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Help from UK members needed regarding benzo script possibly being taken off me

3dmusic

Bluelighter
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Sep 9, 2005
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Hi
I hope someone can help me.
It's a bit of a long story, so I hope this post is as clear as possible.
In 2016 I got addicted to 75mg valium illicitly but the mental health services agreed to prescribe it to me legitimately and I am now on 30mgs.
Back in 2016 the psychiatrist wanted to refer me to a local drug agency. I know of people who have been withdrawn from benzos with local drug agencies and have either relapsed back onto illicit benzos plus other drugs and alcohol. There are also people who were referred to drug agencies, who took them off too quickly and they were incpacitated.
The drug agency nearest to me gave one person zolpidem, which is cross tolerant to benzos and that person had a failed taper.
I engaged with Bataid at the time, who said they were more than happy to work with the psychiatrist who was prescribing at the time, but it was not their policy to contact the psychiatrist, their policy is that the psychiatrist has to contact Bataid.org, (Battle Against Tranquilisers or BAT for short) a charity not far from me. The founder of the charity has now left, as she retired.
It is a very high profile charity and they stress the importance of coming off benzos at the patient's own rate.
They told me that drug services take control of the taper, and reduce people too quickly, I've seen this for myself with people taken off benzos by drug agencies, it leaves them incapaciated and unable to attend groups, meetings, etc, as the withdrawal is so bad.
Fortunately, at the time, I had a psychiatrist who was prepared to contact Bataid.org by phone and they made up a taper schedule but stressed on the schedule that I must make the cuts at my own time, and the cuts on the schedule were only guidelines, and if I felt the cuts were too much, I could reduce the cuts.
Unfortunately, though, that psychiatrist left, and was replaced by a new psychiatrist who wanted to refer me to a drug agency.
The founder of Bataid was still working for them at the time, and she informed me of the law of informed consent, which was based on an obstetrics case but applied to all medicine. She advised me that legally, the psychiatrist could not stop my prescription without my consent.
The new psychiatrist did not know about this law, but fortunately, I was seeing a gynaecologist at the time who knew all about the law of informed consent, and I told my psychiatrist that the gynaecologist knew of it, so the psychiatrist agreed to let me taper at my own rate.
A problem has arised as the mental health services want to discharge me to my GP.
My GP surgery do not prescribe benzos, they refer illicit users to drug agencies.
I expressed my concern to my psychiatric nurse about interruption in supply of my valium as I get it on a month by month basis from the psychiatrist.
My concern is that they are preparing me for discharge as they feel they can do nothing more for me, and said they will hand over the prescription to the GP, however I spoke to a GP at my surgery who told me explicitly that they do not prescribe benzos, they refer cases like mine to drug agencies.
I live alone and am housebound, and this would be disasterous for me.
I have no choice over the discharge from mental health services, and am worried that once they have discharged me, and I see my GP, they will refuse to continue the prescription.
I thought about asking the mental health services to write a letter to the GP to say under the law of informed consent my prescription has to continue so I can taper in a safe manner, but during times of stress, in the nicest possible manner, my psych nurse has said that I can sound demanding at times, and such a request for a specifically worded letter like this may sound demanding.
I raise the concern with new staff at Bataid, but they said that they could do nothing.
Once the psychiatrist has discharged me, he will have no legal obligation under the law of informed consent to keep prescribing, and as the GP has not prescribed me benzos, the law of informed consent will not apply to them, as they will not have started prescribing, which leaves me in the hands of the drug agencies, who take control of your taper and reduce you too fast, drugging you with other cross tolerant medications.
The psychiatrist and GP's claim that the drug agencies are the experts, but they are not as they would not give zolpidem, a cross tolerant drug to someone who is tapering benzos, as they did in the case of someone I know.
Can anyone suggest anything that I can do to ensure my presctiption is continued, given that my surgery do not prescribe benzos and refer people like me to drug agencies, as I do not want to be put in danger or made ill by some doctor taking control of my taper and tapering me too fast.
Thank you for reading.
 

apocalypse_when

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
918
At least in my area in in North East of England, drug and alcohol services will flat out refuse to prescribe a benzo taper under any circumstances whatsoever. When you combine this with the fact that your GP won't prescribe benzos either unless in the most threatening circumstances then you're pretty much screwed.

During my recent stay in hospital I was prescribed 15 mg of diazepam a day for a condition called discitis which is an bacteria resistant infection deep inside the discs of your spine which is the most excruciatingly painful thing I've ever experienced in my life and is characterized by constant muscle spasms that have you shouting out in pain. However as soon as I got home the diazepam was discontinued immediately with no taper or anything. I just find it a little bit perplexing that they are willing to prescribe me 300 + mg of morphine a day yet 15 mg of diazepam is completely off-limits it's almost like these doctors think that benzos are the devil incarnate when ths is just so. Not that many years ago go perhaps 20-30 years ago go we were giving them out like Candy... the Medical Profession is really fucked up...
 

3dmusic

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At least in my area in in North East of England, drug and alcohol services will flat out refuse to prescribe a benzo taper under any circumstances whatsoever. When you combine this with the fact that your GP won't prescribe benzos either unless in the most threatening circumstances then you're pretty much screwed.

During my recent stay in hospital I was prescribed 15 mg of diazepam a day for a condition called discitis which is an bacteria resistant infection deep inside the discs of your spine which is the most excruciatingly painful thing I've ever experienced in my life and is characterized by constant muscle spasms that have you shouting out in pain. However as soon as I got home the diazepam was discontinued immediately with no taper or anything. I just find it a little bit perplexing that they are willing to prescribe me 300 + mg of morphine a day yet 15 mg of diazepam is completely off-limits it's almost like these doctors think that benzos are the devil incarnate when ths is just so. Not that many years ago go perhaps 20-30 years ago go we were giving them out like Candy... the Medical Profession is really fucked up...
That sounds really scary. Thanks for your post. With the greatest of respect I hope that someone else can come and offer me some reassurance.
 

apocalypse_when

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
918
That sounds really scary. Thanks for your post. With the greatest of respect I hope that someone else can come and offer me some reassurance.
I wouldn't count on it if I was you. Things can vary from region to region, but the thing is, medicines policies are made by the CQC (Quality Care Commission) so to be honest with you, I wouldn't hold out a great deal at hope...
 

3dmusic

Bluelighter
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I wouldn't count on it if I was you. Things can vary from region to region, but the thing is, medicines policies are made by the CQC (Quality Care Commission) so to be honest with you, I wouldn't hold out a great deal at hope...
So, does that mean they could stop my 30mg a day prescription, as that would put me in great danger?
 

apocalypse_when

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
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So, does that mean they could stop my 30mg a day prescription, as that would put me in great danger?
As I'm sure you know 30 mg a day could cause a grand mal seizure this is be potentially fatal if I was you my best bet would be go to accident and emergency and explqain exactly what happened and they may admit you as an inpatient and see if he can take you down that way because to be frank it isn't safe to just leave you out in the community in danger of having a seizure
 

3dmusic

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As I'm sure you know 30 mg a day could cause a grand mal seizure this is be potentially fatal if I was you my best bet would be go to accident and emergency and explqain exactly what happened and they may admit you as an inpatient and see if he can take you down that way because to be frank it isn't safe to just leave you out in the community in danger of having a seizure
Hi
A&E won't prescribe benzos either for ilicit users, this is getting more and more scary. I have no proof of a prescription record as I am given them on a month by month basis and the mental health team prescribe them.
 

novaveritas

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Jun 8, 2018
Messages
242
the only way to deal with this is to put the fear of god in the psychiatrist and the GP.

Discharging a patient where there is no assurance of continuation of supply of a drug where abrupt cesation is potentially dangerous, where there is a note in the prescribing information about discontinuation of benzodiazepines, is wilful medical negligence and a disciplinary tribunal would agree. You currently have a legitimate prescription for benzodiazepines, how that came about is not important. The prescription information if you don't have a copy will be stuck on the label on the bottle.

As for the GP refusing to continue a prescription that is up to them, but get that statement in writing, they are then party to negligence and can be dragged into a formal complaint.

The medical profession are a self serving group of degenerates, they don't care as a rule about patients, but they do care about their precious careers and standing in their clique. So threaten what they care about.

Be difficult, and make it absolutely clear that you will not go along with it. the magic words are wilful medical negligence

watch them fold.
 

apocalypse_when

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
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Yeah I know A&E won't prescribe benzos on an outpatient basis but what I was hoping was that they would then admit you onto a ward where they could supervise your reduction in a sensible way to avoid the possibility of a seizure
 

TargetX

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Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
72
That sounds really scary. Thanks for your post. With the greatest of respect I hope that someone else can come and offer me some reassurance.
In the past (about 4 to 6 years ago) I have had several tapers of diazepam after I have approached my GP with illicit benzo use, about 4 in total, of differing lengths corresponding to the amount and length I used for. I was never started higher then 30mg a day, which was difficult for the first 2 weeks or so, but I never had a seizure whilst under treatment and was able to take a temporary break from reduction at any time. I was referred to the community drug team, but that was (at that stage) just for talking therapy with a nurse, the prescribing was handled by the GP every time, with the drugs team only prescribing my methadone.

It seems rather bizarre that a GP wouldn't prescribe a benzo taper on a weekly pickup, since it's a (relatively) straightforward procedure, with little risks compared to, say, MMT. If there is poly drug use, then a specialised service might be better
 

Lusk79

Greenlighter
Joined
Nov 28, 2019
Messages
9
I was taking valium from a prescription when I started mmt. They wouldn't even dose me until the following week and I had to have my dr cancel the prescription and send proof that she did to the clinic. People die really quick from mixing benzos and methadone. A guy recently died in the parking lot of my clinic because he ate some xanax before coming to dose.
 

3dmusic

Bluelighter
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Sep 9, 2005
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the only way to deal with this is to put the fear of god in the psychiatrist and the GP.

Discharging a patient where there is no assurance of continuation of supply of a drug where abrupt cesation is potentially dangerous, where there is a note in the prescribing information about discontinuation of benzodiazepines, is wilful medical negligence and a disciplinary tribunal would agree. You currently have a legitimate prescription for benzodiazepines, how that came about is not important. The prescription information if you don't have a copy will be stuck on the label on the bottle.

As for the GP refusing to continue a prescription that is up to them, but get that statement in writing, they are then party to negligence and can be dragged into a formal complaint.

The medical profession are a self serving group of degenerates, they don't care as a rule about patients, but they do care about their precious careers and standing in their clique. So threaten what they care about.

Be difficult, and make it absolutely clear that you will not go along with it. the magic words are wilful medical negligence

watch them fold.
Hi thanks for your helpful reply. You see knowledgeable.
Thanks for the idea about keeping a box, I've thrown them all away so far, hope the ones I have left will be proof.
I did think about gettting in in writing, but as per my first post, they have implied that I am demanding in the past and that i worry for no reason, but that just makes me feel fobbed off.
I have a few questions below, that I hope you don't mind answering please?
  1. Wouldn't I need a solicitor to raise a case against me for wilful medical negligence?
  2. I don't mean to negate your suggestion as it is good, but won't they see referring me to a drug agency as dilligence rather than negligence?
  3. How would i go about making a formal complaint without a solicitor and without an interruption to my supply?
Thanks
 

3dmusic

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In the past (about 4 to 6 years ago) I have had several tapers of diazepam after I have approached my GP with illicit benzo use, about 4 in total, of differing lengths corresponding to the amount and length I used for. I was never started higher then 30mg a day, which was difficult for the first 2 weeks or so, but I never had a seizure whilst under treatment and was able to take a temporary break from reduction at any time. I was referred to the community drug team, but that was (at that stage) just for talking therapy with a nurse, the prescribing was handled by the GP every time, with the drugs team only prescribing my methadone.

It seems rather bizarre that a GP wouldn't prescribe a benzo taper on a weekly pickup, since it's a (relatively) straightforward procedure, with little risks compared to, say, MMT. If there is poly drug use, then a specialised service might be better
Hi
Thanks for your reply.
What is MMT please?
I wonder if it's a regional thing, with the first reply saying they refuse in the north east.
I also wonder if due to cutbacks, do you think as times were a bit easier back then, the GP's were willing to prescribe?
Thanks
 

3dmusic

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I was taking valium from a prescription when I started mmt. They wouldn't even dose me until the following week and I had to have my dr cancel the prescription and send proof that she did to the clinic. People die really quick from mixing benzos and methadone. A guy recently died in the parking lot of my clinic because he ate some xanax before coming to dose.
Hi
I'm unsure that mmt means.
It sounds like you were put in unnecsary danger.
 

LoginNotSecure

Bluelighter
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Mar 13, 2018
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Methadone management treatment.

If you buy them illicitly, why not just do that and taper yourself? It seems like you are clutching at straws otherwise.
 

3dmusic

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Methadone management treatment.

If you buy them illicitly, why not just do that and taper yourself? It seems like you are clutching at straws otherwise.
I used to buy them illicitly 3 years ago but no longer have any sources, plus, illicit benzos from what I can gather are more dangrous as you don't know you are getting valium. I wouldn't know where to start buying illicitly.
Can you clarify what you mean by clutiching at straws?
Thanks
 

StoneHappyMonday

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May 10, 2001
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17,937
Methadone management treatment.
It’s methadone maintenance treatment. Not management. Maintenance is a crucial word, as it implies long term prescription of methadone.

Seems like a strange mistake for a doctor to make? Or maybe not eh?

OP if your current prescription is legitimate you certainly have a good case for it not to be suddenly halted, which could cause proper damage to you. Unfortunately you are also caught up in the politics of the day which is reverting more and more to ‘just say no’, abstinence, and away from harm reduction.

Don’t give up, follow the good advice laid out here by some. But be prepared to have to fight your case. It certainly is not inevitable that your script will be stopped.
 

3dmusic

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Sep 9, 2005
Messages
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It’s methadone maintenance treatment. Not management. Maintenance is a crucial word, as it implies long term prescription of methadone.

Seems like a strange mistake for a doctor to make? Or maybe not eh?

OP if your current prescription is legitimate you certainly have a good case for it not to be suddenly halted, which could cause proper damage to you. Unfortunately you are also caught up in the politics of the day which is reverting more and more to ‘just say no’, abstinence, and away from harm reduction.

Don’t give up, follow the good advice laid out here by some. But be prepared to have to fight your case. It certainly is not inevitable that your script will be stopped.
Hi
I am sorry for being unclear, I don't think they will stop it, in hindsight, I should have said in my original post that my fears are that the psych services will stop my prescription, and even if the GP says "OK" they will refer me to drug agency, as my surgery has explicitly told me in the past that they refer all illicit drug users to drug agencies.
Drug agencies are bad for benzo users as they take control of the taper, reduce them too quick and make people very poorly, I've met people who have been reduced by drug agencies off benzos and they were very ill indeed.
The psych services will have no obligation under the law of informed consent once they discharge me, and the GP will have no obligation under the law of informed consent, as they never started the prescripton, so the stopping of scripts wont come into play with the GP.
My goal is to keep control of my script, whoever prescribes it, and have firm reassurance that this will be done and that I will not be referred to a drug agency.
Call me paranoid but i feel that the medics may be sneaky, the psych services will abdicate thier obligations under the law of informed consent and theh GP will have no obligation under the law of informed consent regarding stopping my prescription.
It is legal to refer illicit benzo users to drug agencies, I fear being fobbed off and am afraid of asking for something in writing stating that under the law of informed consent, my prescription will continue with me controlling the taper rate.
I apologise for being unclear earlier, I hope this makes sense.
 

Tranced

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When I was coming off etizolam the year it got banned ago my GP completely refused me a taper, claiming they didn't do benzo tapers. However:

My concern is that they are preparing me for discharge as they feel they can do nothing more for me, and said they will hand over the prescription to the GP, however I spoke to a GP at my surgery who told me explicitly that they do not prescribe benzos, they refer cases like mine to drug agencies.
I kept at him, with my parents involved which helped a lot, and cited that I needed a taper to avoid brain damage/seizures/relapse/etc. He later admitted that they do do tapers, it's just that you need to go to the local above mentioned agency who deal with addiction and offer methods to get people off addictive substances (as with all government funded initiatives of this type, they tend to be fairly shoddy).

Essentially what I have learnt via my doctor is that it is very stressful for doctors to deal with long term drug users/addicts, as people will often try and remain on the substance i.e benzos as long as possible as opposed to coming off at a fast-moderate pace, and they have to deal with a lot of hustling, seizures, and everything else that comes with benzo addiction. My doctor revealed to me that his wife actually quit being a GP in the 90's because of the stresses involved in dealing with an addiction epidemic of benzos.

As such, you get referred to a drug agency, if you push for it, and then it mitigates some of the issues they have to otherwise deal with (as the agency do it), and the GP will actually administer your script, but the burden is on the drug agency to bring you off.

I'm sorry but the brutal truth is that if you've been addicted to valium since 2016, then the GP probably sees you in the category of 'long term benzo/drug addict', and probably won't be very forthcoming in helping you. If you don't taper off in a speedy/efficient manner, the doctor is going to try to have to avoid dealing with your situation due to both internal and external pressures... and eventually any addict is going to eventually find themselves in a similar position.

I would suggest that you make a case for a taper over the next few months, with a lot of promises/co-operation of the drug addiction agency, and an action plan. You essentially need to portray yourself as an individual willing to make that final hurdle to coming off, and not somebody who is looking for long term maintenance via your doctor, and it's possibly your only shot.

They told me that drug services take control of the taper, and reduce people too quickly, I've seen this for myself with people taken off benzos by drug agencies, it leaves them incapaciated and unable to attend groups, meetings, etc, as the withdrawal is so bad.
The drug agencies IME are not great in knowledge, but if you appear to be they will work with you. I just cited the Ashton manual and co-operated. I didn't bother with meetings or anything like that, but I was ultimately allowed to dictate my taper, albeit only because I was eager to get off and went at quite a speedy pace.
 
Last edited:

3dmusic

Bluelighter
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When I was coming off etizolam the year it got banned ago my GP completely refused me a taper, claiming they didn't do benzo tapers. However:



I kept at him, with my parents involved which helped a lot, and cited that I needed a taper to avoid brain damage/seizures/relapse/etc. He later admitted that they do do tapers, it's just that you need to go to the local above mentioned agency who deal with addiction and offer methods to get people off addictive substances.

Essentially what I have learnt through implication is that it is very stressful for doctors to deal with long term drug users, as people will often remain on the benzos as long as possible as opposed to coming off at a fast-moderate pace, and they have to deal with a lot of hustling, seizures, and everything else that comes with benzo addiction. My doctor revealed to me that his wife actually quit being a GP in the 90's because of the stresses involved in dealing with an addiction epidemic of benzos.

As such, you get referred to a drug agency, if you push for it, and then it limits some of the issues they have to otherwise deal with (as the agency do it), and the GP will actually administer your script, but the burden is on the drug agency to bring you off.

I'm sorry but the brutal truth is that if you've been addicted to valium since 2016, then the GP probably sees you in the category of 'long term benzo/drug addict', and probably won't be very forthcoming in helping you. The cold hard truth is that if you don't taper off in a speedy/efficient manner, the doctor is going to try to have to avoid dealing with your situation due to both internal and external pressures... and eventually any addict is going to eventually find themselves in a similar position.

I would suggest that you make a case for a taper over the next few months, with a lot of promises/co-operation of the drug addiction agency, and an action plan. You need to portray yourself as an individual willing to make that final hurdle to coming off, and not somebody who is looking for long term maintenance via your doctor, and it's possible your only shot.
Hi, thanks for your reply.
I'm not looking for long term maintenance and not cutting, but nice guidelines and Battle Against Tranquilisers who are a high profile agency said that the patient needs to be ready to make cuts and not be rushed.
The drug agencies are immovable, they take control of your taper, people start them under the drug agencies and they are so ill, they cannot even make the groups the drug agencies have to offer.

Given how the above mentioned drug agency has treated other users I know, I think it is a dangerous risk for me to go to them. I am housebound with a lot of other stress. I cut when I am psychologically ready to cut.

If I am allowed to come off at my own rate, there won't be any seizures or hustling.

I don't understand why the UK want to rush people off benzos when rushing causes an injury to the GABA system, it is far safer to let the patient come off at their own rate.

I spoke to the drug agency who said a doctor would decide when I cut and they do rush you off.

I know that the people who used the drug agencies said there is no flexibility, they take control of your taper and rush you off and I don't want to end up with a failed taper, an injured GABA system or worse, being addicted to more drugs to cope with the withdrawals.

The quickest solution in the long run is to let me come off at my own rate, because rushing me off will just use up more resources due to the problems it will cause, ie, psychiatric symptoms, potential addiction to other drugs to keep off the withdrawal, (not that I have access to other drugs) or worse still, incapacitation or even psych hospitalisation, using even more NHS resources.
 
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