Taken-As-Prescribed Support Services
DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC GOVERNMENTS MUST GUARANTEE EVERYONE WHO IS DEPENDENT ON AND NEEDS MEDICATION WILL HAVE ACCESS TO IT; REGARDLESS OF THEIR SOCIAL STATUS OR THE COST!
THIS IS A HUMAN RIGHT!
WE ARE PARTICULARLY CONCERNED ABOUT ANTIDEPRESSANT, BENZODIAZEPINE, ANTI-PSYCHOTIC, OPIATE AND ADHD MEDICATION AND OTHER DRUGS WHICH CAN CAUSE DEPENDENCE.
ESPECIALLY RIGHT NOW, YOUR SIGNATURE,WHEREVER IN THE WORLD, COULD SAVE LIVES.....
AT THE CURRENT TIME WE BELIEVE THIS IS A NECESSARY UPDATE TO OUR PETITION. WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK ON ESTABLISHING TAKEN-AS-PRESCRIBED SUPPORT SERVICES.....YOUR SIGNATURE,WHEREVER IN THE WORLD, COULD SAVE LIVES.....
"After having a horrendous year discontinuing Venlafaxine I fully support this petition. Lucky (I think) to still be alive!"
"Thank you for taking action Beverley. My long struggle with antidepressants since 1997 is still not over. How did it get to this?"
"I and 10,000s people need this service right now. People are killing themselves because there is no help for prescribed drug withdrawal that can last years"
"Thank you for this work, there is an alarming lack of support for those who have taken drugs as directed and then gone on to suffer terribly from adverse effects or withdrawal difficulties. In the absence of official recognition or support, we must take matters into our own hands. People need practical help and support."
TAKEN-AS-PRESCRIBED SUPPORT SERVICES
The aim is to establish a best-practice not-for-profit support service for people affected by prescribed drugs; antidepressants. benzodiazepines, opioids and ADHD Drugs.
Taken-As-Prescribed Support Services, (T-A-P), will provide support and education taking a collaborative approach to help revolutionise the way we think about and manage our use of prescribed medication.
One of the greatest issues facing medicine today is that of dependence on and withdrawal from prescribed drugs, in particular benzodiazepines, antidepressants and opioids. We desperately need a dedicated specialist service in the UK.
This is a significant public health and human rights issue. Everyone has the right to health and to live free from the harm of drugs and that includes prescribed drugs.
"In 2017 to 2018, 11.5 million adults in England (26% of the adult population) received, and had dispensed, one or more prescriptions for any of the medicines within the scope of the review. The totals for each medicine were: •antidepressants 7.3 million people (17% of the adult population) • opioid pain medicines 5.6 million (13%) • gabapentinoids 1.5 million (3%) • benzodiazepines 1.4 million (3%) • z-drugs 1.0 million (2%)"PHE Review 2019
Prescribed drug withdrawal is said to affect 'millions'. A major new study has found that withdrawal / discontinuation problems are widespread, often chronic and can last years.
There have recently been landmark petitions in the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments and the establishment of an All Party Parliamentary Group at Westminster, with calls for public enquiries, public feedback, reviews, and the introduction of a national 24-hour helpline.
Relevant health departments and local authorities are being asked to establish adequately resourced specialist support services and clear guidance on tapering and withdrawal management. As the medical profession, academics and politicians continue to undertake their lengthy reviews, research and consultations, it is time to develop our service.
There are enormous differences between the needs of illicit drug users and those who have become dependent on antidepressants, benzodiazepines and opioids. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution and individual experiences of management and withdrawal vary widely.
A non-clinical organisation can support people and be unconditionally ‘on their side’. People are suffering the iatrogenic effects of these drugs often leading to disability claims, further health care costs, deaths and additional psychiatric diagnoses. The cost to us socially, individually and economically is unquantifiable.
As the scale of the problem of prescribed drug dependence and lack of specialist support services escalate, we owe it to the people inadvertently suffering dependence on and harmed by prescribed medication to make this happen.
THE AIMS OF T-A-P SUPPORT SERVICES
"Effective, personalised care should include shared decision making with patients and regular reviews of whether treatment is working. Patients who want to stop using a medicine must be able to access appropriate medical advice and treatment, and must never be stigmatised. There needs to be increased public and clinical awareness of other interventions." Public Health England. 2019.
- Taking a 'harm reduction' approach, T-A-P Support Services will help people 'manage' their prescribed medication and ultimately, where appropriate, achieve successful long term withdrawal from antidepressants, benzodiazepines, opioids and ADHD drugs. The service will provide long- term or one-off support, work intensively with people who have been on the drugs for a long period and help an individual manage their situation to regain control of their physical and psychological health.
- A website will act as a prescribed drug resource providing support to both patients and clinicians. This will include current online resources providing accurate, evidence-based, relevant and up to date information about prescribed drugs.
- A telephone helpline service will provide support, as recommended by the BMA. The helpline would provide information on prescribed drug dependence, slow tapering protocols, coping strategies and support for families and carers.
- A prescribed drug dependence register will be developed to help protect the rights of patients. Prescribed drug dependent individuals often find themselves vulnerable and a record of their dependence is vital to protect their rights and keep them safe.
- T-A-P will work with key partners including primary care. Providing revised guidance and education to doctors on safe prescribing, management and withdrawal of prescription drugs is essential. Clinicians in hospitals and other healthcare professionals need better education and training. Pharmacists also play a key role in providing healthcare services including harm reduction advice as they are often the healthcare professionals who have the most contact with those receiving prescribed medication.
- Education and awareness is vital if we are to make long-lasting change. This problem affects all sectors of society.
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