APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence welcomes new action plan by NHS England to tackle prescribed drug dependence

2 March 2023

CEP provides the Secretariat for the APPG for PDD

The APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence today welcomes the publication of the NHS England Framework for Action ‘Optimising personalised care for adults prescribed medicines associated with dependence or withdrawal symptoms’.

This framework is intended to encourage Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) to develop and deliver safe deprescribing services in their area to support patients suffering from prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal, and to identify patients who should reduce or stop taking their medicines through programmes such as Structured Medication Reviews (SMRs). 

The provision of local support services for sufferers of prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal was one of the recommendations in Public Health England’s 2019 Prescribed Medicines Review.  This review established that:

  • 26% of the adult population of England had been prescribed a dependency forming medication in the previous year, 
  • Patients report severe harmful effects and disability when withdrawing which can last many months or years
  • There is a lack of services available to support sufferers of prescribed drug dependence

Recent research also shows that around £500m is wasted annually on unnecessary prescribing of dependency-forming medications such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

The framework also includes details of the ‘Lived and professional Experience Advisory Panel for Prescribed Drug Dependence’ ( which has been set up to connect NHS commissioners with lived experience experts and charities who are ready to help with the development of new services. 

Lord Crisp, ex CEO of the NHS and Co-chair of the APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence, says:

”For decades, patients have experienced often life-changing withdrawal symptoms from medicines such as sleeping pills and antidepressants with almost no support or recognition from the health service.  The APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence welcomes this new framework for action from NHS England, which should lead to the delivery of services across the country to help those who are suffering.  

However it will take months or perhaps years for these services to be developed. In the meantime we call on the Government to implement its own recommendation for a 24 hour national helpline and website to support those in crisis today. Together these initiatives will save lives, reduce suffering and bring down the unnecessary costs to the public purse.”

2 Responses to APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence welcomes new action plan by NHS England to tackle prescribed drug dependence

  1. Orli 03/03/2023 at 1:39 pm #

    Sounds so good that is hard to believe!
    Although if the orthodox psychiatrist are involved, I do not think it will work, they are too in denial in the best scenario.

    Is time not to get new victims under psychiatric drug treatment. They are not safe, not effective and they tucle no problem.

    Only if the medical profession is “updated” talking about the rest not including psychiatrist, they have no solution… And start understanding the grave missdiagnosed carry out on people do to the non existence practice on differential diagnosis and the acceptance of scientific advances used by who knows who an example voice to skull, and but not only the existence on environmental elements like hypersensitive to electromagnetic fields, that means is not only about the patient is about what is around he or her and actions needs to be taken at those level too.. If ALL OF THAT IS TAKEN IN CONSIDERATION we will be able to see light at the end of the tunnel and improve our relatives, friends and our own lives.. May G_d lit our path.. 🌹🕯️🕯️🕯️🕯️🕯️

  2. Peter Lehmann 04/03/2023 at 8:57 am #

    Fine. But I miss any statement on the physical dependence on neuroleptics, caused by receptor changes that occur over time and make discontinuation extremely difficult, sometimes hardly possible. Find more information on this taboo topic in my article “For or against dependence on antidepressants and neuroleptics: Who benefits?”, in: Peter Lehmann / Craig Newnes (eds.): “Withdrawal from prescribed psychotropic drugs”, Berlin / Lancaster: Peter Lehmann Publishing, ebook, updated edition 2023, pp. 75-124 –

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