In a bid to raise awareness towards the global epidemic of Benzodiazepine or ‘benzos’ dependency, a global campaign dubbed as World Benzo Awareness Day (WBAD) has been gaining ground.
Wayne Douglas, founder of a benzo dependency advocacy website Benzo-Case.com told Morning News USA in an email that the time has come when the community and private individuals must step up in addressing the worsening issue of benzo dependency across the world, particularly the ‘doctor-induced’ benzo dependency. Benzodiazepines are types of prescription drugs that are commonly given to patients with anxiety disorders.
As previously reported by Morning News USA, data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that the number of benzodiazepine overdose incidents has spiked in the recent years. In fact, it was revealed that around 30 percent of the 22,767 prescription dependency-related deaths in the US alone involved benzodiazepine overdose. This translates to a total of 6,973 deaths in 2013.
“I have seen so many people suffering, committing suicide because they cannot tolerate the prolonged withdrawal reactions and the damage done to them any longer, and there is very little, if any, help available to them,” Douglas told Morning News USA.
“This is simply not good enough, so W-BAD is about empowering the victims (innocent citizens) and saying that enough is enough, this needs to be brought under control now, and suitable withdrawal facilities need to be provided to help people recover from their iatrogenic damages and return to society with their integrity intact,” Douglas said.
He explained that the World Benzo Awareness Day is so important because governments all over the world have failed to address the issue, despite decades of people crying out for help, ongoing warnings from experts, and lobbying from campaigners.
“It seems to have become a political game centred on profit making while millions of innocent citizens have been left alone to suffer in the dark,” he explained further.
Douglas knew the struggle first hand.
“As someone who has experienced “doctor induced benzo dependency” first hand, I can tell you it is absolute hell – ongoing hell that often continues for months and years!”
He authored a book entitled Under The Rising Sun, where he shared his personal experience in one of the darkest times in his life.
In order to bring the issue into the awareness of the public, Douglas and other advocates have worked hand in hand to initiate the first WBAD. In one of his conversations with a colleague Barry Haslam, former Chair of Oldham TRANX, based in England, the idea of having a benzo awareness day to be celebrated across the world was conceived.
The first WBAD, which is slated for July 11, aims to bring the issue of benzo dependency into the mainstream.
Douglas’ works have been endorsed by the late British Prime Minister Hon. Jim Dobbin, as well the world leading authority on the issue of benzo awareness and advocacy, Professor Heather Ashton; both of whom were endorsed by British Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. David Cameron.