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Addiction by Prescription

September 18, 2002

Addiction by Prescription


In 1966 Joan Gadsby's four-year-old son died of a brain tumour. In response, her trusted family physician prescribed a "chemical cocktail" of tranquillizers, sleeping pills and anti-depressants – an act that initiated Gadsby's slow descent into an abyss of unrecognized addiction.

Over the next 20 years, Gadsby's career, her family relationships, her financial security and her health were all threatened by her "addiction by prescription". She was on various occasions arrested, restrained, and sedated as a result of the paradoxical side effects of the drugs. It was only after she unintentionally overdosed in 1990 and almost lost her life that she found out the insidious effects of the drugs, stopped taking them and went through the "hell" of withdrawal – alone.

Gadsby has emerged from her addiction to become a tireless advocate for systemic change and accountability of prescribed sedative/hypnotic drugs. She has interviewed thousands – from consumers to doctors to pharmaceutical representatives and government officials as she conducted extensive international research – in her quest to expose the shocking truth of the depth and breadth of addiction by prescription which affects hundreds of thousands of men and women worldwide.

Not since I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can which became an international bestseller in 1979 has a book so powerfully addressed prescription drug addiction and its devastation of people's lives. In addition, this book offers a powerful "call to action" with concrete proposals for resolving these complex issues.

About the Author

JOAN E. GADSBY is President/Owner of Market-Media International Corp. and lives in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. A former marketing executive with four of Canada's largest companies, she was an elected poll-topping Councillor for 13 years. Drug-free for over eleven years, Gadsby's quality of life has improved tenfold. In 1994, she was selected as one of Canada's notable women by the Canadian University Women's Club. In 2002, she received an Honorary PhD in Prescription Drug Addiction, Medical Research, Public Health and Promotion.With Jack McGaw, award winning tv documentary producer, Gadsby produced the television documentary Our Pill Epidemic, the Shocking Story of a Society Hooked on Drugs, which first aired nationally in 1998 and is available on video. (Orders can be placed by calling 1 800 4715628 in North America or email orders@crownvideo.com for international formats).

An internationally recognized expert, public speaker and consultant on the responsible and informed use of tranquillizers, sleeping pills and anti-depressants, Joan Gadsby is vice-president of the International Benzodiazepine Awareness Network (BAN). Her homepage can be found at www.addictionbyprescription.com and www.benzo.org.uk. She is also Project Leader/Consultant for a multi-stakeholder strategic action plan and awareness campaign to address the issue.


"Joan Gadsby's feisty outlook, energetic approach, and organizational abilities will add significantly to the mounting pressure on the medical profession world-wide to rethink their prescribing practices with regard to benzodiazepines..." – Professor C. Heather Ashton, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

"It is over 20 years since I, with others, first drew attention to the extent and severity of dependence on therapeutic doses of benzodiazepines. The suffering goes on, but Joan Gadsby's well-researched story should help focus attention on this appalling problem and its solution." – Professor Malcolm Lader, Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Institute of Psychiatry, London, England.

"This is a harrowing and brutally frank story of one woman's struggle to free herself from mind-numbing and soul-destroying tranquilizing drugs... But she did triumph and has produced a powerful call to action..." – Dr. David Cohen, Professor, School of Social Work, Florida International University and co-author of "Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Drugs".

"This book is a masterful, lucid and cogent account of the causes and horrific consequences of benzodiazepine dependency." – Dr. Reg Peart, Victims of Tranquillisers, England

Addiction by Prescription

  • by Joan Gadsby
  • 6 x 9, 304 pp.
  • $19.95 pb, 1-55263-334-9
  • $29.95 hc, 1-55263-156-7


Joan Gadsby can be reached at:

4507 Cedarcrest Ave,
North Vancouver,
BC., V7R 3R2 Canada
Phone: (604) 987 - 6064
Fax: (604) 987 - 6063
or Email Joan E. Gadsby

To purchase a copy of "Addiction By Prescription", please fax, email or phone with the following information:




  Mailing Address:_____________________________________


  Phone:___________________ Fax:_____________________

  E-mail: __________________ 

  _____ copy(ies) Addiction By Prescription $19.95pb, ISBN 1552633349

  _____ copy(ies) Addiction By Prescription $29.95hc, ISBN 1552631567

  Bill To: Credit Card # ________________________________

  Expiry Date _______ month _______ year

  Fax: 1-800-829-6898 Phone: 1-800-471-5628
  EMAIL orders@crownvideo.com
  Revised September 18, 2002

Joan Gadsby's Main Page on this Site · Joan Gadsby's Prescription Addiction Website

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