Withdrawal felt like: evil feeding on my soul, my spirit being tortured, not being able to feel love, constantly feeling like I was falling in a dark tunnel, and wanting to get out of my body.
A special set of interviews for W-BAD 2019. We speak with Project Manager for W-BAD Rocks of Kindness, Janelle. We also chat with physician and Director of the Benzodiazepine Information Coalition Christy Huff MD and we hear from Stephen Wright MD, addiction specialist and medical consultant to the Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices.
A special two-part interview to join in with events for World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day 2018. We hear from W-BAD Lead Operations Volunteer Nicole Lamberson, psychiatrist Dr Josef Witt-Doerring, therapist and campaigner Chris Paige and Mad in America founder Robert Whitaker.
A Las Vegas newspaper has released the autopsy blood toxicology report for Stephen Paddock. Three metabolites (breakdown products) of Valium were found in his blood: nordiazepam, oxazepam, and temazepam. Paddock’s autopsy report confirms he was a regular user of Valium, at least in the days leading up to the shootings.
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?
The hearing for Bill H4062: Informed Consent for Benzodiazepines and Non-benzodiazepine Hypnotics took place on Monday – in the middle of an April snowstorm! The discussion clarified some important points in the legislation and gave survivors an opportunity to tell their stories. I was so proud to be there and witness the courage, camaraderie, resilience, advocacy, and vulnerability of fellow survivors. This legislation is our chance to be heard. As one survivor said, through tears, to the committee, “Do not let my suffering be in vain. I beg you to pass this bill.”
As the benzodiazepine crisis spreads throughout the United States and other parts of the world, so does the debate within the benzo victim/survivor community. We know that it can be terribly invalidating to label and treat a person as a “drug addict” who is only physically dependent on benzos — and taking these drugs exactly as prescribed by a doctor. However, it can be equally invalidating to deny that “iatrogenic benzo dependence” intersects in multiple ways in the lives of people struggling with “addiction.” People will ALSO SUFFER when yanked off of their benzos, or forced into similar rapid tapers when a doctor becomes aware of their addiction history.
Anxiety is an awful reality. You feel a horrible paralyzing fear in the core of your chest or stomach, spreading to your arms and legs. The uneasiness gnaws away at you, or spreads into an overwhelming panic. It is paralyzing, and relief can’t come soon enough. However, the myth that anxiety is a biological disease is false. The reason there is no evidence that human problems come from neurotransmitters and genetic defects is because it’s not true.
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.