I would like to take this opportunity to share my thoughts by making the following public message to the authorities (Ministry of Health, hospitals, doctors, drug companies, law makers, government agencies) with the safety of the general public in mind.
Although it is intended as a message, most of the content raises serious questions.
- Despite decades of information confirming the dangers of benzodiazepines, and recommendations by experts not to prescribe them for any more than 2~4 weeks, why are they still being needlessly prescribed long term on such a massive scale?
- Why is it that so many of the doctors and pharmacists I have met in Japan believe that benzodiazepines are non-addictive?
- Why is it that, whenever I meet someone for the first time and tell them about my story, they know of someone experiencing exactly the same thing?
- Why is it that so many doctors (in Japan) are not advising their patients about what the drugs are, what they are for, the risks including addiction and side-effects, withdrawal, how to withdrawal and the dangers of stopping suddenly?
- Why is it that so many health workers are unaware of protracted withdrawal symptoms caused by iatrogenic benzodiazepine addiction, and the debilitating long term effects of these drugs?
- Why is it that a doctor (the doctor I saw initially) was able to practice using an outdated medical diagnosis, no longer recognized in modern medicine, and put his own interpretation on it before prescribing drugs that were totally unsuited to the said diagnosis?
- How is it that someone, who was essentially an ENT (the doctor I saw initially), was able to give himself the homemade title of “XXX Neurologist” and prescribe psychotropic drugs without any explanation of the reasons or dangers?
- Despite being against Japanese law, how is it that the same doctor and the hospital he worked for were able to appoint a nearby dispensary from which I had to collect my prescriptions? (Medical practices are not permitted to appoint drug dispensaries...)
- Why is it that after trying to escape my iatrogenic benzodiazepine addiction, and seeking help from another hospital, the new doctor was able to use yet another totally ambiguous diagnostic term (Autonomic Nervous Disorder) that has absolutely no scientific basis and is completely misleading in nature?
- How can such an unfounded and misleading term as Autonomic Nervous Disorder actually be given serious recognition in either the medical or legal systems?
- How is it that I came to Japan as a young man so full of potential seeking a career in International relations and ended up being totally incapacitated by a horrible drug addiction which has affected my entire life?
- Just as a builder or any other professional is required to have a special license to handle dangerous goods, why is it that any doctor can freely dish out benzodiazepines without having sufficient knowledge about them?
- According to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)’s 2010 Report, Japan has the highest average consumption rate of “anxiolytic” benzodiazepines in Asia with the only exception being Iran (See Figure 20 on page 35).
- Japan has the highest average consumption rate of “sedative-hypnotic” benzodiazepines in the world with the only exception being Belgium (See Figure 26 on page 39).
- Given that dependence can develop in as little as 2~4 weeks, on even minimal prescription doses, it should be so blatantly obvious that there must be masses of people suffering needlessly in the quiet; affecting not only individuals, but entire families, workplaces and indeed all society. Yet nothing changes – why is that?
- It is saddening that such a serious problem as this has been allowed to continue in the dark without: first, any recognition that there is a problem, any initiatives to measure the scale of the problem, sufficient research into long term/permanent effects, or any support for sufferers such as specialist withdrawal clinics.
- Like any problem, progress can only be made by firstly acknowledging that there is in fact a problem. Also, like any problem, it stems from the top, so the government should take much responsibility for allowing these types of situations to occur.
- Governments are funded by the people (tax payers) to provide public service. This is a serious problem that requires immediate and well overdue attention.
On This PageMy Thoughts
The primary language of this website is English. Japanese appears as translations only (except for some original court documents).
These translations have been done by many different translators including me. Therefore, there are differences in quality and styles.
Please understand that I am not native Japanese and subsequently there are parts that may sound unnatural in Japanese.
See the latest in Global Benzo News.