« back · www.benzo.org.uk »

H O U S E   OF   C O M M O N S

APPGITA - All Party Parliamentary Group for
Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction

House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

Letter from Jim Dobbin MP to
The Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP
February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

The Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP
Home Secretary
Home Office
Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

Dear Alan,

Thank you for your decision to refer the tranquilliser issue to the ACMD. Both Mario Dunn and Will Reynolds have been in touch with my office and we are arranging a meeting with Doctor Fiona Measham of the ACMD. I understand that the tranquilliser issue will become part of an inquiry into polydrug misuse/abuse. However tranquillisers are often used on their own as a drug of abuse. Will that abuse be included in the polydrug inquiry? I shall be grateful if you would send me a copy of the terms of reference of the polydrug inquiry.

There are now two parallel tranquilliser inquiries in existence, one by the ACMD and one by the Department of Health set up by Gillian Merron MP. I would like to suggest that these two inquiries should be co-ordinated in some way. The most important part of the tranquilliser problem is the harms caused in society by prescribed tranquillisers; patient deaths, "benzo babies", addiction, long term and permanent drug injuries to patients, inability to work and the costs of benefits, date rape and abuse of the elderly. Previously neither the Home Office nor the Department of Health has taken responsibility for prescribed tranquilliser harms. Similarly, neither inquiry appears to have been instructed to investigate into this area.

My suggestion is that the inquiries should liaise to ensure that one enquiry takes responsibility for this important area and that the appropriate department then continues to take responsibility in the future.

Kind Regards,

Jim Dobbin MP

cc Professor Heather Ashton
Barry Haslam
Phil Woolas MP
Lord Sandwich
Gillian Merron MP

Email Jim Dobbin MP
Email Mick Behan

For more articles, newsletters and information please see the main APPGITA page.


« back · top · www.benzo.org.uk »