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By Jenny Foulds
Two women have teamed up to form a unique addiction group — and raise awareness of the effects of mind altering prescription drugs.
Human givens therapist Marion Brown, of Garelochhead, and a client from the area, who has personal experience of the effects of the pills, have joined forces to warn of the danger surrounding anti-depressants.
They say users can suffer withdrawal, which can be worse than those experienced by heroin addicts. The pair have developed a self-help support group — Recovery and Renewal — which aims to empower people experiencing difficulties with any antidepressants, benzodiazepines or opiate-based painkillers.
It will hold weekly meetings in Helensburgh, exploring topics such as the nature of addiction and therapies, including acupuncture and aromatherapy. The client, who wished to remain anonymous, explained: “People are often told to take these drugs because they have a chemical imbalance which the pills can cure but that is highly disputed now by expert doctors and therapists.
“Everybody has a tolerance level to drugs. When you have a glass of wine and it does not take you to the level it used to, you might have another glass to get the same effect. When the prescribed drugs become less effective often doctors increase the dose, only to create a greater problem than before. Eventually, you may be climbing on a skyscraper of drugs and feel great but when you stop taking them altogether, the problems really start.”
She added: “Coming off drugs like heroin and cocaine can be far easier. People may experience unexplainable fear, nausea, agitation, people around them may see differences in their personality and behaviour. They might go back to their GP, who may claim the symptoms are due to the reason they started taking the drug in the first place.”
Marion, 59, believes life’s ever increasing demands are pushing more to take pills. She said: “GPs do what they can by prescribing medication for the symptoms presented to help us cope but the root of the problem is seldom addressed. The pain of life events such as bereavement are part of the normal cycle of life, and these pills alter how our minds work and stop people going through the natural process.” It is hoped the group will grow and build links with others elsewhere. The client added: “I believe that’s the only way change can come about — a strong network of like-minded people who want a difference.”