DRUG ADDICTION PRESCRIPTION
The book documents her escalating regimen of drugs -
Valium, Librium, Stelazine, Serax, Dalmane, Restoril, Ativan.
In no time, she'd sunk into an addiction.
"...a masterful, lucid and cogent account of
the causes and horrific consequences of
Book chronicles author's battle with prescription drugs
by Don Fraser, Southam News, May 16, 2001
Joan Gadsby had no clue an escalating 23-year-old addiction to tranquilizers, sleeping pills and anti-depressants was on the verge of killing her. But on Feb 2, 1990, her house of prescription bottles came tumbling down. The events described in her 2000 book, ADDICTION BY PRESCRIPTION: ONE WOMAN'S TRIUMPH AND FIGHT FOR CHANGE, proved a pivotal moment in Gadsby's life.
She'd had a terrible night and violently ended a relationship with a boyfriend. Gadsby was awash in self pity, thinking about her lost son. She remembered reaching for a beer and swallowing a few pills. It was a habit that was about to run its course. Soon, the Vancouver marketing executive was on the phone making distressed calls to friends and acquaintances. Her daughter finally called 911. At about 3:30 am, police smashed in the glass panel to her front door. Gadsby was in a heap on the dining room from an unintentional overdose. She wasn't breathing. Emergency crews revived her before she died.
"I was an intelligent woman and had no idea about the long-term effects of these prescription drugs," said Gadsby. "I just didn't have a clue, I trusted the doctor." She spent the next three years in a living hell of withdrawal. "It meant totally rebuilding my health," said Gadsby. "And that had to be done physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It also meant rebuilding my family."
Two of Gadsby's children died of cancer. Four-year-old son Derek died from a brain tumour on Christmas Day 1966 - the repercussions of that and a strained marriage sparked her odyssey with pharmaceuticals. The drugs, she said, suppressed her emotions and put her on automatic pilot for two decades. "My dealing with Derek's death didn't happen until I was off the pills," said Gadsby. "Only then could I cry."
The book documents her escalating regimen of drugs - Valium, Librium, Stelazine, Serax, Dalmane, Restoril, Ativan. In no time, she'd sunk into an addiction.
After the 1990 overdose, she returned to her family doctor, wondering why she'd been prescribed so many mood-altering drugs for so long. "He simply refused to help," she said. "There's a lack of expertise and medical knowledge by people who should know about the effects of these drugs and how to help people get off them. "The bottom line is I never needed this stuff." Gadsby later sued him, but lost.
Though the 1990s would prove a time of rebirth for Gadsby, family tragedy reared its head again. Daughter Deb was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 and died in Kelowna in May 1999 at age 37. Gadsby writes about the tragedy in ADDICTIN BY PRESCRIPTION published shortly after her death. "I had no need of pills to cope with the fear and uncertainty that Deb's disease created, nor did I need them to cope with grief over the loss of my beloved daughter," she writes.
ADDICTION BY PRESCRIPTION: ONE WOMAN'S TRIUMPH AND FIGHT FOR CHANGE
by Joan Gadsby
words from back cover:
Benzodiazepines - including sleeping pills and tranquilizers - are the best-selling drugs in the history of medicine, with annual world-wide sales of an estimated $21 billion. With such a lucrative market at stake, high-powered promotional campaigns have convinced millions that tranquilizers and sleeping pills are needed to cope with life's everyday challenges. Hundreds of prescriptions are written each day, despite known and often serious physical, cognitive and emotional side-effects. Dependency is not uncommon, and withdrawal can be lengthy and frightening. The bottom line? Millions of people throughout the world are becoming addicted by prescription.
In 1966, when Joan Gadsby's four-year-old son died of brain cancer, her doctor prescribed a "chemical cocktail" of tranquilizers, sleeping pills and anti-depressants. It was the first step in her twenty-three year addiction to benzodiazepines - an addiction which threatened her family relationships, financial security, career and personal health. It was only after she almost died following an unintentional overdose in 1990 that she stopped taking the drugs, and tackled the horrors of withdrawal on her own.
Gadsby has merged from her addiction to become a tireless advocate in the area of prescribed sedative hypnotic drugs and anti-depressants. Drug-free for more than a decade, she has interviewed consumers, doctors, health care professionals, pharmaceutical representatives, academics, pharmacists and government officials world-wide, producing a powerful call to action. Her extensive international research has earned her recognition as an authority on benzodiazepine addiction.
Update: UNKNOWN AUTHOR RISK POEM KNOWN
ONLY A PERSON WHO RISKS IS FREE (poem from page 147 of Addiction by Prescription by Joan Gadsby)
Joan E. Gadsby's Main Page (author of "Addiction By Prescription", President of Market-Media International Corp. and Vice President of the Benzodiazepine Awareness Network)
Reader Jamie says thanks for the info on Drug Abuse and sends a link to further research
Reader Karen says the webpage helps alot as a resource for her students
CHIMP GOES APE ON XANAX
Drug nation: The rise of antidepressants as the most prescribed drug in America leads to misuse
by Kelly Outram, Daily Orange, Feb 5, 2009
....A few weeks later, Beretsky went to her family doctor and described the symptoms she had. After taking several tests for her heart, she discovered that what she was experiencing were panic attacks. To combat them, her doctor gave her a prescription for Xanax, a drug used to curb panic attacks, with the instructions "Take them every time you feel a panic attack coming on." And she did. For about a year, until finals week of her junior year, Beretsky found herself having panic attacks daily - sometimes several times a day. She continued to take Xanax as she felt the symptoms, but soon the constant pill-swallowing made her uncomfortable....This is part of the current drug culture in America..... The National Institute of Mental Health described antidepressants as medications used to treat depression. The most commonly prescribed type is called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which includes brands such as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft. "What the antidepressants do is give the brain more serotonin, which is supposed to affect the person's mood. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that transmits nerve signals between nerve cells and cause blood to flow," Palfai said. "In depression, the person usually has something blocking the passageways, which can affect the mood." ..."It's easy for doctors to prescribe medicine and for patients to take a pill, rather than take a hard look at themselves," said Gregory. "Instead of making life decisions, people will just take meds to feel better rather than look into what is driving their depression. It's like putting a Band-Aid on a stab wound." Communication between the doctor and patient is key, said Gregory. It's the physician's job to delve inside the life matrix of the patient and see what the real problem is. Ultimately, this is the only way to get real help....Beretsky had three attempts at getting off antidepressants. When she first tried to cut her dosages by taking them every other day, her anxiety got worse and she had to go back to taking the full dosages again. In addition to reverting back to her old symptoms, Berestsky also started experiencing withdrawal symptoms. "I started getting a flurry of uncomfortable sensations, most notably, the zaps," she said. "The zaps are electrical-shock sensations that are very common in antidepressant withdrawal that begin at your neck and feel like they are running down your spine." Berestsky also felt more fatigued than usual as she cut down her medication. One day she decided to resume taking Paxil at her usual dosage, and she felt "good as new."....
Cottrill had more of an emotional problem getting off antidepressants....He took his first medication, Prozac, for only two weeks and his second, Zoloft, for less than a week. He didn't like the numb feeling the medication gave him. Cottrill said the first few days of the medication were the most carefree days of his life. But that quickly changed for him. "Life was good until I realized how different of a person I had become. I no longer thought the same, and even though I wasn't as 'depressed' as I used to be, the effect on my personality was negative. I could no longer feel as happy or as sad as things were, how I understood them. It made me not as able to want to survive to live another day," he said. Gregory said recent research has shown that college-aged and younger students run a small risk of becoming suicidal while on antidepressants. This is because the drugs activate before their mental outlets improve, causing restlessness which makes it more likely that the patient will act on suicidal thoughts. This emphasizes the importance of seeking some type of talk therapy in addition to medication. Gregory said when it comes to therapy, resources are limited and it can be difficult not only to pay for, but also to find therapists. "Insurance companies are more willing to pay for medicine than long-term psychotherapy care," he said. "Especially with college students. They don't have much money, and counseling centers only give short-term care."
HUXLEY'S UNBRAVE NEW WORLD ORDER and Soma in Huxley's Brave New World
14.Scientific Experimentation and 35.BB's Brotherhood and DRUG WAR IS PEACE
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