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Diazepam Threatens Drug Deaths


Skyler
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As if people tapering benzodiazepines don't already have enough difficulty getting docs to prescribe diazepam. Not good news I fear. ~S

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The illicit trade in diazepam is now a significant factor behind many drug-related deaths, experts have warned.

 

The Guardian, Saturday 30 June 2012

Amateur laboratories producing class C drug in response to rising demand from a young generation unaware of its dangers

 

 

Addiction experts are warning that a ballooning illicit trade in a tranquilliser popularly known as "mother's little helper" is now a significant factor behind many drug-related deaths. They say diazepam, once prescribed to anxious housewives in the 1970s and better known by its former brand name of Valium, is being used recreationally by a younger generation unaware of its potentially lethal side-effects.

 

Police suspect that a plethora of amateur laboratories are manufacturing the controlled class C drug in response to growing demand from users who often combine it with other substances. The drug and alcohol treatment charity Addaction fears that the scale of the problem is becoming a major problem for health services and has called for doctors and pharmacists to be better informed about the dangers of the drug.

 

Addaction said people once misused diazepam that had been diverted from prescriptions or stolen from pharmacies, but in the last five years there had been an increase in the amount of diazepam bought from online pharmacies outside the EU, mainly in India or Pakistan. With diazepam tablets selling for as little as 50p, the drug – a form of benzodiazepine known by users as "benzos" – offers a cheap alternative to most other drugs. In addition, a counterfeit trade appears to be emanating from Scotland, where police have unearthed a number of amateur laboratories creating illegal versions of the drug. "It's a relatively new phenomenon, but we suspect that there are ongoing diazepam production operations going on up and down the country," said Kenny Simpson of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency.

 

The rise in popularity of diazepam may be part of a wider trend in drug abuse, according to experts. Some drug counsellors suspect that the falling numbers of heroin users is partly down to addicts switching to diazepam, which is prescribed to alleviate stress and tension. Many abusers like to mix diazepam with alcohol, with users reporting online that it helps "sedate" them for whole days.

 

Official figures show that diazepam misuse in Scotland last year came second only to heroin. But the true scale of the problem remains opaque as the number of benzodiazepine seizures are not recorded separately from those of other class C drugs. "The drug trend picture shows an increase in the availability of illicit diazepam, coupled with low prices and the prevalence of 'poly' drug use, creating potential for an increase in fatal overdoses," Kenny Simpson of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency warned. Read more.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Too late to edit and include a notation to this effect .. The Guardian did not give the name of the author..

 

I might not have posted without attribution from a lesser publication, but unlike most other newspapers, The Guardian has independent funding, and far as I know has not let me down.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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The author seems to be Jamie Doward, and the link for the Guardian article is Diazepam Threatens Drug Deaths

 

I will want to read both the article and the reader comments (there are many!) more carefully later. With a very brief glance at the reader comments one popped out at me - (smashycassie) who wrote "Doctor's are incredibly reluctant these days to prescribe Diazepam, preferring longer term anti depressants, rather than for the shorter term..."

 

I think there's a lot of truth to her comment, though unfortunately doctors - at least in the U.S. - seem to be all too willing to prescribe benzos long-term for the type of symptoms AD w/d cause... without disclosing how quickly and severely they can cause rebound and become addictive when using regularly even briefly.

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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Thanks Brandy, I have no idea how I screwed that up.. no link either, sigh. That's a first. Glad you got something out of the article.. docs prescribe benzos for symptoms, and not only neglect to tell folks they are addictive, but they fail to note that for most symptoms the relief is only transitory. The symptoms being treated usually outlast the actions provided by benzos.

 

Barb, I know this has not been your experience.. and benzos are effective with Bruxism. It was also true for the original reason they were prescribed for me.. miserable stuff, no? Any benefit comes at a price.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Thanks for this Schuyler.

 

I face this problem, finding a doctor willing to write diazepam. My current doctor ...it's not an ideal situation but the whiff of abuse is enough to discourage other docs from'taking the chance'...

 

... From the other side, my life around drunks and drug dealers, I never knew Valium to have much of a market. In my brief day (I suspect still true) Xanax was really the only benzo that I'd see traffic in. Maybe because valium is pretty weak gram for gram for the recreational crowd.

 

But obviously abuse is a problem. IMO, though its use as a drug of abuse appears to be increasing, I think a large part of the stink attached to Valium was acquired in the 70s and early 80s... Which is probably when many of today's docs and regulators were engaging /around in young adult dumbstuff like popping valiums.

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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