Rep. Cook Presents Signed Proclamation to Connecticut Representative During District Event

July 12, 2018

I bestowed a proclamation signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy to Pam Pinto, Connecticut representative for World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day (W-BAD), a victim-organized campaign seeking to raise awareness about the dangers of prescribed benzodiazepines, following a Walk/Run for Your Life event.

The event took place Wednesday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m., at Act Natural Health and Wellness, located at 24 Water Street in downtown Torrington.

Benzodiazepines can aid in the management of certain medical conditions, but it is indispensable to understand the potential side effects of these drugs and the detrimental impact they can have on one’s health. Designating July 11th as World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day in Connecticut will raise awareness of this epidemic and allow healthcare recipients to advocate for themselves.

Additionally, Holly Hardman, director of the documentary, “As Prescribed,” and her crew attended to film the event. Hardman is a survivor of benzodiazepine overuse, and is sharing her story and the stories of millions of survivors globally.

Benzodiazepines, or the prescription drugs Xanax, Valium, Ativan and Klonopin, are administered to patients to aid in the treatment of anxiety and muscle spasms, prevent seizures and induce sleep, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration web site. This category of drugs has been linked to amnesia, hostility, irritability and complications arising from Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome, and has been linked to abuse of other substances.

A 2015 the National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted a study and found 23 percent of fatal opioid overdose victims tested positive for benzodiazepines. This trend could be facilitated by the co-prescription of opioids and benzodiazepines, which increased from 9 to 17 percent between 2001 and 2013.

For more information about the event contact Pam Pinto by phone at (860) 482-8477 or by email at

For more information about benzodiazepine overuse or W-BAD, visit