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APPGITA - Email from Ray Nimmo to Elliot Morley MP

October 15, 2006

Dear Elliot,

It is now some time since I was last in touch with you and a few years since I met you at the EDM launch at the House of Commons. Unfortunately very little has changed with regard to the Benzodiazepine Scandal. I would however like to alert you to a new All Party Parliamentary Group for Tranquilliser Addiction (APPGITA) headed by Jim Dobbin and John Grogan. An initial meeting will be held on November 7, 2006 in Dining Room A from 4-6 pm. Professor Heather Ashton of Newcastle University will give an address to the meeting. I am currently preparing a web version of Professor Ashton's address and will send you the link once finished.

On a personal level little has changed. I am still crippled by the long-lasting effects of long-term exposure to benzodiazepines. Interestingly, the cluster of permanent symptoms I still suffer from are mentioned by Professor Ashton in her lecture.

In spite of all efforts to expose and deal with this medical scandal very little has changed. For example, none of the doctors I've seen at my local GP surgery accepts that my relentless suffering (it is now eight years since I came off the drugs) is caused by my long term exposure to the drugs. I've even been derided by some of these medical practitioners and feel as though I am banging my head against a brick wall.

In my experience a significant number of people prescribed benzodiazepines long term never fully recover from the long term effects. Since there is no way to predict who will be indefinitely disabled by these drugs surely this is sufficient reason to either ban or severely restrict their use in the treatment of anxiety, sleep and muscle related problems.

Sadly, the small victory for this Scunthorpe man a few years ago never translated to the giant leap I hoped for. You and your parliamentary colleagues are, however, in a privileged position to orchestrate the changes that will make a difference not only to help the countless casualties of this nightmare but to spare others from being subject to this most unnecessary abuse in the future.

I do hope you will be able to attend and lend your continued support.

Very best wishes,

Ray Nimmo

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