Return to Addiction by Prescription homepage Addiction by Prescription - One Woman's Triumph and Fight for Change Internationally Endorsed by Experts Joan E. Gadsby is recognized internationally as an authority on the responsible use of benzodiazepines and anti-depressants. Our Pill Epidemic - The Shocking Story of a Society Hooked on Drugs Prescription Drugs - Some Shocking Facts The Hidden Worldwide Health Epidemic Order the book and the video

Prescription Addiction - One Woman's Triumph and Fight for Change - Book & Video

Tranquillizers — Sleeping Pills — Anti-Depressants

Prescription Addiction Book - One Woman's Triumph and Fight for Change

One Woman's Triumph
and Fight for Change

The paperback or hardcover edition of Joan Gadsby's cautionary tale describes the horrors of prescription drug addiction, withdrawal and its devastation of people's lives. This best selling book outlines a powerful call to action, a multi-stakeholder strategy and contains historical and current international research references. (2001)
ISBN 1-55263-334-9 paperback
ISBN: 1552631567 hardcover.

The Shocking Story of a
Society Hooked on Drugs

This provocative and educational video investigates how and why millions worldwide become "medicine cabinet junkies" and "accidental addicts" to doctor prescribed tranquilizers, sleeping pills and anti depressants. Available in North America VHS Version and International PAL Version.


Internationally Endorsed by Experts


Addiction to Prescription Drugs is 10 times the problem of illegal drugs, is far more gripping and debilitating than heroin or cocaine addiction, costs society and individuals billions of dollars and affects the quality of life of millions worldwide who become accidental addicts.

Are you aware of the potential serious short and long-term adverse side effects of tranquillizers and sleeping pills including cognitive impairment or brain damage which can be permanent, cross addictions to other drugs, paradoxical reactions, psycho-motor effects, creation of anxiety, depression, overdoses, suicidal ideation, emotional blunting, addiction and withdrawal etc.?

Are you aware that tolerance and addiction to tranquillizers and sleeping pills can occur within weeks of regular use and that you can experience debilitating withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation and between pills? That higher dosages are needed over time to achieve the same initial effect?

Do you know what the withdrawal symptoms from these drugs include?

Do you know who to go to for medical/professional help in withdrawing from these drugs?

Do you drive a car or have you had accidents under the influence of these drugs?

Are you aware that tranquillizers and sleeping pills can cause drug induced anxiety, depression, mood disorders and other "alleged psychiatric disorders" which often disappear when the drugs are discontinued?

Are you a senior on long term use of tranquillizers and sleeping pills experiencing falls, problems with concentration, anxiety, depression, insomnia?

Are you pregnant and being prescribed tranquillizers and sleeping pills? Do you know about "floppy baby syndrome" and its similarity to "fetal alcohol syndrome"?

Are you one of the 20% of the world's adult population (30% of seniors) who have been prescribed tranquillizers and sleeping pills longer that 2 - 4 weeks or for intermittent use, contrary to guidelines established 20 years ago?

Are you aware of the high socio-economic and health costs associated with the continued misprescribing and uninformed use of these drugs including career devastation, family dysfunction, violence, deaths from overdoses, lost years, disability and life insurance claims, emergency hospital admissions etc.?

Do you have employees in your company whose work place productivity, judgement, decision making, emotional stability, days off work and safety are affected by their use of prescription drugs?

Are your health benefit costs to provide prescription drug coverage to your employees rapidly escalating?

Are you a disability, life or automobile insurance company experiencing increasing claims resulting from the usage of tranquillizers, sleeping pills and anti depressants?

Are you a prescriber of these drugs, a healthcare professional, counsellor, helping someone withdraw from their accidental or involuntary addiction or an educator in prescription drug addiction?

Are you aware that a recent US study revealed that fewer than 30% of prescribing doctors know how to diagnose addiction to prescription drugs?

Are you aware that anti-depressants (the follow up to Valium 25 years later) also have potentially serious side effects including drug-induced mania leading to suicide, suicidal ideation, violence, criminal acts, disinhibition, drug induced severe anxiety, agitation and depression, drug-induced obsessions and compulsions, drug-induced akathisia, tolerance, addiction and withdrawal etc.?

Are you aware that documented evidence shows that anti-depressants including Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox and other mind/mood altering drugs including tranquillizers and sleeping pills (Valuim, Xanax, Ativan etc) are involved in the alarming increase in some of the murder/suicides, suicides, domestic violence, bizarre mass killings, (parents) killing children, road and air rage, school shootings and work place violence in North America?


If you are concerned about prescription drug addiction and its effects you need to order the book Addiction by Prescription and the video Our Pill Epidemic.


The high socio-economic and health costs with the continued indiscriminate prescribing and uninformed usage of these drugs includes health and safety in the work place, career devastation, family dysfunction, productivity losses, car accidents, falls, floppy baby syndrome (similar to fetal alcohol syndrome), lost years of people's lives, lost lives, costs to the legal and justice system, workers' compensation board claims, life and disability insurance claims, social welfare costs, emergency admissions, physicians' fees, pharmacists' fees, drug costs, detox facilities and increased overall costs for healthcare and other public/private sector services.


Prescription drugs are "big business" for the multi-billion-dollar international drug companies with worldwide sales estimated at $300 billion. Central Nervous System drugs including BENZODIAZEPINES (tranquillizers and sleeping pills) and ANTI-DEPRESSANTS have reached an estimated $75 billion. Drug companies spend more on marketing and promoting their drugs than on research and development — ($15 - $20,000 per doctor) and an estimated $8.3 billion in the United States in 1998.

People trust their doctors "to do no harm", often do not give informed consent or become knowledgeable about the risks and benefits of drug therapy (or search out other non drug alternatives or make lifestyle changes including diet and exercise).


Benzodiazepines — including such tranquillizers and sleeping pills as Ativan, Dalmane, Librium, Restoril, Rivotril, Serax, Xanax and Valium are the best selling drugs in the history of medicine, with annual worldwide sales exceeding $21 billion. They are prescribed to 30% of the adult population in the world.

With such a lucrative market at stake, high-powered drug company promotional campaigns have convinced millions that tranquillizers and sleeping pills are needed to cope with life's everyday challenges. Millions of prescriptions — close to two thirds for women and almost 75 percent for refills — are written each day worldwide beyond short term guidelines of 2 – 4 weeks established over 20 years ago. Doctors continue to prescribe despite known and often serious physical, cognitive and emotional side-effects.

Dependency occurs in an estimated 60% of people prescribed these drugs beyond a few weeks, and withdrawal can be lengthy and frightening.

The bottom line? Millions of people throughout the world are becoming addicted by prescription or become "Accidental Addicts" from trusting their doctors "to do no harm."


A booming market also exists for anti-depressants such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Wellbutrin and Effexor with worldwide sales in the billions of dollars. Anti-depressants (often referred to as the follow up to Valium 25 years later) in the United States in 2000 reached $10.4 billion in retail sales up 21% over 1999 and representing a startling five-fold increase since 1993.

Anti-depressants including Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox and Celexa can have significant side effects including drug induced mania leading to suicide, suicidal ideation, violence, criminal acts, disinhibition or out of control behaviour; drug induced severe anxiety, agitation and depressions; drug induced obsessions and compulsions; drug induced akathisia (an internal sensation of agitation or discomfort that drives a person to move about and also to lose impulse control); tolerance and addiction leading to a recognized withdrawal syndrome which can include bouts of overwhelming depression, insomnia, fatigue and life-threatening physical effects, psychosis and violent out bursts.

The book "Addiction By Prescription" and the video, "Our Pill Epidemic," are relevant for:

People taking tranquillizers and sleeping pills, and their families

People who may be prescribed these drugs

Doctors who prescribe these drugs

Addiction specialists / Recovery and Treatment Centres

Mental Health professionals


Professionals involved in Public Health

Drug companies

Disability, Life and Automobile Insurance companies

Public and private sector corporations

Governments and political decision-makers

Academics and researchers, Universities

Employee Assistance Counsellors

Health authorities and Hospitals

Self-Help Recovery Organizations

Seniors Wellness Advocates and Organizations

Reference Libraries and Schools

Lawyers involved in prescription drug litigation and class action lawsuits

Joan Gadsby is recognized internationally as an authority, consultant, lecturer and public speaker on the responsible and informed use of benzodiazepines ( tranquillizers and sleeping pills) and anti-depressants

Updated April 2009

Since writing her internationally endorsed book"Addiction By Prescription" published in 2000,Joan has continued with great persistence and dedication to create awareness and bring about  much overdue systemic change worldwide re addictive prescription drugs - benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Joan views antidepressants as the follow up to valium 20 years later.

Based on her many years of comprehensive research into addictive prescription drugs and through her own experience, Joan received an Honorary PhD for her work in this field in which she has become an internationally recognized authority,educator,advocate and presenter at many international conferences.

She also continues to do media interviews throughout North America and in was in Washington,D.C filming a television program for the Retirement Living Network several years ago.

Joan also provides medical and legal consulting services to various clients including  lawyers, mostly in North America as her time permits.

A  feature film/movie project based on her book is in the development stage and remains a passion and  priority for Joan.

In 2003 after 12 years of costly and frustrating litigation against her former doctor and  former lawyer( who was found to be egregiously negligent in the first trial), Joan made the difficult  decision not to continue with a further Appeal  and to move on with her life leaving behind over $2 million in economic losses  and damages from her former prescription drug addiction.

Joan has been off all prescription drugs for over 18 years now,has rebuilt her health,her family and her life and firmly believes God kept her alive from her unintentional overdose in February 1990 when she almost died ,to continue to carry on her important  message of the horrific effects  of addictive prescription drugs - an accidental and doctor induced addiction.Denial,ignorance and apathy unfortunately continue today  within the medical profession while drug companies continue to be motivated primarily  by money and bottom line profits for these addictive drugs.

Joan  has returned to her career in marketing and property development as President of her own company, Market Media International Corporation  and in 2005  she  bought  3 acres of oceanview property on which she is developing and building 31 villas  in an exclusive niche market community in West Sechelt on the scenic Sunshine Coast in British Columbia,Canada under the
name of Seaview Villa Estates. Joan is President of Seaview Villa Estates

web site

The tragic deaths of Joan's 2 beloved children,Derek in December 25,1966 with a brain tumour and Deb , May 1,1999  of breast cancer continue to have profound effects on Joan's life.Both are in her heart ,thoughts  and prayers daily.

The birth of her 2 grandchildren,Veronica who is 6 and August who is 3 to her daughter Carrie and her husband David,a former New Yorker,and who live minutes away from Joan's home in North Vancouver,Canada have brought new love,joy and meaning to her life.

Joan can be contacted for prescription drug addiction and legal consulting, speaking engagements, sponsorships and media interviews at ...

Market Media International Corp.
601 - 1350 Clyde Ave
West Vancouver, BC
V7T 1E7

Phone: (604) 987-6064


This website is committed to responsible prescribing and informed use of tranquillizers, sleeping pills and anti-depressants. It does not provide medical advice.

Under no circumstances attempt to withdraw from these drugs without proper ongoing medical supervision such as a well informed addiction or chemical dependancy doctor

Be Informed and Knowledgeable about Addictive Prescription Drugs!


Return to Addiction by Prescription homepage Addiction by Prescription - One Woman's Triumph and Fight for Change Internationally Endorsed by Experts Joan E. Gadsby is recognized internationally as an authority on the responsible use of benzodiazepines and anti-depressants. Our Pill Epidemic - The Shocking Story of a Society Hooked on Drugs Prescription Drugs - Some Shocking Facts The Hidden Worldwide Health Epidemic Order the book and the video