Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Long-term Painkiller Use on Rise, 1/3rd Dangerously Mix with Anti-anxiety Meds

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About 9% fewer Americans are using prescription opioids than were five years ago, but those people are taking more of the drugs for longer periods of time, according to a study by pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts reported in FiercePharma. And nearly one-third are being put in serious risk of overdose death by taking the opioids alongside prescriptions for benzodiazepine sedatives, stated the New York Times.

Benzodiazepines Co-operation Not Confrontation (BCNC)

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BCNC is a website aimed at helping people reduce from benzodiazepines. It includes links, book reviews, support groups, and other information.

Antipsychotics Rise in Youth, But Hospitalization Rates Stay the Same

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Researchers from Tufts and Harvard find in a review of 233 medical charts of psychiatrically hospitalized youth at three points in time (1991, 1998...

Outcome of Mood Disorders Before Psychopharmacology

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A "systematic review" of all outcome studies of patients with mood disorders, in the March issue of the Australia & New Zealand Journal of...

Little Victories on Breezy

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In my most recent blog post, “The Unmedicated Life”, I attempted to answer a question I’m frequently asked by other survivors — “How did you get better from psychiatric medication damage/withdrawal?” But there is also a part two to the question that I didn’t address, which is, “How did you know when you were better?”

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...

We Need Ecstasy and Cocaine in Place of Prozac and Xanax

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From Aeon: While psychiatric drugs are often ineffective and can have serious side effects, there are many psychedelics and other illicit substances that have proven...

Deafening Silence: What Happens When the Whistle Blows and Nobody Hears?

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September 11th 2015 was my last day working as a counselor/therapist in the U.S. community mental health system. After 22 years working within that system I resigned out of protest having waged a concerted effort (2½ years) to challenge potentially dangerous psychiatric drug prescribing patterns at my workplace. In late April of this year these challenges led to the filing of a major complaint with the Massachusetts Dept. of Mental Health and eventually the Dept. of Public Health. I never expected to discover just HOW unprepared, dysfunctional, and totally oblivious the entire state bureaucracy is when it involves any serious complaints detailing possible abuses and harm being done to its citizens by a branch of medicine called Psychiatry. Just how broken is "Broken"?

“Study Reveals Benzodiazepines Frequently Prescribed to High-Risk Patients”

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A new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that benzodiazepines are prescribed at high doses to patients at a high rate...

One Gutsy Woman

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The childhood and psychiatric abuse altered my neurological, hormonal and other bodily functions and it was difficult to say which abuse left what mark. The doctors used medication to fix the changes and the taking of prescription pills became a habit. I took pills to calm me, pills to sleep, and pills to make me happy. A few months after stopping all medications, I was a bundle of nerves and I opened the cupboard for a pill. Living on autopilot as I had been doing for so long had to stop. I switched gears from absentmindedly resorting to pills, to purposefully calming myself without using drugs by breathing the way the psychologist had taught me.

“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...

The FDA’s Latest Black Box Warning: Don’t Mix Opioids, Benzos

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday mandated updated labels for nearly 400 opioids and benzodiazepines, following a review of scientific evidence and a citizen...

One Million in U.K. Addicted to Prescribed Benzos

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The Times of London reports today that more than a million people in the U.K. are addicted to benzodiazepines prescribed to them by their...

Informed Consent for Benzodiazepines: A Personal Account

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I began to have transient moments where I would feel oddly disconnected from my environment or wake up and feel like I was coming out of my skin. I did not know it at the time, but I was experiencing interdose benzodiazepine withdrawal and it would end up leading me down a path of polypharmacy.

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...

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

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

Unsafe Use of Sleep Drug Zolpidem is Common

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

Don’t Harm Them Twice: When the Language Surrounding Benzodiazepines Adds Insult to Injury (Part...

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Language is important. And when language dictates specific treatment protocols, it should be used with extreme scrutiny. Using the wrong words can put vulnerable people at risk—not only to their sense of self-worth, their sense of self-knowledge, and they way they are treated, but also to their health.

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.

Falling Through the Cracks

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I am an award-winning singer/songwriter with a number one record to my credit. I also owned several small businesses and founded a 501c3 non-profit for women's health. I ate healthy, swam and cycled every day and had a very active lifestyle. This was before benzos came into my life.

Multiple Medications Associated With Poorer Outcomes

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Research from Germany finds that people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective diagnoses given multiple medications - an antipsychotic plus a benzodiazepine or more than one...

Some Common Psychiatric Medications Associated With Pneumonia

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Pneumonia cases in the elderly are strongly associated with use of anticholinergic medications, including benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants.

Who and What Killed Prince and Michael Jackson? Will the Role of Benzos Ever...

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It is the deadly cocktail of benzodiazepines and opiates that is most responsible for the rising rate of opiate overdose deaths... and benzos may actually be THE decisive deadly component in the lethal drug combination. Yes, fentanyl and propofol can be dangerous drugs, but to focus the main attention in this crisis on these rarely used drugs is deliberately misleading...This minimizes the critical role of benzos and rather conveniently lets certain institutions and their leaders off the hook as the main suspects in such a vast number of cases that should be labeled as crimes of negligent homicide.

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

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

UK Woman Speaks Out About 22 Year Addiction With Prescribed Ativan

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ITV features and article and video today about the widespread problem of addiction and withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs used to treat anxiety, including Ativan, Librium, Diazepam and Temazepam. Mother of three Sandra Minshull shares her story and discusses how Ativan “robbed her of her life.”

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