Addiction by Prescription: One Woman's Triumph and Fight for Change

In 1966, Joan Gadsby's four-year-old son died of a brain tumour. In response, her trusted family physician prescribed a "chemical cocktail" of tranquilizers, sleeping pills and anti-depressants that initiated Gadsby's slow descent into an abyss of unrecognized addiction.

Over the next 20 years, Gadsby's career, her family relationships, her financial security and her health were all threatened by her "addiction by prescription." It was only after she unintentionally overdosed in 1990 and almost lost her life that she found out the insidious effects of the drugs, stopped taking them and went through the "hell" of withdrawal--alone.

Drug-free for over 10 years, Gadsby's quality of life has improved tenfold. She has emerged from her addiction to become a tireless advocate for systemic change and accountability of prescribed sedative/ hypnotic drugs. She has conducted extensive international research in her quest to expose the shocking truth of the depth and breadth of addiction by prescription, which affects hundreds of thousands of men and women worldwide.

In 1994, she was selected as one of Canada's notable women by the Canadian University Womens' Club. With Jack McGaw, former executive producer of W5, Gadsby produced the television documentary Our Pill Epidemic, the shocking story of a society hooked on drugs, which first aired nationally 1998 and is available on video. (Orders can be placed by calling 1-800-471-5628.)

Joan Gadsby is vice-president of the International Benzodiazepine Awareness Network (BAN) which can be found at . She is also Project Leader/Consultant for a multi-stakeholder strategic action plan and awareness campaign to address the issue.

Addiction by Prescription, by Joan Gadsby is now out in paperback for $19.95 and available through bookstores or online at .

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By Joan Gadsby

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