In an article in The Times, Dr Simone Yule, Action on Addiction's clinical lead, emphasises the importance of seeking professional medical help when addressing addiction to prescription drugs including opioids, benzodiazepines and antidepressants.

Dr Yule's interview with The Times follows the government's announcement this week that it is to launch an investigation into the scale of prescription drug addiction. The article refers to thousands of people who are turning to the internet for advice from fellow sufferers amid concerns that the NHS is unable to cope with the demand for help.

Dr Yule, who is the clinical lead for Clouds House and Action on Addiction's other treatment centres, said that the use online self-help highlights the need for proper services. However, she told Chris Smyth, Health Editor at The Times: “I couldn’t advise people to do it themselves”.

Whilst acknowledging the importance of peer support, which is at the bedrock of Action on Addiction's treatment approach, Dr Yule said: "I would always say seek medical advice. Every patient is different and benzos are dangerous. You can’t stop suddenly or you risk a seizure.”

Meanwhile, the article reports that more than a million people are addicted to benzodiazepines, and prescriptions for opioid painkillers have doubled in a decade.

Action on Addiction provides professionally supervised withdrawal and detoxification services for people addicted to a range of substances including alcohol, opiates and benzodiazepines and other prescription drugs.

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