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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

Newsletter 4, February 24, 2009

  1. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction held an AGM in November and re-elected the officials.

  2. We held a week-long exhibition in the Upper Waiting Hall in the Houses of Parliament. We provided a display of slides from Professor Heather Ashton, copies of Heather's Withdrawal Protocol; Colin Downes-Grainger's 'Blaming the Patient' and Charles Medawar's 'Power and Dependence'.

  3. Ray Nimmo has kindly provided us with a page on his website benzo.org.uk.

  4. Jim Dobbin made an intervention in the Debate on the Welfare Reform Bill. This resulted in a meeting with a Department of Work and Pensions Minister, Tony McNulty MP, on the status of Tranquilliser Addicts within the provisions of the Welfare Reform Bill. Mr McNulty has asked for further information which we have provided him with.

  5. The APPGITA participated in the All Party Parliamentary Drug Misuse Group enquiry; Professor Ashton, Pam Armstrong, Una Corbett, Milly Kieve, Barry Haslam and Michael Behan gave evidence. We were disappointed with the enquiry's report. The APPGITA produced an alternative report which is available on the benzo.org.uk website.

  6. We have recently tabled an EDM, number 787, on Professor Nutt. This is available on the website, please ask your MP to sign.

  7. Phil Woolas MP wrote to the Health Minister Alan Johnson on January 26, 2009 inviting him to visit the Oldham clinic and asking him for a comprehensive government policy on addiction to prescription drugs (see Oldham Chronicle). The APPGITA will also be writing to Alan Johnson asking for a government response to the enquiry and the two reports, and also for a meeting with the Department of Health on this issue.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Dobbin MP, Chair

Email Jim Dobbin MP
Email Mick Behan

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


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