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Oldham Chronicle
August 21, 2008

Barry Haslam

Tranquilliser campaigner Barry Haslam has gone to the top to protest about addicts of prescription drugs being overlooked by the Government.

He has written to Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell about Labour's White Paper on reforming incapacity benefit.

Mr Haslam, from Uppermill, wrote to Mr Purnell in his role as chairman of Oldham Tranx, a support group for involuntary tranquilliser addicts of benzodiazepine drugs.

He told him: "We are concerned and worried with the White Paper policies and proposals to get people off incapacity benefits and back to work.

He says parts of the report on addiction are solely for users of illegal drugs, and their specialised support and treatment.

He added: "Your special advisers have completely ignored the plight of iatrogenic (medically induced) drug addicts.

"Oldham has over 5,000 such addicts. Apart from Oldham, no other area in this country provides NHS treatment for legal drug addiction.

"Benzodiazepine drugs cure nothing but do incalculable harm to patients and society."

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