Our history

PostScript360, formerly Battle Against Tranquillisers (BAT), began in January 1986 as a small self-help group of people who were struggling with benzodiazepine tranquillisers drug dependence and withdrawal meeting once a week in St James Church in the centre of Bristol.

Continued growth

In 1986 Bristol Drugs Project opened-its first office and contacted us offering a room in which to hold our support groups. We remained with them until we were contacted by Susan Britton Wills to have our support group at The General Hospital.

We continued to grow and in July 1996 became a registered charity. We were recognised for our services and won the regional (south west) gold medal in ‘Medical Community Award’ in 1991 by the Association of British insurers. By this time we had gained a reputation of expertise in the field of withdrawing from Benzo’s and other prescribed drugs and were invited to worked with the Bristol Mental Health Trust and others to develop an Integrated Care Plan approach for Bristol. This was the beginning of a real structure for clients in mental health services. That year the Pompidou Report (United Nations Economic and Social Commission on Narcotic Drugs) produced a report which recommended that for every new benzodiazepine prescription issued it should include an exit strategy.

Our achievements

  • Inputted into Dual Diagnosis profile-raising and service improvement and our coordinator was the Dual Diagnosis lead for South Gloucestershire Drug and Alcohol Services.
  • We were part of the Addiction to Medicines Consensus Statement 2013.
  • We produced the Benzodiazepine Guidance for the South Gloucestershire Council 2013.
  • We continue to be a stakeholder in the Department of Health’s working group looking at setting up best practice Benzodiazepine services throughout the UK.

  • In 2014 we collaborated with British Medical Association’s (BMA) Board of Science and stakeholders to support the development of an improved policy framework for the prevention, identification, and management of involuntary dependence to prescription medications.
  • In 2018 we were asked by Public Health England to respond to a call for evidence on ‘dependence, short term discontinuation and longer-term withdrawal symptoms associated with prescribed medicines’ which gave us the opportunity to look more closely at our service user statistics.
  • We are a stakeholder for the NICE guidelines on safe prescribing and withdrawal management of prescribed drugs associated with dependence and withdrawal.

  • We are members of South Gloucestershire Adult Mental Health Partnership, South Gloucestershire Drug and Alcohol Partnership, CVS South Gloucestershire, National Suicide Prevention Alliance, Helpline Partnership, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

  • We have collaborated in research with University of Bedfordshire, the Advisory Council of the Misuse of Drugs https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/novel-benzodiazepines-prevalence-and-harms-in-the-uk,  All-Party Parliamentary group for Prescribed Drug Dependence and other drug agencies.
  • Our total successful exits of people who have reduced or are drug free is 90%. This contrasts to Public Health England (PHE) overall successful exits of 49% over the last 3 years. Return to service PHE reports that of those in treatment a third (29%) were in treatment continuously since their initial commencement. 34% had more than three attempts at treatment. By contrast we had only 4 returns to service each year over the last 3 years. We believe this is because our specialist advice ensures the service users do not leave the service without the knowledge and support they need.

“I turned lockdown into a positive, you gave me the strength to taper off my benzos for good. Thank you for all your support.”

BH, London

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