October 26

Addicted to Legal Prescription Drugs

Addicted to Legal Prescription Drugs

Mon, 26 Sep 2005

“My addiction may be to legal, prescribed medication, but I am no better than the heroin junkie on the street or the celebrity crack addict,” said Mrs Jeanne Rankin, one of Britain’s leading cooks.

Her addiciton began when she was prescribed antidepressants.

The UK Telegraph reports that “the Canadian-born cook’s habit had its beginnings eight years ago after the birth of her youngest son. When he was nine months old she was prescribed anti-depressants.”

The scorge of drug addiction from prescribed antidepressants and pain killers is a dirty secret which prescribing doctors and drug manufacturers deny. The public must be warned about these drugs’ addictive potential–which pose a far greater problem than marijuana. The dispensing of antidepression drugs should be subject to control. When doctors accept fees from manufacturers (i.e., kick backs) for prescribing habit forming drugs, they are partners in crime and should be held accountable.

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
veracare ahrp org


Celebrity chef tells of seven-year torment addicted to morphine
By Tom Peterkin, Ireland Correspondent
24 September 2005
The Daily Telegraph (U.K. national newspaper), “News”

One of Britain’s leading television cooks yesterday admitted she has been hooked on morphine and other prescription drugs for the last seven years and that her addiction had led to her considering suicide.

Jeanne Rankin, a regular on Ready Steady Cook and the wife of the celebrity chef Paul Rankin, confessed that she had been a poor mother having spent the last few years in a “haze of drugs”.

Although Mrs Rankin was addicted to legal prescription drugs, she likened her problem to that of the model Kate Moss, who has been dropped by several fashion houses after it emerged she was a habitual cocaine user.

“My addiction may be to legal, prescribed medication, but I am no better than the heroin junkie on the street or the celebrity crack addict,” Mrs Rankin said.

This week Moss, 31, apologised for her behaviour after yet more revelations about her wayward behaviour including allegations that crack cocaine was smoked at parties at her country home near Lechlade, Glos.. Moss has denied being involved in crack cocaine, a stronger version of the drug.

Mrs Rankin, who has made frequent television appearances with her husband, written several cookery books and runs a world class restaurant in Belfast, said she had thought about taking her own life.

“I did think about ending it all,” she said. “It got so bad that if it weren’t for my kids and Paul I probably would have attempted to kill myself.

“I knew I had a problem but until I went into rehab., I didn’t know it was my fault. The most important thing I learnt is that I have an illness.”

The cook, in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, spoke of the pain it had caused her three children Clare, 19, Emily, 16, and Jamie, eight. “I haven’t been there for my children over the years and that kills me, but I am learning to forgive myself and getting help means that I will be there for them in the future.

“One of the toughest things for me was when I told the kids that I was going away for a while to get help to make me better. Clare said, ‘That’s OK mum, you haven’t been here for a long time anyway’. Imagine hearing those things as a mother. I knew what she meant, but it broke my heart and made me even more determined to get better for them.”

Until eight weeks ago, when she booked herself into the Priory clinic, Mrs Rankin was taking morphine plus a cocktail of other drugs as she battled depression, muscle spasms and sleeplessness. Attempts to wean herself off had failed in the past.

“The truth was I was scared to death,” she said. “Every time I came off some of the morphine I experienced severe withdrawal symptoms and the DTs. It was terrifying and I knew I needed help.”

The Canadian-born cook’s habit had its beginnings eight years ago after the birth of her youngest son. When he was nine months old she was prescribed anti-depressants. The drug-taking increased in 2002 when she had two major back operations following a fall from a horse and morphine was administered to dull the pain of disintegrating vertebrae.

“I begged my doctors to help me, but everyone seemed to think I was coping well and that, given my injuries, I needed to be on that level of medication,” she said.

Mrs Rankin conceded that not everyone on prescribed medication for a long time would become addicted. But she believes that her family history meant that she could be genetically programmed to be more susceptible.

“My grandfather was an alcoholic, and there is also depression in the family. I have been diagnosed with clinical depression as well – that is what the drugs have done to me.”

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