I cannot believe the naivety, bordering on ignorance of Graham Watts, Consultant Hypnotherapist, in relation to prescription drug dependence. He obviously knows very little about Antidepressants and Benzodiazepines and having looked at his experience I understand why.
The programme was about the sensationalisation of the term ‘Addiction’ and to say the difference between addiction and dependence is down to semantics shows a complete lack of understanding of the issues.
In future, I would suggest, if you wish to discuss the issues further you do so treating Opioids and Antidepressants / Benzodiazepines as separate issues. Referring to semantics; the terms, “profile of someone who is addicted”, "drug of choice",“relieves a symptom”, “can’t cope without drug”, ‘fear”, "cover up”, “loss of control”, “using’ and “staying off drugs", have no place in the lives of patients who are dependent on Antidepressants or Benzodiazepines.
In February and June 2016, I attended Stakeholder Roundtable Meetings at the BMA Board of Science in London, to discuss and identify what positive actions can be taken for the future benefit of patients affected by prescribed drugs associated with dependence and withdrawal. This was in light of an analysis report published by the BMA in October 2015
These actions focus of four key policy calls:
The creation of a national (UK) helpline for prescribed drug dependence
An increase in provision of specialist support services
Revised guidance for doctors on safe prescribing, management and withdrawal of prescription drugs
Better education and training for healthcare professionals
The reason there is a call for “specialist support services” is because Antidepressant and Benzodiazepine actions and effects cause both psychological and physical dependence of which few services dealing with addiction to illegal drugs and opioids have any understanding.
To suggest people “experiment” with reducing psychotropic medication is a dangerous statement for Mr Watts to make. If he knows of clinics in Scotland specialising in prescribed drug dependence I would be pleased to hear of them. In return, I would be delighted to send him information about prescribed drug dependence, if it is genuinely an area of interest to him.
Finally, I believe, BBC Radio Scotland, that you owe Fiona French an apology. She is an “Expert by experience” and was treated with little respect by your presenter and Graham Watts.