Dr. Ashton, DR, FRCP, is an Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psycho-pharmacology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Dr. Ashton is an expert researcher and clinician in the area of addictive psychotropic drugs. She was the director of a benzodiazepine withdrawal clinic for 12 years and has developed the "gold standard" protocol for withdrawal from benzodiazepines and sleeping pills. She has written over 250 academic papers in professional journals and books, and is a frequent international lecturer on benzodiazepines and sleeping pills. For many years she has taught medical and pharmacology students, physicians, nurses and other health care workers about benzodiazepines and their effects, including the clinical management of withdrawal.
In March and April 2006, Dr. Ashton gave lectures on Benzodiazepine Dependence and Withdrawal Methods to heath care providers in Victoria and Vancouver, B.C. She also addressed physicians at an addictions conference at Parksville, B.C.
The Psychiatric Medication Awareness Group (PMAG) produced a 90-minute DVD of Dr. Ashton's April 4, 2006, Vancouver lecture. Dr. Ashton spoke on: * how benzodiazepines and hypnotics (i.e., tranquillizers and sleeping pills) affect the brain and body * symptoms of dependence * the personal/social costs of benzodiazepine dependence * benzodiazepine use and other substances such as street drugs * withdrawal * effective tapering plans * outcomes and longer-term symptoms * best practices
The DVD is a useful educational tool for benzodiazepine users, those withdrawing from benzodiazepines, physicians and other health care professionals, and non-profit organizations. It provides an excellent overview of Dr. Ashton's protocol, expertise and wisdom.