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TO: Social Security Administration

FROM: Dr. Reg Peart, President, Benzodiazepine Awareness Network

In my capacity as National Coordinator of Victims of Tranquillisers (VOT) and President of Benzodiazepine Awareness Network (BAN), I have over the last 10 years supported, advised and supplied information to many hundreds of people and enabled them to recover from iatrogenic dependence/adverse and paradoxical reactions caused by ingestion of prescribed benzodiazepines.

In recent months our organization has been in close contact with this applicant who has suffered severely from these medically induced problems. I have recommended that a withdrawal from the originally prescribed benzodiazepine under the cover of Valium (diazepam) with a slow taper lasting many months with a period of at least 12 months to a few years depending on how this person responds, for rehabilitation. During this time it is imperative that this person be associated with low levels of stress and responsibility - recovery being the primary objective of their life.

The benzodiazepines cause impairment of the functioning of the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal axis, especially the stress response system. The production rates and levels of ACTH, cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, et al. takes at least one year after withdrawal to return to normal values.

Average stress levels in life could readily produce a relapse, which would significantly reduce this person's chance of long-term recovery. I have enclosed an extract from Roche Products Ltd Manual for physicians in the United Kingdom, which outlines the support required during the post withdrawal period.

If the above recommendations are followed, the prognosis is that this person will make a full recovery as have thousands of others in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

3 Searle Road · Boston, Massachusetts 02132 · Online: www.benzo.org.uk/ban.htm

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