Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Overprescribing of Benzodiazepines

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Norwegian researchers found that 14.6% (27,861) of patients who were prescribed benzodiazepines used two simultaneously, despite the fact that all benzodiazepines have essentially the...

We Need to Encourage People to Make Advance Directives

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In this piece for STAT, Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu describes the value of psychiatric advance directives for those at risk of experiencing an emotional crisis. "'It’s something that can...

Editorial Takes On Conflicts of Interest and Propaganda in Psychiatry

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In a scathing editorial in this month’s Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Dr. Giovanni Fava takes aim at prominent medical experts who have downplayed the role...

Benzo.org

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U.K. based website focussing on benzodiazepine addiction, withdrawal & recovery.

Culturally Numb

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Experiencing emotional pain is a necessary part of life. Emotional pain often contains valuable lessons to help us on our journeys. We need to make sure we are not numbing our hearts to those that are hurting. We need to de-stigmatize the struggles, joys and pains that come with being human. We need to not just mindlessly pursue happiness - though we might think of that as an inalienable right - and avoid pain. We need to do the only thing that brings true joy: embrace all of life and each other, as we experience together all that makes us human.

“4 in 10 Know Someone Addicted to Prescription Pain Killer”

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A new poll, published in the Washington Post, explores the public’s connection to prescription pain killer abuse. “A surprising 56 percent of the public say...

Benzodiazepine & SSRI Addiction and Withdrawal

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The May issue of Addiction includes a review of pharmacological and phenomenological issues around benzodiazepine (BZD) and SSRI discontinuation.  Definitions, perceptions and management of the...

Don’t Harm Them Twice (Part II): What Can Be Done?

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When language has been ingrained in a culture for a long time, it takes a concerted effort to change it. How do we stop using the word “addiction” in relation to cases of iatrogenic benzo dependence? Here are a few suggestions.
doctor

Benzo Withdrawal: Why Don’t Doctors Know?

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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.

Call to Action: Support a Bill for Informed Benzodiazepine Use

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Massachusetts Bill HD 4554 needs to gain sufficient state representative support by Tuesday, March 1, 2016. This bill will put restrictions on the prescribing of benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine sleep aids, and will require that all patients be informed of the potential dangers of these drugs, specifically the dangers of long-term use.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms

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Members of the group Benzodiazepine Recovery have created a video about the often debilitating symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. Video →­

Psychiatry: We Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Mental Health

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My name is Leah Harris and I'm a survivor. I am a survivor of psychiatric abuse and trauma. My parents died largely as a result of terrible psychiatric practice. Psychiatric practice that took them when they were young adults and struggling with experiences they didn’t understand. Experiences that were labeled as schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder. My parents were turned from people into permanent patients. They suffered the indignities of forced treatment. Seclusion and restraint. Forced electroshock. Involuntary outpatient commitment. And a shocking amount of disabling heavy-duty psychiatric drugs. And they died young, from a combination of the toxic effects of overmedication, and broken spirits.

Cracked Open – Installment 3

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I’ve been working steadily on Cracked Open, a book that chronicles my experience being a mother suffering terrible insomnia to a mother desperately dependent on benzodiazepines. I am not alone. I live in a state that ranks at the top for anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds and we love to give them to women. But I’m not writing this book simply for mothers or for women. I’m writing it for anyone who has gone into a doctor’s office, desperate and sick, and come out with a prescription that led them down a path to illness and/or disability. It happens so often.

Call to Action: Massachusetts Benzodiazepine Bill is Going to Committee

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The Massachusetts Benzo Bill H4062: Informed consent for benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics was just scheduled to be heard by the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse on Monday, April 4th. Less than a week away! The committee will decide whether the bill moves forward to the house and senate, goes to study, or is denied.

Benzodiazepines: Dangerous Drugs

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When the benzodiazepines were first introduced, it was widely claimed, both by psychiatrists and by pharma, that they were non-addictive. This claim was subsequently abandoned in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and the addictive potential of these products is now recognized and generally accepted.

Setbacks

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Oddly enough, it had occurred to me over this past year as I’ve been writing these essays for Mad in America that maybe I was “too healthy” to speak to the withdrawal experience with authenticity, to have street cred. It’s now a moot point. I write this not to scare people, but to present a reality. This reality has been difficult to accept, but the fact remains that my nervous system is more sensitive than before and might always be so, at least to some degree.

Withdrawal Symptoms Routinely Confound Findings of Psychiatric Drug Studies

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

Why Addiction Language is Harmful

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In this video for Benzo Brains, Jocelyn Pedersen explains why addiction is harmful to benzodiazepine survivors and differentiates benzodiazepine associated disability (BAD) from benzodiazepine addiction.

The Unmedicated Life

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It has been 7.5 years since I got off benzos, the drug that damaged me the most, and 6.75 years off all meds; the final medicine I tapered was a tricyclic antidepressant, nortriptyline, in autumn 2006. Since that time, I have not taken another psychoactive medicine, nor have I had any desire to. Neither have I sought out therapy or the like. Personally, I’m sick of labels, sick of the industry, sick of talking about my “problems,” sick of navel-gazing, and would just rather live.

Dr. Andrew Weil Says We’re Taking Too Many Medicines

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From The New York Times: According to Dr. Andrew Weil, who is best known for popularizing the concept of integrative medicine, the problem of overmedication...

The Poison We Pick

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In this piece for New York Magazine, Andrew Sullivan traces the history of the use of opiates in the U.S. and explores the social, economic,...

Benzodiazepines Linked to Treatment Resistant Depression

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Prior use of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Librium, or Ativan, may increase the risk of treatment-resistant depression (TRD), according to a new study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdraw

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Protocol for the Treatment of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, written by Dr. C. Heather Ashton ("The Ashton Manual"), published and available free of charge on Benzo.org. This...

Nevada Legislation Aims to Curb Psychotropics in Foster Children

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A touching article in the Las Vegas Sun follows one child from abandonment through foster placements, polypharmacy, suicidality, delinquency and homelessness to stability off...

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