UK Doctors Ignore Clinical Guidelines for Reducing Psychiatric Drug Dependence

Cover of PHE Report

Public Health England has released a new report today on the extent of use of some of the most common medications that cause dependency, along with recommendations for beginning to tackle the problem. Among the revelations are that antidepressant prescribing continues to increase in the country -- a shocking 17% of adults in the UK are now taking these drugs.

Many of the report's recommendations center on better educating physicians and psychiatrists about the risks of dependence and withdrawal, and trying to increase "the likelihood" that clinical guidelines "will be followed." For example, the report notes that, despite wide knowledge that benzodiazepines should never be precribed for more than 3-4 weeks as dependency develops and effectiveness drops to virtually zero, many physicians and psychiatrists still routinely prescribe these drugs for long-term use, against clinical and drug-manufacturer recommendations.

The All Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence has issued a post about the report, and the report itself is publicly available from Public Health England. In the wake of the report. The Guardian newspaper seeks testimonials from people who have experienced prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal.