Press Release – International experts gather in Göteborg, Sweden to promote better research on, and support services for, withdrawal from psychiatric drugs

Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs is an issue which is rapidly gaining attention in many parts of the world. For example earlier this month Public Health England published a report calling for services for people struggling to come off antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

(Report by Public Health England)

The International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal was formed in 2017 to respond to the need to better understand the scope of, and reasons for, what has become an international epidemic, and to develop evidence-based ways to assist people withdrawing safely from psychiatric drugs, which often involves very slow tapering.

To further these aims, the IPPDW is hosting a network meeting on September 27-29, 2019 in Göteborg. The meeting aims to disseminate the best available knowledge, experience and expertise from all over the world.

The meeting has been restricted to 40 carefully selected participants. They come from 15 countries, and from diverse backgrounds including research; peer support; psychiatry; clinical psychology; and people with experience of withdrawing.

IIPDW Board Members commented:

‘An important aspect of the network meeting will be to examine recent evidence and share skills gained while supporting people who come off their psychiatric drugs. Included will be discussions on scientific studies that underpin the need to gradually withdraw and examples from peer support initiatives’. (Professor John Read)

‘In bringing together such expertise, we hope to promote practices that help families, friends, and practitioners support the safe reduction of and withdrawal from psychiatric drugs. The IIPDW believes that informed choice and consent in relation to psychiatric drugs is an often-ignored human right.’  (Dr Carina Håkansson)

‘From this meeting, we expect to be able to add significantly to the discussion about withdrawal from psychiatric drugs and to do so by including clinicians, researchers and people with experience of psychiatric drugs.’ (Dr Magnus Hald)

For interviews or further information, please contact any member of the IIPDW Board:

Professor Peter Gøtzsche (Researcher, Denmark)

Dr Carina Håkansson (Psychotherapist, Sweden)

Dr Magnus Hald (Psychiatrist, Norway)

Professor John Read (Clinical Psychologist, UK)

Olga Runciman (Clinical Psychologist, Denmark)

Robert Whitaker (Publisher, Mad in America, USA)