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Thread: NHS Diazepam being withdrawn in NI

  1. #1

    NHS Diazepam being withdrawn in NI

    I am not prescribed this but friends and relatives are being phoned by pharmacists and nurses from get this- Community Addiction Teams ( whose time might be better spent elsewhere) indeed my key worker is spending part of their time engaged in this- and told it's being withdrawn early next year.
    Some had to go to GP who confirmed same and moved them from monthly to weekly prescriptions! These people are not all misusers, some are heart patients, people with sleep disturbance and all forms of anxiety. They want to replace diazepam with PREGABILIN!!
    No professional has told me this directly but my partner and relatives were told. And that it was decided at board level and will be Trust wide.

    Anyone else affected or heard this? Is it just Northern Ireland. Or the Northern trust area. Diazepam can be a wonder drug. And as I'm just out of rehab I have seen firsthand that its the Lyrica that is the problem here not NHS Benzos.

    People will have to go elsewhere for their Diaz and here that means street "loyalist blues" pills which have killed dozens over the years.

    note to mod:I don't post much so if this is inappropriate feel free to delete.

  2. #2
    Jesus fucking christ. It's one of the WHO's drugs included on the list of essential basic medications for a national medical system, specifically for its use in treating seizures. What the FUCK.

    Thats just fucking stupid as shit. They obviously haven't given the slightest bit of thought to how many NEW problems, some of them very severe, potentially landing people in hospital or worse, that going ahead with bollocks like that is going to create. A lot more than it has a cat in hell's chance of solving, thats for sure. Stupid fucking bastards.

  3. #3
    There is a callousness involved- cold call from pharmacist and those who don't want to argue are cut off cold turkey.

    That is an excellent point about the WHO, thanks. I will pass that on to those who are still arguing their case with local health centres.

    As a young nurse many years ago the definition of anxiety we were told was a set of symptoms that were relieved by a dose of diazepam!! How times change.
    I have no doubt drug reps, big TVs and golfing weekends influence many decisions about prescribing but it sounds like a near blanket ban, judicial review anyone?
    Also it's under the radar nothing in media or mental health charities. I've heard nothing about this apart from the individuals and staff member who I know who are involved.

  4. #4
    It's also needed as diastat, an emulsion in plastic one-dose tubes, intended for a carer to rescue someone having a seizure, by sticking it where the sun don't shine.

    A blanket ban? that is shocking, and absolutely ridiculous! it sure as shit isn't funny, because of all the people who will suffer. NOBODY will gain from an initiative such as this. Not one single person will benefit as a result of this coming to pass. But if it is allowed to do so, many people will be forced into cold turkey withdrawal, many people will suffer because they are forced to rapid-taper by some prick doctor who just resorts to fobbing off patients who point out that it is a disgusting, stupid and dangerous thing to do, by saying 'oh you'll be fine',

    This needs to be stopped, big time. I'm not irish, but still. This MUST be publicized, gotten out there so it is in people's faces, so people know about the threat and can rise against it.

    Stupid, callous, repugnant and dangerous. Get on to the likes of mental health charities, coordinate with the indiidual and staff member, start a campaign. This sounds like it needs the publicity, and urgently.

    And shit! doctors should know better, than to, regardless of their opinion or what a patient has done, even if they have outright abused benzos big time. There IS no other choice, than to continue prescribing on a temporary basis and taper down the benzo until the individual is off it. Cutting an addict off cold turkey could leave them dead, or brain damaged.

  5. #5
    Bluelight Crew Kaden_Nite's Avatar
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    Do you have a source for this? I can't find any articles about it. As Limpet says, diazepam is considered an essential medicine, I doubt that it's being discontinued and I can't find news of it being rescheduled.

  6. #6
    Bluelighter BPD help plz's Avatar
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    I know my doctor has been trying to get me off it for years but for years she just thought she was trying (and failing miserably) to treat anxiety and depression, well it turns out i have borderline personality disorder and have been passed along as i am broken machinery beyond her training to help....good luck to the therapist who seems to think that some good old fashionned 'talking therapy' is going to have me cured of all of a life times amount of ailments....i mean...come on...i've been taking drugs since the age of 12....i have been self medicating because fuck all that any doctor has ever tossed my way has done a damned thing.....i am literally on the brink of suicide and if that fucking therapist thinks i just need a chat i will rip his fucking head off.....err...hi guys and gals!!

  7. #7
    I know the NHS is always trying to get people off benzos because they seem to absolutely hate their very existence but I can't imagine it's being withdrawn. That would be a decision made by NICE not even the NHS let alone pharmacists. And if NICE had made such a decision it would be reported.

    But if certain CCGs were trying to make it more difficult for patients to get their scripts and encourage switching to pregabs that I would not be surprised by.

    The ironic thing is that pregabalin is even worse to be addicted to or dependent on and has far worse side effects, plus it isn't nearly as well researched as benzodiazepines... but who gives a fuck eh it's not an evil benzo and Pfizer told us it's safe, why would they lie?

  8. #8
    If true this is utterly disgusting. I already have to get mine from ?other? sources as doctors just won?t prescribe. Diaz stops me wanting to kill myself. It?s stops my panicking. It?s stops me being an asshole. I have bi polar disorder. Apparently talking about it will help. The ?talking? is to a computer program which can?t hear me (cbt!). Im forced into illegal actions due to the ignorance of doctors. Now I?m be forced into ever more illegal actions to get a tablet with HUGE medicinal benefits to me. This is just another ill thought out decision which will bring far more harm than good. So illegal it is, for honest people!

  9. #9
    Bluelighter LoginNotSecure's Avatar
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    Load of waffle pal.

  10. #10
    Yeah this is bollocks don't worry about it.

    I still get benzo scripts just fine off the NHS even clonazepam 2mg. It is not easy and requires luck more than anything else (a doctor who does not think benzos are the devil and who trusts you not to abuse your medication) but they are not withdrawing shit. Whether the NHS like it or not benzos still have undeniable medical value and have yet to be replaced by anything superior - and no, pregabalin is not superior to benzos.

  11. #11
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    As there does not seem to be a source for this I may as well re - iterate the obvious points made in this thread - while NHS patients undoubtedly have had a historically difficult time requesting benzodiazepine treatments following the lawsuits of the 1980's they are still widely used and while some local treatment policies may have been enacted to encourage prescription reduction in favour of alternative GABAgenics no civilised society would ever consider withdrawing a drug such as diazepam, which is regarded as the gold standard among its family of drugs for reasons that are well earned. It is included on the WHO's list of essential medicines for its dynamism, not only does it have arguably the most comprehensive effect profile among the huge range of benzo derivatives used across the worlds health care markets, as Limpet stated at the outset the drug is a proven lifesaver for a range of neurological emergencies above and beyond its use as a super - acute therapeutic medication in patients requiring anxiety management, short term hypnotics or relief from muscular discomfort.

    The reason that much of our legitimate black market diazepam is sourced abroad from locations including second and third world countries is testament to the drugs value - some of the places we buy diazepam from have little more than a pot to piss in at times, but regardless neither they, or any country within the United Kingdom, would even consider restricting access to this drug as public health care policy.
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  12. #12
    Extremely well put, stee.

  13. #13
    Bluelighter blondin's Avatar
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    Ah the ol talking therapy, you will wait at least 6 months depending where you are and get x6 sessions...fortunately I have a private script but even my doc will only let me have 21 a month so i cant take every day and get addicted (given the long 1/2 life that would still have me handcuffed )but as I tend to only take them a few days in a row with a whiskey or two or after a smoke I have never had a problem....just nod out peacefully on never more than 2

  14. #14
    To be quite honest, and it isn't so much benzos specifically, as meds in general, I've found that GPs seem to range from one pole or the other, either completely over the top to the point of negligence, or so stingy that they'd have to be battered with a rusty nail-studded cricket bat to give so much as 10mg diazepam to a patient in the middle of a grand-mal tonic-clonic seizure.

    I get HELL for being a chronic pain patient, and if I have an acute injury, as I do now (just had to have surgery on my leg), they just think oh, he's already on painkillers, no reason to bother giving him any more, having no fucking idea that for chronic pain, if someone is at a given level of opioid use, it, if they are bloody lucky, might cover the pain they normally have
    but that if they are then injured seriously, they just expect whatever they are on already to be enough.

    Yet a while back, over a year, I asked for and after some arguing, got what I myself said was to be a temporary script for nitrazepam due to certain life events that were both noxious and out of my control. Got 10mg/d. Had to go in for refills making an appt. for a few weeks, but then they just put it on my repeats and didn't bother thinking about it ever again.

    I tend to take them all, over two days (for a weeks supply), maybe one tablet, or a couple of them occasionally otherwise, but generally, just the last two days, when my pain med rx runs thin or runs out, what with them not giving me enough to control my pain. If I DID take them as prescribed, I'd have been physically dependent long ago.

    Negligent, stupid, thick pack of babyfuckers who seem completely impervious to logic.

  15. #15
    It's not all meds. Ask nearly any GP on the NHS for SSRIs and they will throw them at you like sweeties on Christmas. GABAergics and opioids however they are extremely stingy with as the general rule unless you are very lucky.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Limpet_Chicken View Post
    To be quite honest, and it isn't so much benzos specifically, as meds in general, I've found that GPs seem to range from one pole or the other, either completely over the top to the point of negligence, or so stingy that they'd have to be battered with a rusty nail-studded cricket bat to give so much as 10mg diazepam to a patient in the middle of a grand-mal tonic-clonic seizure.

    I get HELL for being a chronic pain patient, and if I have an acute injury, as I do now (just had to have surgery on my leg), they just think oh, he's already on painkillers, no reason to bother giving him any more, having no fucking idea that for chronic pain, if someone is at a given level of opioid use, it, if they are bloody lucky, might cover the pain they normally have
    but that if they are then injured seriously, they just expect whatever they are on already to be enough.

    Yet a while back, over a year, I asked for and after some arguing, got what I myself said was to be a temporary script for nitrazepam due to certain life events that were both noxious and out of my control. Got 10mg/d. Had to go in for refills making an appt. for a few weeks, but then they just put it on my repeats and didn't bother thinking about it ever again.

    I tend to take them all, over two days (for a weeks supply), maybe one tablet, or a couple of them occasionally otherwise, but generally, just the last two days, when my pain med rx runs thin or runs out, what with them not giving me enough to control my pain. If I DID take them as prescribed, I'd have been physically dependent long ago.

    Negligent, stupid, thick pack of babyfuckers who seem completely impervious to logic.
    That nitrazepam story just never gets old does it, lol!!

    Seriously though, doctors are clamping right down on a lot of things now, even opiates for chronic pain. I've got a fucked left leg from a combination of an old parachuting injury, an old RPG shrapnel injury and more recently falling off a ladder. I was on painkillers before this most recent one and rather than having them increased to handle the increased pain, the doctors have actually decreased them. The story they gave me was that they are under a great deal of pressure from the CCGs to reduce everyone's narcotic painkillers and then gave me some complete bullshit story about how 60mg morphine equivalent is "the maximum your opiate receptors can use at one time and anything more than that is just ineffective" (yes a GP actually said that.. I guess they just assume we're all fucking stupid and don't know any better). I was on 100mcg/hour fentanyl patch and between 80 - 120mg oxycodone per day for breakthrough pain while in the hospital this summer, which is now down to just 87.5mcg/hour fentanyl and nothing for breakthrough. I'm not complaining too much though as I hate being dependent on opioids and while I've quite very large prescribed doses cold turkey before in the past several times, this time the pain is too bad for me to just CT, I tried a few weeks ago but realized it wasn't gonna work. It is very annoying though how when you're already on a large does of opioids and then suffer some sort of painful accident, they assume that you won't need any extra or if you do then a tiny amount will suffice. This is why I'd rather be off them since if something happens to you, you're kind of fucked. I'd much rather be in the position of being completely tolerance free and be able to have my pain addressed satisfactorily by 10mg oral morphine than be stuck on a large does of fent and upon suffering an accident be offered the same paltry does of oramorph and have them assume it's gonna do anything for someone with a high tolerance. I'm also on 600mg/day of pregabalin which I'd like to be off too. The majority of the pain in my leg and foot is neuropathic in nature and since I was also on the pregab before this current accident, it's doing fuck all to help and I could really do with some relief from this pain I'm in... it's really, really bad. Some days I can barely get out of bed or get more than a few hours of sleep a night because of it. Just sod's law to have hurt the exact same area 3 times in very different accidents. I'm due another operating in January to try and remove the last of the shrapnel from (what I've always assume was) the RPG (there was a shit ton of incoming ordinance that particular day... RPGs, 82mm mortars, 107mm Katyusha rockets, SPG-9 recoilless rifles as well as the ubiquitous small arms and machine guns... an RPG-7 just seemed the most likely candidate.

    So yeah, if you're a chronic pain patient and this trend does prove to be universal throughout the NHS and not just localised to my area of the UK then be prepared to have your opioids dramatically reduced or even stopped altogether...

  17. #17
    Bluelighter LoginNotSecure's Avatar
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    apocalypse_when, why are you seeing a GP about painkillers/on-going pain management issues when you clearly should be seeing a Pain Management Specialist?

    You don't have to get a referral from your GP, you can refer yourself. Go to: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/Pa...ionSearch/1426 input your area/location, doesn't have to be exact, click Pain Management Treatment, (
    NOT Pain Management Services) and it'll give you a list of hospitals, clinics and contact information.

    Give them a ring and make an appointment, explain your situation and make them aware it's imperative you see someone within 14 days. If you'd want to make your GP see you're playing hardball, ask at reception for a complaints form. Don't worry, it will definitely get back to the Dr quicker than a bolt of lightening. Even though it's "confidential"..

    Not all GP's are nobs buddy.

  18. #18
    It's all a postcode lottery on the NHS, nothing is universal across the whole country. There's even parts of the country where you can see a psychiatrist in a couple weeks and get a diazepam script trust me I've done it 100% on the NHS. This is the exception rather than the rule, but the fact remains the NHS is always a postcode lottery.

    And I really cannot emphasise enough how much it helps to have a doctor who trusts you. If your GP is trusting and flexible they have a lot more power to make your life easier than you think. My GP put me on 2mg clonazepam for anxiety just because I asked for it. Not only is that the max dose of a highly potent benzo but NICE hasn't even approved clonazepam for use in anxiety. Most GPs would be reluctant to do things like this but they absolutely can if they want to, and they'll want to if they trust you.

    Some doctors are just stubborn and may hate benzos and simply be completely opposed to prescribing them, but you get my point, you need to learn to find a doctor who will work with you and show them you as a patient can be trusted.

    Oh and my local CCG has been putting pressure on the docs in my area as well. My GP even told me this, that they are "putting a lot more controls on these kind of drugs that can be abused" right before scripting me up to 4mg clonazepam a day regardless... like I said you cannot underestimate the importance of a doctor who trusts you.

    A doctor who says they can't prescribe you XYZ is a doctor saying they don't trust you with XYZ.

    Edit: regarding opiates, my GP has also scripted me DHC and Oramorph over the phone before no fuss.
    Last edited by Wilson Wilson; 13-11-2018 at 00:10.

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