This report reviewed the evidence associated with dependence on prescribed medicines including benzodiazepines and z-drugs, gabapentin and pregabalin, opioid pain medicines and antidepressants. Bridge is recognised as a pioneer in providing services to this group of patients, through our Addictions to Medicines Programme in Bradford that works in primary care helping individuals to withdraw from medication they have become dependent on.
Tracey Hogan, Bridge’s Director of Operations was a member of the PHE Expert Group that conducted the enquiry and produced the review, that found that over a quarter of adults use these drugs every year and one in eight people have been on them for over 12 months.
Jon Royle, Bridge’s Chief Executive commented: “We were pleased to support this review sharing the benefit of our ten years of experience in this specialist area. We already knew this was a problem that has been hidden away in primary care for many years, but the actual statistics that have come to light are staggering. We are calling on the government to provide proper services for people who often suffer in silence. I would also like to thank Kate, a client of Bridge who bravely shared her experience with the BBC to highlight the plight of sufferers and show through her own experience that with the right help and support people can recover.”