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Oldham Chronicle
January 28, 2002

I would like to thank "Experienced" (January 15) for his/her comments on benzodiazepine drugs e.g. diazepam (Valium) and temazepam headed "Drugs Blindfold".

The black-market side of these drugs is causing enormous problems to society especially when injected with heroin, or indeed, taken without being medically prescribed or supervised.

I have recently had several young people in their 20s calling me for help and to explain withdrawal symptoms. They had in the past ingested or injected, speed, cocaine, and heroin.

They were completely bewildered and frightened by the experience of bad withdrawals on a legally-prescribed class C drug issued by their GPs.

They had not touched, so called hard drugs for some time, and told me nothing that they had experienced before on heroin and cocaine withdrawal compared at all with benzodiazepine drug withdrawal in intensity and length of time of suffering.

Such is the addiction, and such are the lack of resources for safe and manageable withdrawal, treatment and after care. Benzodiazepine drug addiction, both legal and illegal, is one of substance addiction and should not be swept under the carpet as only a mental health issue.

Barry Haslam, Oldham.

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