RX BENZO Public service announcement

This post includes the Beyond Meds Benzo Info Page with lots of links, info and resources. Please scroll down after the initial comments that deal with the politics of the benzo withdrawal world.

Video from RXBenzo.org — a resource for benzodiazepine information. (note: apparantly there is discord in the benzo world about this organization. I’m not up to figuring out the current politics of the benzo withdrawal world…if you are here is an article about this site from another benzo site: RxBenzos Mission Statement Has Become Unclear)

The below comments were made by me to the person who alerted me to this conflict on Facebook. This is not much of an issue in my mind — if you want to read all of the comments in context visit the Facebook post:

**frankly addiction vs dependency is a non-issue in my mind…splitting hairs kind of thing. I think of all dependency regardless of how you want to view it as part of the same cultural phenomena…kind of like drugs are drugs are drugs…but I do understand  that people want it to be clear that they were prescribed drugs and that is what made them ill…I do. Still, I support the well-being of all people regardless of how they got on drugs…street and/or recreational addicts deserve love and care too. I did get treated like “an addict” at a detox center and it was ugly…but all it made me think was how tragic that “addicts” are being treated so badly…it broke my heart for all of those unlucky enough to be labeled that way…I’m simply inclusive. I do appreciate that we got our drugs prescribed…but I don’t want to throw anyone away…this culture makes us all.

later on I added:

You might take a look at Gabor Mate’s work…truly enlightened and lovely…bringing us together with our deep similarities…all human beings in this consumer/materialistic and sick culture have some variant of addictive nature…I’m sorry if that repulses some people, but it’s true.

I am cutting and pasting the Beyond Meds benzo info page below as well. It’s always available in the drop-down navigation menus at the top of the page as well. Under the psych drug withdrawal tab.

Benzodiazepine Information and Resources

Benzodiazepines are prescribed primarily for anxiety and/or sleep issues. They are a highly problematic class of drug. Most people are not told the risks involved when they are first prescribed. This page provides information on the risks of taking benzodiazepines. It also offers information and resources for freeing oneself from benzodiazepine dependence.

I thought I would put a page together on benzo information and benzo withdrawal in particular since I have more collected info about this class of drug than the other 5 classes of psychotropic meds I’ve withdrawn from. Basically benzos and now antidepressant drugs are the two classes of drugs for which there is really quite a lot of info on the web regarding withdrawal. It’s still mostly anecdotal and not studied, but it’s been recognized much longer that there are severe problems with withdrawing from these two class of drugs so it’s easier to collect information regarding such.

So here is what has become a rather extensive collection of articles and stories that deal with just benzos. Please visit the Withdrawal 101 page for a larger picture of how to more safely withdraw from these drugs where lifestyle changes are talked about and several books are mentioned to help one support body/mind and spirit. Withdrawal 101 is a generic article to help one understand the risks and benefits of withdrawal of all classes of psych drugs. Much about withdrawal remains the same in each class of drug.

Benzodiazepines can be dangerous to withdraw. It’s important to understand the risks. Medical doctors, including psychiatrists, are often woefully misinformed. Please educate yourself before discontinuing the drugs whether or not you are under the care of a doctor. They often do not realize how ignorant they are and can unintentionally cause their patients great pain and harm. Unfortunately it is often essential to advocate for yourself and stay safe. Sometimes the best we can do is find a doctor who is willing to learn with us. I was blessed with such a prescriber while I came off my cocktail.

These are popular and helpful posts I’m highlighting at the beginning of this resource page:

●  The Accidental Addict — Benzo withdrawal documentary

●  “The biggest mistake I ever made was…going to see a psychiatrist” (Stevie Nicks) a benzo story

●   New video:  Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs: A Harm Reduction Approach | Will Hall

News and general info on benzodiazepines:

Help for getting off of and recovering from benzodiazepine use:

Recovery Stories:

Benzo stories from my personal experience (much of this has applicability to others in withdrawal, I often talk about my experience with others suffering from withdrawal syndromes too):

**These archives  now span close to five years. They are a record of a time in my life when I was learning and transforming at a rate unlike any other time in my life. I say this as a way of disclaimer. In the earlier years of this blog I am processing shock and dismay. In the early years I am undisputedly angry. I have worked out much of that and see things in a much less judgmental manner now. This continues to evolve. I sometimes want to take down old posts because they no longer convey how I feel, but I realize that they may still be helpful to people who are going through something similar now. The journey got me to where I am today, it’s just odd to have some of it in writing here for all to see. 

Good books on how to deal with anxiety:

Online support:

There are other online groups and boards if you do a google search. There are also lots of videos on youtube that have been made by people coping with withdrawal.

See here for more info about Online Withdrawal Support — it’s worth being aware about the limitations of boards online.

I’ve found that all support groups and forums have their own particular culture and dogma. Please use your own best judgment. The most important thing to remember is that you are an individual and withdrawal manifests differently for everyone.

Also be aware that the benzo boards in general know very little about the particular risks and dangers of other drugs one may be on along with the benzos and in fact often give very bad information. This is a generalization but it pays to be aware of a lack of knowledge and experience by people who sometimes act as if they know more than they do. Multiple drug situations get extremely complicated and most benzo folks think it’s benzos are always at fault when speaking about withdrawal issues when it may or may not be true in any individual situation.

One board made it explicit to me that I was NOT ALLOWED to talk about other drugs at all after I gave some information to someone who had started a thread about antidepressants. The information I gave was limited to responding to a direct inquiry about a particular documented risk involved in taking antidepressants. This silence about another class of drugs in a benzo forum is a dangerous precedent to set and so if you have any other drugs involved in your taper I would recommend going somewhere you can freely talk about all of them.

The same thing happens on antidepressant withdrawal boards where people are routinely on benzos and no one realizes how dangerous the benzos are. Just be aware all the psychotropics have serious issues as well as withdrawal problems. That some people sometimes choose to take other drugs to mitigate withdrawal from a drug is fine…it is their right to do so, but if information is withheld about the risks involved in doing so how is the board different from a psychiatrist saying everything will be fine while they feed us benzos.

As always informed choice is what is missing. Once the information is available people should have the right to make whatever decision is right for them.

Some thoughts on stopping psychiatric medications — things to think about before deciding if you should discontinue your medications

(***To navigate the rest of the archives on this blog check out the drop-down menus at the top of the page)

Also see: Harm Reduction Guide To Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs & Withdrawal (newly revised edition)

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