Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Withdrawal Symptoms Routinely Confound Findings of Psychiatric Drug Studies

Researchers examine how rapid discontinuation can mimic the relapse of mental health symptoms and confound psychiatric drug studies.

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions in Older Adults Used in Rural and Low Income Areas

Benzodiazepine prescription practices may be in response to an epidemic of distress, rather than being used to treat specific mental health diagnoses.

Nonclinical Factors are Associated with Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use in Older Adults

White race and size of initial prescription, along with poor sleep quality, are associated with long-term benzodiazepine use in older adults.

Can Education Level Predict Prescription Drug Misuse in Young Adults?

A new study examines the extent to which patterns in prescription drug misuse and substance use disorder symptoms can be predicted by education level

Unsafe Use of Sleep Drug Zolpidem is Common

Three out of four users of the sedative, zolpidem (brand name Ambien), do not follow FDA recommendations to reduce risk.

Poor and Foster Care Children More Likely to be Diagnosed and Treated with Psychiatric...

Study details Medicaid-insured birth cohort’s exposure to psychiatric medications and mental health services.
hope for benzodiazepine withdrawal

My Ativan Affair and the Aftermath

My sincere message to those whose vitality and lives have been sapped and zapped by this iatrogenic dis-order: most of us DO recover! And even if it is not without some benzo remnants lodged in our cellular memory, what we learn about our own resilience will guide us to places in our lives we didn't expect to reach. HOPE was my key through the arduous path of withdrawal and recovery.

New Clinical Guidelines on Deprescribing Benzodiazepines

New guidelines recommend deprescribing benzodiazepine receptor agonists for adults.
doctor

Benzo Withdrawal: Why Don’t Doctors Know?

Many have asked: “Why doesn’t my doctor/provider know what is happening to me?” Benzodiazepine tolerance and withdrawal are not new. So, why isn’t it simple to diagnose and treat? As both a health care provider and a withdrawal sufferer, I’d like to offer an inside and outside perspective on this question.

Existential Therapy Assists Patients Withdrawing From Psychiatric Drugs

Confronting existential anxiety through “Basal Exposure Therapy” shows promising results in people withdrawing from psychotropic drugs.

Psychiatrists Warn Policymakers Benzodiazepine Overuse Could Lead to Next Epidemic

Although opioid addiction and overuse have garnered significant national attention, similar trends in benzodiazepine overprescription and overuse continue to go unnoticed.
integrative mental health

8 Years of Mental Health Research Distilled to 4 Infographics

Pictures are worth a thousand words. So I’ve chosen pictures to distill the mountain of mental health research I’ve examined over the last eight years. Three infographics summarize research on psychiatric drugs, and one asserts why I think Integrative Mental Health is the best path available for mental health recovery.

Cognitive Impairment from Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use Remains Even After Drug Withdrawal

Long-term benzodiazepine use shown to effect cognitive function during current use and for years after drug discontinuation.

Life Sentence: Life Behind the Bars of the Mental Health System

The minute you sit down in the chair in a mental health professional's office, you’re no longer seen as a person. The mental health system is incapable of seeing past the solid wall of your current label. Their only cure is drugs. "First Do No Harm" are powerful words. It’s unfortunate they don’t apply to psychiatry.

Preventing Long-term Benzodiazepine Use

Researchers Identify risk factors for long-term benzodiazepine use to prevent harmful effects.

A Massachusetts Benzo Bill That Mandates Informed Consent

H. 3594 would require pharmacists to distribute pamphlets containing information on benzodiazepine misuse and abuse, risk of dependency and addiction, handling and addiction treatment resources. This would be a major legislative response to the prescribing patterns for these drugs today.

How to Avoid Severe SSRI Withdrawal Symptoms?

After long-term use, most people are going to have serious symptoms when stopping SSRIs. Many people are going to have transient, mild to moderate difficulty and some are going to end up falling down the akathisia rabbit hole. That is a long, difficult drop.

Is Xanax Really the Bad Guy?

While any effort to generate awareness and potentially curb the benzodiazepine epidemic is commendable, we have to ask ourselves, is Xanax just the scapegoat in this situation? Will legislative action and media attention for only one benzodiazepine out of so many make any difference?

Researchers Identify Patterns in Antidepressant and Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use

The researchers found that, of those who were initially prescribed both antidepressants and benzodiazepines, approximately 12% went on to engage in long-term benzodiazepine use.

Benzo Injury? Tell the FDA!

For World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day, we are asking everyone to submit an FDA report about their injury. We have teams of people willing to help with this. This problem has been going on for 60 years, and we can be the generation that stops it, but we need to come together and take action.

Why World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day?

I am participating in World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day today, and you should too, because you know somebody right now who is taking a benzodiazepine and that person might just be dealing with chronic health problems, unaware that they are result of taking the medication as prescribed.

Three Suicides: Honoring Lives Lost to Benzodiazepines

I am still trying to reconcile what these chemicals are capable of, how the urge can morph into an action, how we maybe just don’t understand suicide all that well. For me, the suffering was so intense it was too painful to stay alive. I understand how my friends felt in their last moments.

Tapering Strips for Benzodiazepines

One size fits all does not work. It is not possible to use the same tapering schedule for all patients who wish to stop with a certain drug. Therefore we had to come up with a flexible solution that was both practical and allowed doctors and patients to make the choice they deemed appropriate.

“Benzo Blue”: a Song of Protest and a Search for Liberation

In commemoration of World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day coming on July 11th, I am providing an early first time debut at Mad in America of a new song and music video titled “Benzo Blue,” along with a brief commentary on the evolution and significance of this song.

PTSD and Psychiatric Medication Linked to Dementia in Older Veterans

Veterans diagnosed with PTSD and taking SSRIs, novel antidepressants, or atypical antipsychotics are more likely to develop dementia.

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