Over 1 million people in the UK are currently long-term prescribed benzodiazepine (BDZ) users (an average of 150 for every GP practice). 
World-wide, BDZ use underpins a large proportion of all illicit drug use and is
mainly used as a 'secondary' drug by most substance misusers.
Alterations in brain chemistry caused by long-term BDZ use are hard to reverse and causing severe addiction with protracted withdrawal symptoms (which can last for years), making these drugs a considerable danger to public health as drugs of abuse.
March 2001: The United Nations Economic and Social Council:In response to increasing misuse of BDZs issued wide-ranging recommendations to national and international authorities, the medical profession and the pharnmaceutical industry including:
1999: Department of Health (UK) issued guidelines for treatment and withdrawal of BDZs, amidst growing concern at the continued rise in their misuse.
Children born to drug misusers: Face the same risks
as children of prescribed BDZ users, ie:
dangers at birth and interference
with neurodevelopment, but the risks are compounded in drug misusers.
An increased incidence of sudden
infant death,(SIDS) in babies born to opiate
users is well documented.
The risk of SIDS from BDZ exposure has
been little researched.
Current evidence points to BDZS as
a contributory, or causative factor in SIDS - further research is urgently
needed in this area.
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International Narcotics Control Board (INCB):
Dr Suresh Kumar, SAHAI Trust, India:
Professor Malcolm Lader, Royal Maudsley Hospital:
Dr Nicholas Seivewright, Barcelona Conference 1998:
Report from inspectors of Swansea Prison re:BDZs, June 1999
* NB: The owner of this site wishes to make clear that a significant proportion of
people who take benzodiazepines (both babies and adults) do not suffer the adverse
consequences featured here. The concern of Benzact is the significant proportion
of those who are adversely affected by benzodiazepines.