The accidental addict — benzodiazepines

Reposting a very good feature length video.

The Accidental Addict

(NZ news magazine) Assignment programme from 1995 dealing with the issue of iatrogenic benzodiazepine dependence.

A quite good documentation of what it’s like for a lot of us. Some of us have it even worse than what is depicted here. The fact is that once one gets drug sick the only way to freedom is often getting much sicker through the process of withdrawal. It’s a true journey into the dark night for many people. There are generally few regrets to have taken the journey on once one is on the other side though. It becomes clear the drugs stole our lives and we fight for them back.

This is a 15 year old documentary. It’s horrifying to think all this was known about this class of drugs so many years ago and yet doctors still happily prescribe benzodiazepines as “safe” drugs to treat anxiety and insomnia and many other things too.

This phenomena of severe benzodiazepine withdrawal and post-withdrawal syndrome has been known about for two decades at least!

The package inserts on benzos still say not to these drugs for more than 2 weeks.

The woman they are profiling most closely at the beginning takes “weeks” before she can leave the house. I unfortunately know all too many for whom it takes many months and in some cases years, like Jill’s situation closer to the end of the documentary.

The physical aspects of the withdrawal aren’t concentrated on much either. For some people the physical symptoms greatly outweigh the mental. For most people it’s a combination of both.

For more information on benzos and benzo withdrawal look here for a long list of articles and information.

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