A MOTHER whose 16-year-old daughter overdosed on anti-anxiety drugs has spoken of her anger after one of Scotland's top psychiatrists dubbed her bid for tighter prescription rules "discriminatory".

Annette McKenzie, from Glasgow, has been petitioning the Scottish Parliament to introduce parental consent before children and teenagers under-18 are prescribed psychiatric medication.

Read more: Mother of anxiety drugs overdose teenager in bid for parental consent rule

The mother-of-three launched her campaign after her daughter, Britney Mazzoncini, took her own life with Propranolol, a type of beta-blocker, in July 2016.

However, she said she has been left disappointed after the Scottish Government's psychiatric advisor, Dr John Mitchell, wrote to Scotland's GPs and primary care leaders warning that such a move would discriminate against young people and "may deter them from seeking help".

In a letter dated July 4 - just three days before the second anniversary of Britney's death - Dr Mitchell states: "The Scottish Government believes that requiring written consent from young people being prescribed mental health medication is potentially discriminatory towards young people with capacity and creates a disparity in the treatment of mental and physical health."

Dr Mitchell, who said the letter was being issued as "part of the Scottish Government's response to the petition", added that implementing Ms McKenzie's proposals "may deter children and young people from seeking help from doctors and other professionals, and may make them less likely to disclose the full facts of how they are feeling and their symptoms".

Read more: MSPs seek more information on antidepressant prescribing

Britney had been bullied online and was prescribed 84of the beta blockers by her GP just two weeks before her death.

The drugs are designed to slow the patient's heart rate to induce a sedative effect, but the overdose caused Britney's heart to slow until she suffered a cardiac arrest. She was found dying in her bedroom by her parents.

Mrs McKenzie, 36, said she believes the incident was a "cry for help" rather than a genuine suicide bid, but is angry that she had no idea her daughter had been prescribed the drugs until after her death.

She said: "Had the doctor let me know that she wanted to give Britney this medication, I would have gone down to the surgery.

"I wouldn't have wanted to medicate her but if the doctor convinced me that it was in Britney's best interests, I would have taken control of the medication.

"I would have personally dispensed the medication to Britney so that the risk of acting on suicidal intent would have been taken away.

"As I've said to the petitions committee, you can say that she could have taken her life another way - I can't say she wouldn't - but as her Mum I know she wouldn't have.

"The tablets were like handing her a loaded gun that day."

Read more: Number of patients being hamred by prescription drugs 'too difficult to say', say top psychiatrist

Ms McKenzie added that she felt Dr Mitchell had "just read off a sheet" while giving evidence on the petition to the Scottish Parliament earlier this year and had "completely dismissed" her and other parents' concerns.

Britney had a prior medical history of self-harming and depression, and a subsequent investigation by the General Medical Council criticised her GP for prescribing an adult dose of more than 80 tablets.

However, the GMC ruled out any further action against the doctor.

On June 7, the Scottish Parliament's Petitions Committee agreed to hold an inquiry on how young people can access mental health services and treatments after a series of hearings on Mrs McKenzie's petition.

Mrs McKenzie said she has been alarmed after children as young as 12 contracted her about her petition saying they had been prescribed antidepressants for physical ailments such as back pain and headaches.

Previous figures have shown that antidepressant prescriptions for under-18s in Scotland doubled from 2,748 in 2009/10 to 5,572 in 2016.

The number of under-13s given antidepressants rose from 57 to 252 in the same period.

Dr Mitchell's letter adds: "The petitioner suggested introducing the use of written consent forms for young people who have been prescribed antidepressants. The Scottish Government believes that this would undermine the concept of capacity and confidentiality...

"GPs and other medical practitioners already have very clear duties in this regard and the capacity of all patients to consent to treatment must be considered by all prescribers in every treatment situation, not just with anti-depressants or with young people."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We understand that watching a loved one struggle with mental illness can be harrowing and we recognise Ms McKenzie’s commitment to improving services for others.

"Creating effective partnerships between people receiving care, their families and healthcare professionals is vital to providing effective treatment.

“We have committed to reviewing the capacity and consent process for patients in Scotland with the General Medical Council and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and that work is underway.

“The General Medical Council’s comprehensive guidance says capacity to consent depends on a young person’s ability to understand and weigh-up options rather than age, which GPs have a clear duty to carefully consider.

"Changing the current system to introduce parental consent for prescribed medicines would undermine this principle and also patient confidentiality, making it more unlikely young people will seek out treatment.”