SURVEY – CEP needs your contribution for BMA review into prescribed drugs

The Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry ( has been invited to contribute evidence to a project at the BMA (British Medical Association) which will review the issues associated with dependence upon prescribed drugs, including benzodiazepines, sleeping pills, pain relievers and antidepressants.

If you or a family member has experienced negative effects with one or more of these drugs, or has had difficulties withdrawing or following withdrawal, then you are invited to submit your experiences to CEP. We will then collate these and include a summary and/or individual responses in our submission to the BMA.

You may submit anonymously; if you do supply your name we will not use it as part of our contribution to the BMA. However please supply your country of residence and email in case we want to get in touch with you. We cannot guarantee to include all of the submissions made to us.

Note that you do not have to reside in the UK in order to contribute.

We would also like to be able to use your responses anonymously in other areas of CEP’s work and research; please let us know if you are happy for us to do this.

This is an important opportunity to contribute to a prestigious review of the problems associated with these drugs and we are very grateful for your input.

The survey is online and can be accessed at the following link:


15 Responses to SURVEY – CEP needs your contribution for BMA review into prescribed drugs

  1. Bente Jensen 02/04/2014 at 10:45 pm #

    I have been on a lot of antidepressants through my life and I have just been more sick from them. Even when I were on the drugs I were depressed. I were on venlafaxin for about 14 month and were tapered off them in two month and then I hit into withdrawal and I have suffered for now 21 month. They are pills from hell all of them. Got worse both psychologically and physical.

  2. Stephanie Williams 02/04/2014 at 10:47 pm #

    These drugs have caused me to lose everything in my life. I thought I was sick until I was put on Benzo’s. Please have them out lawed!!!!!

  3. claudia kootbaully 03/04/2014 at 5:03 pm #

    i am so angry, Benzodiazepines are meant for short term medication and Doctors
    prescribe them for years. they are pure poison and no one seems to have a clue.
    if it wasn’t for prof ashton i don’t know what would have happened to me.
    i am 16 months off now, horror pure, i went through hell, vision, skin, hairloss, head pain hardly to endure, blood in urine , like a chemo and much worse.
    this is madness, how many more people have to die because of this ?
    big pharma must be aware of it all, its criminal.
    do something about it please. there are so many victims all over the world.
    thank you
    c.k. austira 00436641635883

  4. Ashley Hall 03/04/2014 at 5:14 pm #

    I am in the worst position I could ever imagine in a million years right now having to withdrawal from just 2 milligrams of Klonopin (Clonazepam). I have too many symptoms to list here. Mostly for me though I have muscle pain and weakness in my chest and upper back that cause pain that feels like I’m being stabbed in the chest or back and doesn’t let up! I am not myself at all mentally and I’m usually a great writer. This has stolen my life from me! Stolen me from my children in their young years I’ll never get back and they will never get back or forget seeing their mother this sick. It’s caused me to be suicidal. Benzodiazepines are the worst drugs imaginable! People also need to taper slow, not be ripped off in cold turkey or just a couple weeks! That’s a nightmare that leaves people screwed up for years!

  5. Lyndsay LaRoe 04/04/2014 at 7:25 am #

    If we can research and find as much information as we do.. Not to mention personal stories from people who have and are going through this awful dependence, WHY DON’T THE DRS HAVE THE SAME INFO. My neuro dr said… “I cannot go by YOUR research. I can only go by published clinical trials.” Don’t even get me started on what I said about these so-called clinic trial he refers to.

    I am overwhelmed with anger and passion and hopefulness. Try that on for size.

    “I’m so sick of being tired, and I’m oh so tired of being sick”-TBS 🙂

    • Heidi Henkel 07/04/2014 at 1:50 am #

      Grace Jackson, MD wrote a book published in 2005 called “Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent” in which she explained some of the fraud in the clinical trials. Peter Gotzsche, MD has a new book published in 2013, which gives more of a similar type of information. “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime.” Grace Jackson’s other book, “Drug-Induced Dementia” is also helpful because it documents based on scientific studies, that every psych drug out there, causes brain damage. Sometimes, to communicate with doctors, a book written by a doctor is helpful.

  6. h carberry 05/04/2014 at 5:44 am #

    My son was on this poison for years before i found out what numerous gps had been prescribing him.Not one of them questioned his behavior and admitted it was down to side effects of a combination of drugs they kept pouring in to him .He lost his battle and i lost him 4 years ago .These drs as i call them legal drug dealers shood be prosacuted and sentenced the same way as drug dealers who deal herion etc .Shame on all of these drs who say they are helping to save life 100s are loosing there lives in a horrendous way .H Carberry

  7. Maki K 06/04/2014 at 9:32 am #

    These meds gave me so much physical pain,depression and suicide thought at the beginning. I didn’t know what was happening to me so I kept asking some helps from doctors. Doctors started giving me more medications and I became sicker and sicker. I have lost my self and I have lost my life. I started being in very panic and fear for no reason. My health was completely ruined. I always have been tired and I always have had infectious diseases because my immune system was no longer working properly. It took 11 years from my life.

  8. Rosalind 06/04/2014 at 12:26 pm #

    I’ve been on sleeping tablets for forty years (mostly Temazepam) following an emergency hysterectomy in my twenties, I’m now nearing seventy. I stopped the drugs sixteen months ago and have had a ferocious withdrawal. I’m writing this from my bed because I haven’t slept at all for two nights and my body feels as if an electrical charge is running through it, everything has ramped up and it’s difficult to keep still. I’ve had no life at all in this time. Not once over the last forty years of use was I warned of how dangerous long term prescription benzodiazepines could be. I merely thought I was suffering a bad menopause from the hysterectomy. I was so naive and relied on the medical profession. Now I will question everything.

    I’ve had many symptoms, far too many to list and I still wonder if I can come out of this alive. I have no medical support and have even been told benzodiazepine withdrawal is all a myth and the drug is out of our bodies in three weeks. It’s unbelievable and must be stopped. It’s gone on for far too long and I intend to do all I can to help others when and if I ever recover from this.

  9. Carol S. 07/04/2014 at 12:44 am #

    I was prescribed Ativan at the E.R. in July of 2013. I went to the E.R. for heart palpitations, and cramping in my heart. I had been diagnosed with H.pylori, so I thought maybe my potassium was off. My BMP came back in the normal range. I also was under severe stress at the time. I was told the problem was stress related. Did I want Valium, or Ativan. They prescribed me a months worth. I didn’t understand that within 2 weeks you could become dependent on them. When my life finally started to get back to normal I decided I would start to back off of the Ativan. I cut my dose in 1/2 and at 1st I thought I was going through menopause, or that I still needed time to recover from h.pylori. The symptoms were getting worse and worse. My emotions were out of control. Depression, anxiety, muscle spasms, messed up stomach, pins and needles in my legs and feet, tinnitus. I felt as if I was off balance and walking off to one side. I also felt as if I was in some other world like I could see myself yet it didn’t feel like me. Severe insomnia too! What a mess. Then I discovered with my primary care Dr. And researching the Internet, that I was in withdrawal. I updosed from the .25mg that I had went down to, to 1 mg. daily; taken in divided doses of .25mg, four times a day. It took 1 month to get back to feeling almost normal. I tried again to withdraw off Ativan going slowly but almost immediately into withdrawal. It was suggested to me to use Klonopin as it has a longer 1/2 life. The things I’ve read about it doesn’t inspire confidence. Anyway there needs to be a lot more information given when these meds are dispensed so that patients can make an informed decision. No one would take these meds for longer than 2 weeks if they knew that the Withdrawal they will go through will be longer and harder than the condition for which it was prescribed. Planning to taper with Valium and do slowly so as not to go into severe withdrawal. Hoping that I will be able to function enough to take care of myself and family.

  10. susan bevis 09/04/2014 at 11:27 pm #

    I have seen so much suffering in my daughter being on about 14 different drugs, none of which have worked and labelled treatment resistant. I have never encountered so much bullying in my life from so called professionals who do not have the physical wellbeing of my daughter at heart. It is shocking that there is not one facility such as Earth House in the US to give choice and on an acute ward the care is mainly drugging as a means of control. I am not alone as a mother by feeling in despair. If there was anywhere in the world I could go to take my daughter away from this cruelty I would go for good. I have seen the effects of withdrawal when my daughter was suffering so much from side effects and this being her decision but there was never any support and of course there are no facilities to help someone come off the drugs and monitor them properly and this is why I would like to see a specialist centre set up in the UK – what is the point of continuing pushing drugs at someone who is treatment resistant and is not going to get any better on them.

  11. Nancy 10/04/2014 at 6:38 pm #

    I am in tears as I write this. Reading other peoples reply about benzodiezapines. I was on xanax for over 20 years. I found Ashton and Benzo Buddies and was able to cross over to Valium and taper off. I don’t think I could have come off any other way. I agree with the other reply’s, benzodiezapines should be outlawed. They are very dangerous and will destroy your life. They cause needless suffering. I hope with all my heart that something can be done about this.

  12. Sandy Clements 10/04/2014 at 9:26 pm #

    Effexor Story:. The psychiatrist put me on a very large dose with no titerating up. I lost my mind. I was afraid I would kill myself to stop what it did. Anxiety like nothing I had ever had and I am pretty ill. I called his office and he refused to talk to me until the middle of the next week. So I quit the Effexor and went to the emergency. My son needed me to get help too.

    My psychiatrist, head of the mental ward in a large city, barely spoke to me when I was on his ward and insulted my intelligence as always. (Very common with people who are supposed to make you feel better about yourself.)

    Even after stopping the Effexor the anxiety continued and the brain shocks. It took 2 months for them to go away and only then because I got my GP to give me Ativan. I know it is dangerous and I use it when it is a matter of life. It is what helped me get back up and go back to work, broken and terrified and yes, ultimately I lost my job. The psychiatrist who poisoned me told me there was nothing at all wrong with me. I am just too sensitive. He never even talked with me. He sent me to a guy who slept, a Freudian analyst. Jesus.

    have suffered from mental illness my whole live and it was manageable if difficult at times. It came and went. And after crashes, like going through a house fire, I recovered. After Effexor I cannot feel or gather good emotions, from what I used to be.

    Before Effexor, I could meditate, I could practice mindfulness, I could feel pleasure in some little things in life. I was already fragile from a brutal childhood and a family that shunned me because they don’t believe in mental illness so I was doing it on purpose. Effexor killed something in me. I was brave and stood up against the abuse and now I am afraid. I don’t want my son on this stuff but we have to live, work, interact with others.We have no friends or family to help out. I get frantic. I worked hard to get my son help early and he just sat on a list for years. Don’t tell me you can be helped if you get in young enough. No one helped him.

    My son has 3 friends, young adults, who had their personalities trashed by doctors giving them large doses of Effexor. Before Effexor, I was an advocate against bullying and for compassion. I got laid off a couple of times for refusing to shut up about obnoxious behaviour towards others. I am unable to work after working hard to be a teacher and then a software developer for nothing. Disability retirement takes away a large chunk of your pensions but they don’t tell you that. Be careful if you think retiring from the slings and arrows would be better for you. I listened to the last shrink I had and it destroyed all hope of ever helping my boy.

  13. Rachel garzon 27/07/2014 at 8:43 am #

    My heart goes out to everyone that is in benzo withdrawl hell . I’m a year free of benzos and still very sick from ativan. Dizzy constantly heart racing and palpatations extremely tired and the list goes on. This benzo hell must stop!!! It’s truly poison and has to be pulled from the market !! My prayers are with each and everyone of u.

  14. Manda 27/11/2015 at 12:29 pm #

    Prescribed Lorazepam/Ativan nearly 30 years ago, and took for 40 days.

    Still have not recovered.

    Absolutely horrendous symptoms, torture for many years.

    Doctors do not practice to do this to people.

    Causes all the symptoms {which l did not have], it is prescribed for, only in completely unnatural form initially untouchable to response by any natural means, such as reduction of stress, reassurance, comfort and support may offer.

    Causes loss of trust of medical profession.

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