I bolted for the weekend, and have come back to even more responses to Untitled. Thank you, everybody.
The point was raised in the comments that there are comprehensive packages of support out there for withdrawal from illegal drugs such as heroin.
Mary wondered if similar services are in place for prescription junkies (my phrase) like myself.
No, nothing structured or intensive that's for sure. And because I am on prescription medication, I don't qualify for support from my local drug action team, who concentrate their efforts on illegal substance misuse. But I don't hold that against people using or withdrawing from heroin or other drugs. I started writing all this in the comments box but it turned into a post. I don't know how to do links in comments boxes for one thing... I also think it's worth further thought.
All addictions are tricky to treat, and often expensive. I wouldn't begrudge anyone support just because what they've taken is illegal, though it could be viewed as tempting for me to do so. It would be too easy, and wrong I feel, to resent the emphasis on treating users of recreational or illegal drugs. Yes more money goes into those treatment programmes than the sort that doesn't even exist for me, but then my prescription...well it's so outdated really, isn't it? And mental health services just keep on suffering further cutbacks. I will think more deeply on this but can only presume that in the eyes of the Government, it all comes down to that old chestnut 'tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime'.
Heroin addicts (like 'they' all belong under one label...bit like 'prescription junkies') are commonly perceived as the criminal underclass by your average voter. I, being on prescription drugs, don't need to commit any crimes because of my addictions. I just phone the chemist, who delivers it all to my door. So perhaps in not being a perceived threat (unless I turn into one of those 'psychos') I am not so voter-friendly to treat.
I will be patching together my own support programme for my withdrawal from prescription drugs. It will more than likely involve No Panic (a telephone counselling and support service for people with anxiety disorders and those going through tranquilliser withdrawal), the solid and expert benzo.org.uk recommended by Miss Vertigo which seems to have more stuff on its site than I was aware (result MV!), and The Samaritans for very bad days.
I have more or less given up on the mental health team who contributed to all this. A local centre has just been shut down. Waiting lists are horrendous. People I know working in health services in my area are ashamed. Things are better 20 miles down the road under a different trust, so if I get really desperate I can always move house (again).
Today I found out my psychiatrist has left, which is why my dosage of Zopiclone was suddenly halved over the weekend when I got my latest prescription. I found out after writing Untitled. It kind of made me smile. I now have to explain to Mr Shiny Shoes new shrink why halving the dose all of a sudden is NOT a good idea for someone with my medical profile and please could we do some research together, and talk about it in a few weeks? I'm meeting him on Thursday. He's at least coming to the house, although you tend to find home visits are shorter (pushed for time). Ten minutes or so to explain my disabilities and complex malmetabolising of medication. Can't wait. But at least I get the opportunity to discuss withdrawal, which is what I was building to doing by booking an appointment with my GP...sometime. I do feel that rather than this whole thing being taken seriously by one expert, I am somewhat scrabbling about for a way forward.
It's too expensive a process to get someone off prescription drugs - and that's despite valium being one of the cheapest drugs a doctor can prescribe. Cheap and nasty.