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April 27, 2004
There can be no doubt that the driving force behind Oldham's treatment plan for long-term tranquilliser addicts is Barry Haslam, whose life was wrecked, not by illegal drugs, but by treatment available on the NHS.
For a long time Mr Haslam was a voice in the wilderness and he must have been tempted to give up the ghost and leave his fellow and future tranquilliser addicts to a fate that he knew only too well.
But Mr Haslam is made of stronger stuff than that and he battled on, gradually winning the support of local MPs, Euro MPs and the backing of local health experts.
To its eternal credit, Oldham Primary Care Trust responded to Mr Haslam's concerns, drawing up a pioneering treatment plan that aims to help those already addicted to tranquillisers while working with GPs to reduce the alarming number of prescriptions written for what are now known to be drugs that can, in the long term, cause irreparable damage.
The treatment plan comes too late to help Mr Haslam but what a legacy he has created.
Inspiring Barry, Oldham Chronicle, May 4, 2004 Oldham Chronicle, April 26, 2004 Oldham Conference Agenda News Release Professor Ashton's Conference Speech
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