It seems inconceivable that it's possible to become physically dependent on a prescription medicine that could result in you losing everything, including possibly your life. But that is the reality for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Perhaps just as shocking is the fact that the dangers are known, but the drugs are still being prescribed to trusting patients, of which I was one. These are called Benzodiazepines, and they are a class of prescription drugs available all over the world.
I'm 31, British and currently living in the UK. I grew up playing sports, and was always fairly active and keen to live life to the fullest. In 2012 I was prescribed Bromazepam abroad after developing anxiety from going a year with undiagnosed asthma and reduced lung capacity. There were no warnings given about the drug and I followed doctors' orders for 4 years, until I returned to the UK due to concern about inexplicable heart palpitations, where I found out the drug is so dangerous it's only prescribed for 1 week maximum here. Without knowing the risks I'd cold-turkey-ed the drug which increases the danger to the body even more. Almost overnight I lost the ability to function normally, and over the coming months lost my job, home and life as I knew it. For 2.5 years doctors couldn't explain what had happened until a paramedic recognised the symptoms as being Protracted Benzodiazepine Withdrawal. In 3 years I've had around 25 ambulances for tachycardia (where the heart has been beating above 120bmp for more than 20minutes with no exertion), just 1 of an A-Z of symptoms; related to the massive impact the drug has on the Central Nervous System (CNS). Eventually the CNS does apparently re-balance itself, but nobody can say when. Meanwhile, there is no treatment available to cope with the symptoms or effects. The title for the blog is based on the use of music and songwriting as a key part of recovery.
Increasingly, the more doctors and paramedics I talk to the more they're asking questions about the drug and its impact so I wanted to create this blog, and tell this story.