'Lucy Fernandes, a 31-year-old who lives in London, is one of countless thousands of Britons who’ve become dependent on their prescription medicines through no fault of their own.
Lucy became trapped on three drugs prescribed to her for severe anxiety. She started taking them in 2009 after seeing a psychiatrist because she was breaking down under the pressure of doing a master’s in Renaissance art history.
‘Looking back, I realise now that I was too young to have taken on such a huge challenge,’ she says. ‘I’d begun the master’s straight after finishing university.’
She was prescribed the benzodiazepine tranquillisers diazepam (formerly known as Valium) and clonazepam, plus lamotrigine, an anti-convulsant drug that is used as a mood stabiliser.
But her body developed an increasing tolerance to the drugs and she needed greater doses. However, the longer she was taking the pills, the worse the side-effects became. ‘The mood stabiliser disrupted my sleep as it made me more alert at night, while the benzodiazepines made me withdrawn,’ she says.
‘I was just not myself. Things were fuzzy. It was hard for me to understand what was going on.’
At the end of 2014, the side-effects were so debilitating that Lucy decided to stop taking her medication. But the withdrawal only made her feel worse and she had to give up her job as a gallery shop assistant and move back home.
Meanwhile, the effects of withdrawing from the drugs worsened so that for months she didn’t sleep at all.
Lucy has since managed to overcome her dependency — thanks to one of the tiny handful of organisations that offer help to patients hooked on their prescription pills.
But the NHS has now said it will no longer fund that service, leaving others with nowhere to turn for help.'
Read more: Now let's give anxiety pill addicts the help they need: Service to assist those dependent on the drugs will no longer be funded by the NHS
Did you like this article?
Thank you for your vote!
11 February 2018
Now it's the nanny HOUSE: NHS to design 'healthy homes' with smart sensors that badger you to get off the sofa
6 February 2018
Google 'robomedics' spot disease faster than doctors and will be rolled out to improve the treatment of conditions from cancer to common eye disease
From our advertisers
George Soros: Master Manipulator Maybe - But Still A Gofer. The David Icke Dot-Connector Videocast
11 hours ago
Report Finds UN Employs 3,300 Paedophiles, Responsible for 60,000 Rapes in Last 10 Years
10 hours ago
Ex-CIA operative says US has long meddled in elections, but it’s OK since they are ‘god cops’
From our advertisers