Event report: Shane Kenny and the Benzodiazepine Medical Disaster

Event report: Shane Kenny and the Benzodiazepine Medical Disaster

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Shane Kenny
Shane Kenny

Journalist and broadcaster Shane Kenny discussed his hard-hitting and highly personal documentary, Benzodiazepine Medical Disaster, at a Republic of Ireland Centre event in October.

Kenny was prescribed a benzodiazepine drug in 2001 to treat Meniere’s disease, a rare inner ear condition. In the documentary he argues that prescribed drugs turned a manageable, relatively mild condition, into a disabling, long-term illness.
 
The event at RTÉ Television Centre drew a large audience of RTS members and guests, including people who claimed that their health had also been adversely affected by the use of benzodiazepines, which include Valium, Xanax and Ativan.
 
In the documentary, an excerpt from which was shown at the event, leading professors talk about the side effects of benzodiazepines and the difficulty of stopping using the drugs. In a statement for Kenny’s film, the British Medical Association says that benzodiazepines can cause harm if their prescription and withdrawal is not carefully managed.
 
Kenny has yet to find a broadcaster for the documentary.
 
In a varied career at RTÉ, Kenny launched the broadcaster’s flagship radio news programme Morning Ireland, anchored radio’s News at One, served as business editor and had a stint as an investigative reporter on current affairs programme Seven Days. He also served as the Irish Government’s press secretary.