Drug Awareness Campaign

BRAILLE DEVELOPMENT

On most medicine boxes, you will fine the name of the drug written in Braille for the visually impaired. So i’ve decided this would be a good addition to my project, so if a visually impaired person where to pick up the pack they would know that it isn’t actual medicine, but the message would also make them think.

Message Ideas:

‘These aren’t drugs’ | ‘Want some drugs?’ | ‘Dependence’ | ‘Drugs can be addictive’ | ‘Prescribed does not mean safe’ | ‘Dependence, Prescription Drugs’ | “Still a Drug’ | ‘Prescribed, legal, dangerous’ | ‘Don’t be fooled by Prescription Drugs’ | ‘Don’t be fooled, by Prescription Perceptions’ | ‘Don’t be fooled, by the word ‘Prescription’ |

I’ve decided to go with ‘Don’t be fooled by prescription drugs’, as it has a double meaning both literally and figuratively speaking. They’ve been ‘fooled’ by this fake prescription pack, but their perception of prescription drugs being safe and socially acceptable has also been fooled.

Below is a link, to some research on the Braille alphabet which is used internationally. This is specific to pharmaceutical packaging.

http://www.pharmabraille.com/pharmaceutical-braille/braille-alphabet.htm

The guidelines on Braille requirements for pharmaceutical labelling and packaging recommend that an un-contracted Braille alphabet system, conforming to the Marburg Medium format, should be used.

This system is on that link.

Braille font for pharmaceutical artwork

Braille for pharmaceutical artwork is simpler because it is recommended that pharma braille should be produced in uncontracted (Grade 1) braille. Each letter or character of the braille alphabet is represented by a corresponding braille character. So for the most part it is a simple matter of selecting the text and changing the font to an appropriate braille font. However, braille character sets change from country to country and certain rules must be followed regarding braille font indicator characters, such as the number symbol, letter symbol and capital letter symbol.

Braille font rules

There are many rules governing braille font codes and different countries use different braille rules. So, it is important to be aware of the rules of the country where the braille will be read. It is recommended that braille artwork is proofread by a braille professional of the reader country.

Braille font tips

For a braille font to work effectively on pharmaceutical braille artwork:

  • Use the correct font size for the braille font you are using. PharmaBraille fonts follow theMarburg Medium braille font standard and therefore require the font to be sized at 10mm with line spacing of 10mm
  • Do not set the braille font as bold as this will distort the radius of the braille font dot
  • Do not italicise a braille font
  • When setting uncontracted (Grade 1) braille confirm the correct country format braille font is used
  • When setting contracted (Grade 2) braille the text must first be passed through braille translation software before pasting into artwork using the appropriate braille font
  • Confirm the braille is correct with the braille authority for the reader country.

http://www.pharmabraille.com/ads/braille-font-02.htm?gclid=CjwKEAiAk8qkBRDOqYediILQ5BMSJAB40A5U9AnRaeqOoV6spZrPqVsEWkslXW3VTZnstYRcrgpFmRoC0Kjw_wcB

This link provided me with Braille font specifically for pharmaceutical packaging. I could also choose what country I would be using it for.

Benzodiazepines Side effects and the law

http://www.patient.co.uk/health/benzodiazepines-and-z-drugs

Tolerance

If you take a benzodiazepine or Z drug regularly, the helpful effect on easing anxiety or in helping sleep usually lasts for a few weeks. However, after a few weeks, the body and brain often become used to the benzodiazepine or Z drug. The medicine then gradually loses its effect. The initial dose then has little effect. You then need a higher dose for it to work. In time, the higher dose does not work and you need an even higher dose and so on. This effect is called tolerance.

Dependence (addiction)

There is a good chance that you will become dependent on a benzodiazepine or Z drug if you take it for more than four weeks. This means that withdrawal symptoms occur if the tablets are stopped suddenly. In effect, you need the medicine to feel normal. Possible withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Psychological symptoms – such as anxiety, panic attacks, odd sensations, feeling as if you are outside your body, feelings of unreality, or just feeling awful. Rarely, a serious mental breakdown can occur.
  • Physical symptoms such as sweating, being unable to sleep, headache, tremor, feeling sick, a ‘thumping heart’ feeling (palpitations), muscle spasms and being oversensitive to light, sound and touch. Rarely, convulsions occur.
  • In some cases the withdrawal symptoms seem like the original anxiety symptoms.

The duration of withdrawal symptoms varies but often lasts up to six weeks and sometimes longer. Withdrawal symptoms may not start for two days after stopping the tablet and tend to be worst in the first week or so. Some people have minor residual withdrawal symptoms for several months.

Therefore, you may end up taking the medicine to prevent withdrawal symptoms but, because of tolerance, the medicine is no longer helping the original anxiety or sleeping problem. But note: you are unlikely to become dependent on a benzodiazepine or Z drug if you take it for a short period only.

Even if you take a benzodiazepine or Z drug for a short time, you may feel drowsy during the daytime. Some people, especially older people, are at greater risk of having a fall and injury because of the drowsiness. If you drive, you may be more likely to be involved in a car crash. Some people have described themselves as being in a zombie state when they were taking a benzodiazepine on a long-term basis.

Benzodiazepines and Z drugs can sometimes be misused by people taking drugs for recreational purposes. The Misuse of Drugs Act was a law passed in 1971 in the UK to try to prevent the use of harmful drugs. It divides drugs into three categories – A, B or C, depending on how dangerous they are thought to be. Each of the categories then has different penalties for those convicted of use or supply. Benzodiazepines and Z drugs are classed as Class C drugs. This means it is illegal to be in possession of them if they have not been prescribed for you by a doctor. People found in possession illegally, or attempting to supply them to others, could face a fine or a prison sentence. There are also special rules for doctors prescribing them.

Driving

People on normal doses of benzodiazepines and Z drugs prescribed by their doctor do not need to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). However, if you are taking higher doses than recommended, or taking them without prescription, your driving licence would be taken away.