We would like to thank all those people who took the time to complete our recent survey on prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal.
The information you provided is vital in moving the case forward for specialist services for those adversely affected by prescribed drug dependence.
The responses we received were as moving and informative as they were upsetting. The true scale of the suffering generated by injudicious prescribing and medication harms was evident on every page.
We have already put the data to good effect, presenting key findings in two separate Parliamentary meetings with senior figures from Public Health England and the British Medical Association.
MPs and peers from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence (for which CEP provides the secretariat) have also been presented with the data.
We intend to publish the survey’s findings in an academic context. However academic publishing is a lengthy process, taking an average of 2 years from the writing up of findings, through peer-review, to final publication. In the meantime here is a summary of some of our initial findings:
- The University of Roehampton & the Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry conducted a survey of patients affected by prescribed drug dependence in August 2017
- The survey included 1660 responses overall and 369 responses from UK patients suffering from prescribed drug dependence
- Preliminary findings regarding the UK cohort are as follows:
- 65% of respondents reported that their doctors gave them little or no information on drug risks and side effects
- 51% of respondents reported that withdrawal symptoms lasted one year or longer
- On a scale of 1-10 respondents rated the negative impact of withdrawal on their life to be an average of 8.59
- 27% of respondents are indefinitely off work due to withdrawal symptoms
- On average, respondents held 10 withdrawal-related appointments with their doctor
- 87% of respondents believe a national 24 hour helpline would be helpful, while 94% believe an accompanying website would be helpful