SoS: Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

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May 16, 2013 | 3 Comments


  1. We are too keen to take what is offered and find it hard to wean ourselves off what we become dependant on – perhaps GPs etc need to remind people that they are simply not expected to take the medicines prescribed indefinitely – they do actually have the option of coming off them!

  2. It could be there’s a real bias in Britain against benzos – or at least a level of caution that is out of sync with their relaxed attitude towards SSRI antidepressants. Here in the US, I think the “rehabilitation” of benzos is complete – as is the rehabilitation of speed. Just check out this 2012 article from New York Magazine, which even includes profiles of four archetypal hip New Yorkers and the pill that best matches each of their anxieties. Xanax? Ativan? Klonopin? Or good ol’ Valium?

    “If the 90s were the decade of Prozac, all hollow-eyed and depressed, then this is the era of Xanax, all jumpy and edgy and short of breath.”

    I have a friend whose kid made it into an Ivy League college, joining the golden boys and girls of the East Coast. “These people start every day with an Adderall and end it with Xanax,” she says. It’s a way of life, both for the youth and their parents. She’s trying to get her kid to stop messing around with the stuff, reminding him his future employers will drug-test. But he could just as easily solve that problem by getting prescriptions. Way, way too easily.

    There are a lot of younger folks, I’m guessing, who could be invited to tell their benzo stories here — as well as older people who have come to grief with these drugs in recent years rather than being addicts since the ’70’s. Till then this interview with rock star Stevie Nicks, on how she lost the 1990’s to Klonopin addiction, is pretty good:

  3. Xanax is the # 1 selling drug in America. In my belief after having Klonopin induced anxiety destroy 10 years of my life including my 18 year marriage that it is the most dangerous drug on this planet. Only I can deal with losing 10 years and living in pure hell while taking this drug, it was the withdrawal that forced me into a chaotic, psychotic state of mind where putting a gun to my head to blow my brains out was my only escape. I did not have experience being totally, 100% disconnected from reality while enduring anxiety & abject terror every single second for weeks at levels I didn’t know the human mind was able to tolerate. It was equivalent to taking 10-15 hits of LSD. I ended up in the psych ward for a week followed by a trip to the Emergency Room with hallucinations, panic attacks, I could barely walk, I was practically catatonic, elevated blood pressure, heart rate and uncontrollable body shaking. You may ask why did I cold turkey from this drug? Because my drug and alcohol counselor informed me it was ‘just fine’ to do after 10 years on it. Not one withdrawal symptom that I may experience ever fell from his lips. Not one. And I am not an isolated case by no means. I have read so many personal stories of horror from going off their benzo. There is a court case going on in California right now over Cymbalta withdrawal syndrome but I have never, ever heard of our personal suffering from benzo withdrawal ever making it anywhere. In fact, none of my mental health care workers even believed me when I tried to tell them what I went through withdrawing at my home, alone. They didn’t want to hear it and they certainly didn’t want me talking about it. They silenced another patient, so they can continue doing it to others.

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