for managing acute seizures, anxiety attacks and panic attacks; benzodiazepines also have a relatively low toxicity in overdose. Diazepam is a core medicine in the World Health Organization’s Essential Drugs List, which list minimum medical needs for a basic health care system. Diazepam, first synthesized by Leo Sternbach,  is used to treat a wide range of conditions, and has been one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world since its launch in 1963.

Medical uses

Diazepam is mainly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. It is also used as a premedication for inducing sedation, anxiolysis or amnesia before certain medical procedures (e.g., endoscopy).

Intravenous diazepam or lorazepam are first line treatments for status epilepticus; However, lorazepam has advantages over diazepam, including a higher rate of terminating seizures and a more prolonged anticonvulsant effect. Diazepam is rarely used for the long-term treatment of epilepsy because tolerance to its anticonvulsant effects usually develops within six to 12 months of treatment, effectively rendering it useless for that purpose. Diazepam is used for the emergency treatment of eclampsia, when IV magnesium sulfate and blood pressure control measures have failed. Benzodiazepines do not have any pain-relieving properties themselves, and are generally recommended to avoid in individuals with pain.  However, benzodiazepines such as diazepam can be used for their muscle-relaxant properties to alleviate pain caused by muscle spasms and various dystonias, including blepharospasm. Tolerance often develops to the muscle relaxant effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam. Baclofen or tizanidine is sometimes used as an alternative to diazepam.

The anticonvulsant effects of diazepam can help in the treatment of seizures due to a drug overdose or chemical toxicity as a result of exposure to sarin, VX, soman (or other organophosphate poisons; See #CANA), lindane, chloroquine, physostigmine, or pyrethroids Diazepam is sometimes used intermittently for the prophylaxis of febrile seizures caused by high fever in children and neonates under five years of age.  Long-term use of diazepam for the management of epilepsy is not recommended; however, a subgroup individuals with treatment resistant epilepsy benefit from long-term benzodiazepines and for such individuals clorazepate has been recommended due to its slower onset of tolerance to the anticonvulsant effects.

Diazepam has a broad spectrum of indications (most of which are off-label), including:

  • Treatment of neurovegetative symptoms associated with vertigo
  • Treatment of the symptoms of alcohol, opiate and benzodiazepine withdrawal
  • Short-term treatment of insomnia
  • Treatment of tetanus, together with other measures of intensive treatment
  • Adjunctive treatment of spastic muscular paresis (paraplegia/tetraplegia) caused by cerebral or spinal cord conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injury (long-term treatment is coupled with other rehabilitative measures)
  • Palliative treatment of stiff person syndrome
  • Pre- or postoperative sedation, anxiolysis and/or amnesia (e.g., before endoscopic or surgical procedures)
  • Treatment of complications with a hallucinogen crisis and stimulant overdoses and psychosis, such as LSD, cocaine, or methamphetamine.
  • Prophylactic treatment of oxygen toxicity during hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Dosages should be determined on an individual basis, depending upon the condition being treated, severity of symptoms, patient body weight, and any comorbid conditions the patient may have.[13]

Availability

Diazepam is marketed in over 500 brands throughout the world. It is supplied in oral, injectable, inhalation and rectal forms.

The United States military employs a specialized diazepam preparation known as CANA (Convulsive Antidote, Nerve Agent), which contains diazepam. One CANA kit is typically issued to service members, along with three Mark I NAAK kits, when operating in circumstances where chemical weapons in the form of nerve agents are considered a potential hazard. Both of these kits deliver drugs using autoinjectors. They are intended for use in “buddy aid” or “self aid” administration of the drugs in the field prior to decontamination and delivery of the patient to definitive medical care.

History

Diazepam was the second benzodiazepine invented by Dr. Leo Sternbach of Hoffmann-La Roche at the company’s Nutley, New Jersey, facility following chlordiazepoxide (Librium), which was approved for use in 1960. Released in 1963 as an improved version of Librium, diazepam became incredibly popular, helping Roche to become a pharmaceutical industry giant. It is 2.5 times more potent than its predecessor, which it quickly surpassed in terms of sales. After this initial success, other pharmaceutical companies began to introduce other benzodiazepine derivatives.

The benzodiazepines gained popularity among medical professionals as an improvement upon barbiturates, which have a comparatively narrow therapeutic index, and are far more sedating at therapeutic doses. The benzodiazepines are also far less dangerous; death rarely results from diazepam overdose, except in cases where it is consumed with large amounts of other depressants (such as alcohol or other sedatives). Benzodiazepine drugs such as diazepam initially had widespread public support, but with time the view changed to one of growing criticism and calls for restrictions on their prescription.

Diazepam was the top-selling pharmaceutical in the United States from 1969 to 1982, with peak sales in 1978 2.3 billion tablets. Diazepam, along with oxazepam, nitrazepam and temazepam, represents 82% of the benzodiazepine market in Australia. While psychiatrists continue to prescribe diazepam for the short-term relief of anxiety, neurology has taken the lead in prescribing diazepam for the palliative treatment of certain types of epilepsy and spastic activity, for example, forms of paresis. It is also the first line of defense for a rare disorder called stiff-person syndrome. In recent years, the public perception of benzodiazepines has become increasingly negative.

Recreational use

Diazepam is a drug of potential abuse and can cause serious problems of addiction and as a result is scheduled. Urgent action by national governments has been recommended to improve prescribing patterns of benzodiazepines such as diazepam. A single dose of diazepam modulates the dopamine system in similar ways to how morphine and alcohol modulate the dopaminergic pathways. Between 50 and 64% of rats will self administer diazepam. Benzodiazepines including diazepam in animal studies have been shown to increase reward-seeking behaviours by increasing impulsivity, which may suggest an increased risk of addictive behavioural patterns with usage of diazepam or other benzodiazepines. In addition, diazepam has been shown to be able to substitute for the behavioural effects of barbiturates in a primate study.  Diazepam has been found as an adulterant in heroin.

Diazepam drug misuse can occur either through recreational misuse where the drug is taken to achieve a high or when the drug is continued long term against medical advice.

Sometimes, it is used by stimulant users to “come down” and sleep and to help control the urge to binge.

A large-scale, nationwide study conducted by SAMHSA found benzodiazepines in the USA are the most frequently abused pharmaceutical, with 35% of drug-related visits to the emergency department involving benzodiazepines.

They are more commonly abused than opiate pharmaceuticals, which accounted for 32% of visits to the emergency department. Males abuse benzodiazepines as commonly as females. Of drugs used in attempted suicide, benzodiazepines are the most commonly used pharmaceutical drug, with 26% of attempted suicides involving benzodiazepines. The most commonly abused benzodiazepine is, however, alprazolam. Clonazepam is the second-most-abused benzodiazepine. Lorazepam is the third-most-abused benzodiazepine, and diazepam the fourth-most-abused benzodiazepine in the USA.

Benzodiazepines, including diazepam, nitrazepam, and flunitrazepam, account for the largest volume of forged drug prescriptions in Sweden, a total of 52% of drug forgeries being for benzodiazepines.

Diazepam was detected in 26% of cases of people suspected of driving under the influence of drugs in Sweden, and its active metabolite nordazepam was detected in 28% of cases. Other benzodiazepines and zolpidem and zopiclone also were found in high numbers. Many drivers had blood levels far exceeding the therapeutic dose range, suggesting a high degree of abuse potential for benzodiazepines and zolpidem and zopiclone. In Northern Ireland in cases where drugs were detected in samples from impaired drivers who were not impaired by alcohol, benzodiazepines were found in 87% of cases. Diazepam was the most commonly detected benzodiazepine.

Legal status

Diazepam is regulated in most countries as a prescription drug:

  • International: diazepam is a Schedule IV controlled drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances
  • UK: classified as a controlled drug, listed under Schedule IV, Part I (CD Benz POM) of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, allowing possession with a valid prescription. The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 makes it illegal to possess the drug without a prescription, and for such purposes it is classified as a Class C drug. “List of Controlled Drugs”
  • Germany: classified as a prescription drug, or in high dosage as a restricted drug (Betäubungsmittelgesetz, Anhang III)
Judicial executions

The State of California offers diazepam to condemned inmates as a pre-execution sedative as part of their lethal injection program.

Veterinary uses

Diazepam is used as a short-term sedative and anxiolytic for cats and dogs, sometimes used as an appetite stimulant. It can also be used to stop seizures in dogs and cats.

Letter
Valium Saved My Life
Published: October 5, 2012

To the Editor:

Re “Valium’s Contribution to Our New Normal,” by Robin Marantz Henig (Sunday Review, Sept. 30):

After serving in the Army in Vietnam and suffering from what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder, I found that Librium, and then Valium, definitely saved my life.

Whatever negatives there may be about the use and overuse of Valium, it has saved many lives and improved the quality of millions of lives.

Its positives dramatically outweigh its negatives, and right now, there is really no adequate substitute for the psychoactive drugs.

MICHAEL J. GORMAN
Whitestone, Queens, Sept. 30, 2012

Hated Tory ghoul David Cameron praises cult leader Ashton

HOUSE OF COMMONS

APPGITA – All Party Parliamentary Group for Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Question by Jim Dobbin MP
Prime Minister’s Questions
House of Commons
October 23, 2013

Jim Dobbin MP (Heywood and Middleton): A total of 1.5 million people in the UK are addicted to the benzodiazepines diazepam and “Z drugs”. I know of one individual who has been on those products for more than 45 years – a total life ruined. They are not drug misusers; they are victims of the system of repeat prescriptions. Will the Prime Minister advise the Department of Health to give some guidance to the clinical commissioning groups to introduce withdrawal programmes in line with the advice from Professor Heather Ashton of Newcastle university, who is the expert in this field, to give these people back their lives?

The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon David Cameron MP: First, I pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman, who has campaigned strongly on this issue over many years. I join him in paying tribute to Professor Ashton, whom I know has considerable expertise in this area. He is right to say that this is a terrible affliction; these people are not drug addicts but they have become hooked on repeat prescriptions of tranquillisers. The Minister for public health is very happy to discuss this issue with him and, as he says, make sure that the relevant guidance can be issued.

David Cameron’s savage NHS budget cuts have forced the mentally ill  to fend for themselves in the Dickensian nightmare of 21st century England.

Impact of mental health service cuts

The Guardian, Thursday 17 October 2013

The wider implications should be heeded of the sentencing of a homeless man with paranoid schizophrenia for the stabbing to death of two Big Issue sellers (Report, 16 October). As John Bird, founder of the Big Issue, observes, the tragedy is an opportunity to reflect on the impact of cuts to mental health services. I visit mental health facilities on a weekly basis to review the detention of compulsorily detained patients. It has been increasingly apparent for months that patients are being admitted to hospitals hundreds of miles from where they live because of the lack of beds in their own locality.

This impression is now given an evidential basis by the BBC and Community Care investigations which used freedom of information requests to identify that at least 1,711 psychiatric beds have closed since April 2011, most of them in acute adult wards, older people’s wards and psychiatric intensive care units. Not only is admission to facilities far from home detrimental to the wellbeing of patients because of the disruption to their support networks, the increased complexity of setting up and monitoring their care after discharge from hospital in rare cases compromises public safety.

It is an inadequate response by the Department of Health to cite increased numbers of service users being seen in their own homes. Improvements in community care are obviously welcome, but do not obviate the need to provide appropriate hospital care for those who are acutely ill. Depositing people far from their homes is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Ship of Fools and invokes medieval attitudes towards people who are mentally unwell.

Professor emeritus Nick Gould
Department of social and policy sciences, University of Bath

Heather Ashton acknowledged by David Cameron, Prime Minister
« on: October 24, 2013, 04:20:35 am »

[Buddie]

H O U S E O F C O M M O N S
APPGITA – All Party Parliamentary Group for
Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Question by Jim Dobbin MP,
Prime Minister’s Questions,
House of Commons,
October 23, 2013

Jim Dobbin MP (Heywood and Middleton): A total of 1.5 million people in the UK are addicted to the benzodiazepines diazepam and “Z drugs”. I know of one individual who has been on those products for more than 45 years – a total life ruined. They are not drug misusers; they are victims of the system of repeat prescriptions. Will the Prime Minister advise the Department of Health to give some guidance to the clinical commissioning groups to introduce withdrawal programmes in line with the advice from Professor Heather Ashton of Newcastle university, who is the expert in this field, to give these people back their lives?

The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon David Cameron MP: First, I pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman, who has campaigned strongly on this issue over many years. I join him in paying tribute to Professor Ashton, whom I know has considerable expertise in this area. He is right to say that this is a terrible affliction; these people are not drug addicts but they have become hooked on repeat prescriptions of tranquillisers. The Minister for public health is very happy to discuss this issue with him and, as he says, make sure that the relevant guidance can be issued.

For more articles, newsletters and information please see the main APPGITA page.

APPGITA

Re: Heather Ashton acknowledged by David Cameron, Prime Minister
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 08:20:31 am »

[Buddie]

wow […], i am so excited.
this is a big step forward […], there will be an ”out-cry” all over the world soon i think.
thanks for posting. please keep us up to date. i appreciate it.
[…]

Re: Heather Ashton acknowledged by David Cameron, Prime Minister
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 01:41:49 pm »

[Buddie]

Thanks, […], for posting this.
This is great news and we should post this everywhere. I’m going to show this to my doctor,
who, by the way, understands.

Thanks so much,
and all my best,
[…]

Re: Heather Ashton acknowledged by David Cameron, Prime Minister
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 07:11:45 pm »

[Buddie]

Quote from: [Buddie] on October 24, 2013, 04:20:35 am
I join him in paying tribute to Professor Ashton, whom I know has considerable expertise in this area. He is right to say that this is a terrible affliction; these people are not drug addicts but they have become hooked on repeat prescriptions of tranquillisers. The Minister for public health is very happy to discuss this issue with him and, as he says, make sure that the relevant guidance can be issued.

Very encouraging! Thank you for posting this. I guess the minister referred to is Jane Ellison.

Re: Heather Ashton acknowledged by David Cameron, Prime Minister
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 05:42:20 am »

[Buddie]

If anybody wants to read more about this kind of UK stuff, go to benzo.org.uk and check the APPGITA link

Re: Heather Ashton acknowledged by David Cameron, Prime Minister
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 06:14:31 am »

[Buddie]

Quote from: [Buddie] on October 25, 2013, 05:42:20 am
If anybody wants to read more about this kind of UK stuff, go to benzo.org.uk and check the APPGITA link

Thanks i am reading it. The Sunday Times article from August is quite scary.
imagine, 200 women a day are admitted daily to hospital and its quite remarkable, that
they call it ”Drug Poisoning”, cause thats what it is in the end.
”Poison on Prescription”. shocking.

Re: Heather Ashton acknowledged by David Cameron, Prime Minister
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 10:16:09 pm »

[Buddie]

Thank you for posting this […]. I’d been loosely following what’s happening in the UK via the excellent benzo.uk.org site by Ray Nimmo. […], an “out-cry” around the world is exactly what I’ve been hoping for these last two years. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. This seems like a good step forward, an acknowledgement by the PM.

S.