If the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning is – do you have enough tranquilizers to last you for that day, and if you do not – then you start to worry about where you are going to get them from, then you may have an addiction to them. If you find that you are going back to your doctor repeatedly and begging him or her for prescriptions that they are not happy to continue to give, which has forced you to look elsewhere for the same drug, then you definitely have a problem. And if you are buying tranquilizers online from overseas websites, you really need to seek professional help.
According to a study carried out by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), over a million of UK patients could be addicted to tranquilizers, with some taking these types of tablets for over twenty years or more. And some psychiatrists say that patients are literally begging them to give out repeat prescriptions. The problem is that not only are these types of drugs highly addictive, but studies carried out by the BMJ have shown them to increase the risk of dementia by 50%. Drugs such as temazepam and diazepam, which are found in the group known as benzodiazepines, should only be ever be prescribed for a maximum of a month, as it is known that patients can become highly dependent on them. However, it is now estimated that 1.5million Britons are currently taking some form of benzodiazepines and the BMJ study that found the increased dementia risk occurred if the tablets were taken for a short time only. Other research has linked them to premature death.
Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, of the Royal College of Psychiatry, said: “There’s no doubt that benzodiazepines can form a dependence, can be addictive for people. But on the other hand if used properly, they are a short-term treatment for anxiety. I can certainly imagine how the doctor feels they are doing some good and unfortunately that’s not always the case. I’ve seen patients on benzodiazepines for 20 years.” However, there is some good news, as doctors have become more aware of the potential dangers of handing out drugs with addictive qualities, the amount of prescriptions have fallen by 40 per cent over the past two decades. There were nearly 10,600 prescriptions written out last year, down from 16,400 in 1991. Patients who were addicted say their drugs made their lives a ‘complete blur’ and caused memory lapses and extreme tiredness. The problem was that when they tried to come off the pills they suffered withdrawal symptoms which included severe abdominal pain, sickness and loss of appetite.
Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “The NHS should accept it has a part to play in treating the side-effects of a drug which was originally prescribed with the best of intentions.” If you think you might be addicted to any type of drug, the NHS has many different types of programmes to help you and your first port of call should be an appointment with your doctor.