‘Prescribing Influences in Mental Health’ by Heather Ashton

Talk given at the Adverse Psychiatric Side Effects Conference, April, 2008.

‘C Heather ASHTON DM FRCP, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Newcastle University, worked in the drug and poisons information unit at Newcastle Royal Infirmary for 15 years. An expert on the effects of prescription drugs on the mind.

Professor Ashton’s manual for benzodiazepine withdrawal is available worldwide at no financial benefit for the author but of great emotional and personal benefit to many thousands of people who have accessed this detailed manual. The manual is available on benzo.org.uk and many other web sites.

Professor Ashton ran a benzodiazepine withdrawal clinic in Newcastle for several years and helped hundreds of people withdraw from addictive tranquillisers and sleeping pills. Heather also contributed to the recent Inquiry in the UK Parliament into Medicines Addiction.

The talk is about how the pharmaceutical industry influences choice of treatment.