In 2013 Jim Dobbin MP, then chair of the forerunner of this group, the APPG for Involuntary Tranquilliser Addiction, submitted a motion to the CoE Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development to conduct an investigation, to:
“explore the current situation in Europe with respect to involuntary addiction to prescription medicines, examine examples of good practice and make recommendations on how to ensure that patients who need the medicines get them; unnecessary or inappropriate use is prevented; alternative treatments are used as much as possible; risks are minimised; and relevant support is provided to the victims of addiction.”
A member of the secretariat attended an expert exchange of views in Paris in September 2019, and a provisional report was finally released on 1st December 2021, as reported in this news piece on their website. This report is due to be debated by the Assembly in March.
Whilst the overall recommendations of the report are helpful the report does not accurately reflect the important differences between addiction and dependence. Danny Kruger MP has now sent an APPG for Prescribed Drug Dependence Letter to the rapporteur (Joseph O’Reilly), calling for a clear recognition of these differences and a sharper focus on the need for dedicated safe withdrawal services for those who are dependent on prescribed medicines.