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Email from Ray Nimmo to Nic Dakin MP
October 31, 2010
Reply from Nic Dakin MP, November 2, 2010
Dear Mr Dakin,
I am writing to you as a constituent to ask for your help and support.
In 1984 I was prescribed a class of drugs known as Benzodiazepine Tranquillisers by a Scunthorpe doctor initially as muscle-relaxants for abdominal pain. I was subsequently told I needed to take this medication for the rest of my life because I developed symptoms of anxiety and later depression. For over 14 years I was unwittingly addicted to Valium/diazepam. In 1986 I had to give up work as a director of a local scaffolding/plant hire company because I could no longer cope with life let alone work. I have been on incapacity benefit since 1986.
I was held trapped by this drug until the summer of 1998 when a doctor, a relatively new member of my wife's Church, spotted my troubles and offered to help me if I would see him as a patient. He told me that I was suffering from Valium addiction and Valium-induced depression. He brought me off the drugs somewhat rapidly and even now more than 12 years after I came off the drugs I still suffer from a wide range of debilitating symptoms caused by the misprescription of the drug and permanent damage to my nervous system. I will never recover from the hell I have been subjected to by a NHS doctor. Not only am I in intense physical pain I have been robbed of any kind of normal life. Successive governments have consistently failed to address the benzodiazepine issue. For many years now I have sought to earn some kind of recognition and justice not only for myself but also for the countless millions of other people whose lives have been blighted by benzodiazepines.
Since 2000 I have run a website (www.benzo.org.uk) for fellow sufferers providing help, information and news.
In 2002 I successfully sued my Scunthorpe doctor although I had no funds to progress the case as I wished. I was compelled to settle out of court for the sum of £40,000. At the time your predecessor, Mr Elliot Morley was very supportive and attended the launch of an EDM in November 2002.
If my cause and plight interests you at all I would invite you to speak to Mr Jim Dobbin MP who is chair of APPGITA - The All Party Parliamentary Group for Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction. Other parliamentarians involved include The Earl of Sandwich and Phil Woolas MP.
At the time of writing to you a journalist is preparing an article for the Independent on Sunday. Earlier this month (under a Freedom of Information disclosure) it was learnt that Professor Malcolm Lader (Institute of Psychiatry) reported to the Medical Research Council in 1982 that half the patients he was treating for involuntary benzodiazepine addiction were suffering from brain damage. Professor Lader recommended further investigation though it is clear that no action was ever taken. Had his concerns been investigated at the time I and millions of others might have been spared the nightmare we suffer. You can find the official files relating to this here.
Governments and medical bodies have consistently failed to address the benzodiazepine issue, preferring instead to sweep it (and the victims) under the carpet. A public inquiry into the benzodiazepine scandal is long overdue.
Can I rely on you for support and constructive help? I don't need sympathetic words. I've had them in abundance from MPs and others in the past. Will you join the campaign I referred to above?
owner of www.benzo.org.uk
Bottesford, October 31, 2010
Reply from Nic Dakin MP, November 2, 2010
Dear Mr Nimmo
I have managed to catch a word with Jim Dobbin and am arranging for him to give me a fuller briefing of the issues in the near future. I will work with him to progress the issues of concern you raise. In this respect I will join the campaign to address these injustices.
Thank you for getting in touch with me about this.
Note: I would encourage people in the UK to lobby their MPs and urge them to support APPGITA. A list of MPs contact details / email addresses can be found here.
APPGITA Main Page
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