Prof Ashton † · The Ashton Manual · FAQ · Media · Litigation · Support · Stories · Doctors & Experts · Books · Archive · A-Z · Links is dedicated to sufferers of iatrogenic benzodiazepine tranquilliser addiction. Launched on July 6, 2000, this web site has always been a work in progress consisting of articles, information, expert medical documents, news stories and personal accounts. You can navigate this site by category on the Archive page or using the A-Z site index. A good place to begin is the FAQ Document.

For the best and most comprehensive information on benzodiazepine withdrawal you are encouraged to read: "Benzodiazepines: How they Work & How to Withdraw" (The Ashton Manual) by Professor C Heather Ashton, DM, FRCP. Versions of the Ashton Manual in eleven languages can be accessed from this page. Some official sites that recommend the Manual. New: Japanese version.

For online benzodiazepine withdrawal support you may like to visit BenzoBuddies or take a look at the other support groups listed on the Support page. Please note that is a personal web site and is not associated with any organisation or support group so cannot endorse any advice that you might receive.

In the UK and interested in taking legal action against your prescriber? Contact Miss Caroline Moore, Medical Solicitors, Unit 8B, South West Centre, Troutbeck Road, Sheffield S8 0JR. Visit website.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Any information given on this site should not be substituted for the advice of a physician who is well-informed about benzodiazepine addiction and withdrawal. All information given here is therefore to be followed at your own risk. Abrupt cessation of benzodiazepines may be very dangerous. Always consult your prescriber if you are considering making any changes. See Medical Disclaimer.

A former Prime Minister on Benzodiazepine Addiction: "First, I pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman (Jim Dobbin, MP), who has campaigned strongly on this issue over many years. I join him in paying tribute to Professor Ashton, whom I know has considerable expertise in this area. He is right to say that this is a terrible affliction; these people are not drug addicts but they have become hooked on repeat prescriptions of tranquillisers. The Minister for Public Health is very happy to discuss this issue with him and, as he says, make sure that the relevant guidance can be issued." - Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP, Prime Minister, October 23, 2013.

"Benzodiazepine prescribing guidelines [published in 1988] have had no effect whatsoever on prescribing and GPs are now being sued...they are being picked off one by one and the size of damages being paid will force the medical defence unions to issue further warnings. This is an ongoing problem which has not been addressed by the medical profession, but is at last being addressed by the legal profession." - Professor Malcolm H Lader, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology, King's College, London, January 2012. More Quotations »»

"Klonopin - more deadly than coke" - Stevie Nicks, 2009 (video clip). More Quotations »»

"It is more difficult to withdraw people from benzodiazepines than it is from heroin. It just seems that the dependency is so ingrained and the withdrawal symptoms you get are so intolerable that people have a great deal of problem coming off. The other aspect is that with heroin, usually the withdrawal is over within a week or so. With benzodiazepines, a proportion of patients go on to long term withdrawal and they have very unpleasant symptoms for month after month, and I get letters from people saying you can go on for two years or more. Some of the tranquilliser groups can document people who still have symptoms ten years after stopping." - Professor Malcolm H Lader, Royal Maudesley Hospital, BBC Radio 4, Face The Facts, March 16, 1999. More Quotations »»

"The biggest drug-addiction problem in the world doesn't involve heroin, cocaine or marijuana. In fact, it doesn't involve an illegal drug at all. The world's biggest drug-addiction problem is posed by a group of drugs, the benzodiazepines, which are widely prescribed by doctors and taken by countless millions of perfectly ordinary people around the world... Drug-addiction experts claim that getting people off the benzodiazepines is more difficult than getting addicts off heroin... For several years now pressure-groups have been fighting to help addicted individuals break free from their pharmacological chains. But the fight has been a forlorn one. As fast as one individual breaks free from one of the benzodiazepines another patient somewhere else becomes addicted. I believe that the main reason for this is that doctors are addicted to prescribing benzodiazepines just as much as patients are hooked on taking them. I don't think that the problem can ever be solved by gentle persuasion or by trying to wean patients off these drugs. I think that the only genuine long-term solution is to be aware of these drugs and to avoid them like the plague. The uses of the benzodiazepines are modest and relatively insignificant. We can do without them. I don't think that the benzodiazepine problem will be solved until patients around the world unite and make it clear that they are not prepared to accept prescriptions for these dangerous products." - Dr Vernon Coleman, Life Without Tranquillisers, 1985.   More Quotations »»

"Benzodiazepines are indicated for the short-term relief (two to four weeks only) of anxiety that is severe, disabling or subjecting the individual to unacceptable distress, occurring alone or in association with insomnia." CSM, January 1988. See also the CMO's Update, 2004 and the BNF Guidance, November 2013.

November 21, 2023

Hooked on Valium, Part 1: How drug companies manufactured dependence, Niall McCrae, TCW London, November 20, 2023

Hooked on Valium, Part 2: The scandal of government inaction, Niall McCrae, TCW London, November 21, 2023

'Thirty years on, I still have symptoms from taking benzodiazepines', The Telegraph, March 17, 2023

Heather Ashton obituary, The Guardian, November 18, 2019

National disgrace as patients are turned into DRUG ADDICTS by their doctors, Daily Mail, March 27, 2017

The Dirty True Story about Benzodiazepines and the British Medical Association, Dr Vernon Coleman, November 10, 2016

Why are 250,000 lives still being ruined by mother's little helpers? Doctors finally admit too many patients are hooked on tranquillisers, Daily Mail, November 8, 2016

British Medical Association calls for national prescription drug helpline,, October 24, 2016

Doctors' leaders call for prescription drug helpline, BBC News, October 23, 2016

Dangers of Prescribed Tranquillisers (Benzodiazepines), Barry Haslam, Centre for Welfare Reform, August 2016

Deaths linked to anxiety drug increase to record high, Daily Mail, December 20, 2015

Diazepam, Oxazepam, Lorazepam, Temazepam and other benzodiazepines…involuntary addiction, Caroline Moore, Medical Solicitors, December 14, 2015

Mum speaks about 22 year battle to break addiction to tranquilliser, ITV News, October 22, 2015

Misprescribing of a benzodiazepine leads to £1.35m settlement for Luke Montagu, Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry, July 18, 2015

Doctors are getting patients 'hooked on happy pills, Daily Mail, June 23, 2015

British National Formulary, Benzodiazepine Guidance, Revised November 2013

Older Media Stories »»


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