If you are interested in benzo withdrawal, including protracted benzo withdrawal, after taking a benzodiazepine prescription, listen to this new, informative podcast.
The Benzodiazepine Podcast interviews top experts and covers topics of interest to people injured by prescribed benzodiazepine medications. In addition to informing people who are already suffering from withdrawal symptoms, we also want to educate people who are not aware of the dangers of long-term benzodiazepine use.
These anxiolytic drugs are prescribed to treat mental health issues, such as anxiety, social anxiety, and insomnia. For decades, they were believed to be safe.
Only recently, have experts learned that prolonged benzo use can lead to changes in the brain, particularly with respect to the GABA receptors. Recovery from benzo brain injury, also known as toxic encephalopathy, can take weeks, months, or even years.
Prescribing benzodiazepines for anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder and panic attacks should be limited to days, or weeks at most. Treatment for longer periods may lead to dependence.
Join us for a benzo chat every week.
Each week, we will feature a new episode with a new guest to discuss the topic of benzodiazepine dependence, tapering challenges, and how to deal with withdrawal symptoms, such as histamine sensitivity and benzo belly. Our topics are about benzodiazepine withdrawal that is unrelated to benzodiazepine abuse or benzodiazepine misuse or addiction .
We have already featured several members of the benzodiazepine information coalition board on the podcast. Additionally, we have had on guests who are experienced in working with people who are tapering, or are benzo free.
If you are interested in learning more about programs that exist to help people through protracted withdrawal, I recommend subscribing to our benzodiazepine podcast. For example, we have interviewed Laura Delano of the Inner Compass Initiative.
We have also had Chris Paige on the podcast twice. Chris is a licensed clinical social worker who is an expert on the topic of akathisia, a terrifying adverse reaction of long-term benzo use. Akathisia can also be caused by other psych drugs.
Chris Paige provides EMDR therapy, as well as Safe & Sound Protocol therapy, developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, in his counseling practice. Additionally, he is starting a foundation that is dedicated to educating benzo injured people and healthcare professionals.
Why addiction medicine facilities are not able to help get people off of benzos.
Benzodiazepine dependence is not like addiction to an opioid or alcohol. For most people, it is a physical dependence without addiction.
When a detox tries to get a patient off of a drug, they stop the drug cold turkey, or taper very quickly. Drug rehabs and detox facilities often do more harm than good when they treat benzo dependent clients.
What happens when the family assumes that their family member is an addict because they are in benzo withdrawal? They go to the emergency department, where the patient is shamed for their addiction and sent to a psych ward or rehab.
While people who suffer from drug addictions deserve more respect from medical institutions and their own families, most people who take benzodiazepines are not at all addicted.
Treating benzodiazepine dependence as an addiction can cause serious problems for the person, long-term. “They may be more likely to suffer from protracted withdrawal symptoms, such as akathisia.
To know more about addiction, read our blog: Four Stages Of Addiction.
Why does overdose on benzodiazepines happen so rarely?
Why are there relatively few benzo overdose deaths? While drug users who overdose often have a benzodiazepine in their system, it is rarely the cause of death.
The problem of benzos is interesting. They are relatively safe with respect to not causing addiction and not leading to overdose.
The short-term safety profile of benzodiazepines has given healthcare professionals, and the public, a false sense of security. Long-term use leads to dependence and sometimes toxic brain symptoms.
Package inserts and product information sheets for benzodiazepines have been updated to reflect the dangers of long-term use. Black box warnings have been added, as recently as 2020.
Short term use of benzodiazepines, such as for alcohol withdrawal treatment, is recommended. Long-term use is discouraged, because of the risk of protracted withdrawal and toxic encephalopathy.
The Benzodiazepine Podcast teaches about the importance of informed consent.
While these drugs are toxic to some people, there are others who benefit from ongoing use of benzodiazepines. Should they be allowed to continue benzo use since there is a risk of developing serious withdrawal symptoms?
It would not be fair to punish patients who continue to benefit from long-term use, as long as doctors continue to inform them about new information on the dangers of benzodiazepines. Patients deserve to be informed before starting treatment, and during treatment.
Informing a patient of the risks of treatment, and the alternatives, is known as informed consent. We most often think of informed consent as being a written form provided by surgeons before surgery.
The goal of organizations, such as the Benzodiazepine Information Coalition, is to educate patients and doctors that informed consent is not only for surgery anymore. Informed consent can also be used to inform a patient before starting a medication that may cause serious consequences.
There are many people now having difficulty with toxic benzo effects that might not have started treatment if they had been aware of the risks. Doctors who discuss informed consent, and keep a written record of it, will feel better about having informed their patients, giving them an opportunity to make their own informed decision.
Who can help someone who wants to quit benzos, or has quit and now has withdrawal symptoms?
A person’s family doctor, or primary care doctor, should be able to help with benzo withdrawal. Yet, many doctors are not aware of the difficulty of tapering and addressing benzo withdrawal symptoms.
Some patients go to functional medicine doctors for help. While a functional medicine specialist may be more likely to understand the subtle nature of benzo withdrawal treatment and slow tapering, not all will be prepared for handling this task.
Fortunately, organizations, such as the Benzodiazepine Information Coalition, provide listings of doctors who are familiar with slow tapering and treating withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines. They currently list doctors in nearly every region of the country.
Additionally, there are counselors and coaches who have experience in talking a person through the process. A good benzo coach can also advise their client on how to best communicate with family members and their doctor.
There are also therapists who provide focused therapy to the benzo injured client. It is important that the therapist recognize that they are not working with an addiction client.
Where can I find The Benzodiazepine Podcast?
In addition to a link from this website, thebenzodiazepinepodcast.drleeds.com, you can find the podcast on nearly all major podcast apps. This includes the Apple Podcast app, and many others.
If you find the information on the podcast useful, please leave a five-star review and a helpful comment. We appreciate positive reviews, because they help us to reach a larger audience to bring this important information to more people.
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