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27 Comments

  1. Its the withdrawals not the wonderful medication itself. If you have cancer just stay on it remission or not. The docs dont understand that this medicine is what keeps us sane through cancer. Remission is just a break
    . The cancer will return. Ativan or the generic brand is only a stage 4 drug, easy to mmake and cheap. Just tell a guy he cant have sex anymore or work his job… hes addicted to that everyday. Tell a person they cant drink alcohol anymore. Tell a person they cant gamble anymore… benzos are not a bad thing to be addicted to ESPECIALLY when it improves your life versus the other things I mentioned

  2. Rose, Shame on you. I have known Lori for 35 years. She was always steadfast & true. You do not know what you comment about.

  3. I went thru about 3 years of severe benzo withdrawal…and have talked to a few people that had cancer (and recovered). The people that had cancer said severe benzo withdrawal is FAR WORSE than any cancer or chemo treatment

  4. In my opinion Benzos should be outlawed. I was prescribed Ativan 0.5mg every 6 hours as needed for anxiety, my doctor would give me a prescription for 120 tablets per month. I rarely ever took it (2 per month If that), and only if I had not slept well the night before or had a rough day. This past spring was particullarily rough for me. I experienced some heightened anxiety with panic attacks and insomnia. I started taking the Ativan 0.5mg before bedtime and this worked so great that I continued taking it, /after about 2 weeks I stated experiencing anxiety and panic attacks mid morning for no apparent reason. I began taking 0.5mg mid morning. My anxiety began to worsen and I found myself taking Ativan 0.5mg 3 times daily, after all my doctor prescribed 120 tabs per month. Even with 3 times a day, my anxiety became worse and I couldn’t understand why. After about 6 months of this a light bulb went off and I realized that I was having interpose withdrawals. My doctor told me I could just stop taking it, but I knew better or so I thought. I began tapering by breaking the pills in halves and fourths. I did this in 2 week increments and my withdrawals symptoms worsened. I have severe weight loss 23 lbs. my anxiety is at least 100x’s pre Ativan. I have stiffness, restlessness, muscle twitching, severe insomnia (lucky to sleep 2 hours). I have hair loss, dry mouth, palpitations, increased heart rate and the most devastating is dental problems. I have always practiced great oral hygiene and still do. My gums are extremely diseased and my once very health white teeth are now yellowing snd every tooth in my head is starting to loosen. I am devastated. My teeth will have to be extracted, but I am worried that I won’t be able to find someone to do the extraction. I have read that if you have a history of illegal/street drug use many dentist will not do extractions and restorations. I am scared beyond belief. Ativan is the only medication that I take besides supplements. My son is getting married in September and I am terrified that I won’t survive to be at his wedding.

  5. Some people with very bad anxiety and panic disorder need Xanax or any other anxiety drugs. Stop trying to scare people with your phony stories. People that need help should NOT have to suffer.

    1. You have incorrect information. People who take benzodiazepines such as Xanax actually tend to develop worsening anxiety in the long run. The stories here are not phony. These drugs have the potential to harm people. I’d strongly suggest you do more research.

      1. I think people are different both my mom and aunt have used xanax for 20 plus years.my aunt 1mg a day and my mom used for months then when needed. No side affects at all both over 70.

    2. Listen you, I’ve been through the same thing, they had me on it f ok r sleep it ruined my life!

    3. You poor uneducated fool…. Benzo withdrawal is jus about the WORSE THING A PERSON CAN ENDURE . Until you have gone…even 1 day… suffering with a benzo injury…you have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA of the NONSTOPO HELL ON EARTH it is.

    4. Rose you clearly have not endured the torture of benzo damage. It is the most horrific, indescribable torture there is. Not even close to what it’s like to have anxiety and panic I assure you. People need to know what they’re up against when taking them. I sure didn’t. I am almost seven years since I discontinuing taking it and I I’ve endured about 100 hell on earth symptoms. You have no idea. You ignorant human being. I hope nobody close to you ever needs to rely on your support or they’d probably kill themselves.

    5. You don’t know the meaning of suffering until you experience acute or protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal. There is nothing that compares to it on earth. I could never have imagined I would suffer for over four years so far from taking a medication for only 6 weeks…four of which were tapering as instructed after I had inter dose withdrawal symptoms after only having taken the meds for 2 weeks! One of my closest friends killed himself due to the horrific symptoms he was enduring from benzodiazepine withdrawal. I guarantee you would not be saying that if you lived one single day in his shoes or anyone’s who has been through this. It’s abhorrent and disgusting and absolutely insane of you to deny the suffering of thousands which you clearly know nothing about. You should be thankful that you don’t. It doesn’t happen to everyone but to those it has happened to, anxiety and panic would be preferable. Even death is. So before you speak on a topic you have no idea about please consider those who are still suffering and those that have lost their lives to this and their families. I rarely ever comment on anything or go off but this is very dangerous for you to ask as if it’s all made up and “phony”. We are trying to save people so they don’t have to go through the hell we have endured and comments like this just discredit everything we are out here trying to educate others about. It’s almost as if your whole life ends when you become sick with this illness and I am still fighting to get my life back to this day in spite of nearly giving up. The words she said to describe how extremely painful and horrendous this is are exactly correct. Yours are invalid. So just think about that the next time you comment about these medications and how it’s all fake! You could be the one that persuades someone to think it’s safe or you could be the one to make them research and consider the consequences before risking their lives. I hope you will do the right thing and that you never have to find out the truth. People who do not believe in this illness are the reason why the ones of us who are sick are never believed and that is something you never want to experience trust me. Don’t be part of the problem be the solution!!!

    6. This story saddens me, and is another nail in the coffin for the medical industry in my mind. The relationship between the patient and doctor is one of trust — the patient trusts that the doctor is taking the best care of them with the most up-to-date information, and the doctor trusts the patient to dutifully comply with treatment. Unfortunately, doctors continue to break the trust of the patient at great expense to their health and well-being.

      I have had numerous doctors inform me that the medication they try to prescribe me to slap a band-aid on a symptom — adderall, trazadone, hydroxyzine etc. — do not create a dependence and therefor have no withdrawal. As you now clearly understand: every medication that disrupts, interferes with, or replaces a natural mechanism of the body will disturb homeostasis and the body will attempt to regain that homeostasis, leading to dependence and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation. Unfortunately, benzodiazepines have some of the most brutal withdrawal effects known to man.

      If you are still with us, I want you to know that I am so sorry for what you had to go through. Only the select few who have gone through it themselves will be able to understand. The rest of us can only use our pitiful imagination to catch a glimpse of the depth of suffering you have been through. I am truly sorry. The amount of strength you have had to muster in order to push on is unimaginable.

    7. You’re so incredibly uneducated about the medication you clearly take. It’s obvious you’re on a Benzo most people defend it to the death literally until it turns on them. How dare you gaslight an injured person because of your own fear. Benzodiazepines are touted in other countries as one of the worst class of medication available. They have known about the dangers to the brain with this class since the 1980’s. You should explore the drug you’re on do more research. Knowledge is power. But don’t you dare come to someone’s page and call them a liar. Someday you too may be eating your words when you’re literally begging for help and no one gives it to you.

      1. My comment was specifically addressed fo ROSE for her incredibly rude and dismissive comment. I didn’t realize it doesn’t reply directly to her. But that is what my comment is about. IT’S for ROSE. WHOM is so uneducated about Benzos clearly because she’s on the. And knows she can’t do without them.

  6. To Lori’s daughter and other family, I am sorry for your loss. I am an older practitioner now, but I remember when Xanax and Ativan came out. I do recall the addiction specialists stating the habituation they had seen in some after just 1 month’s use. That is why the 2-3 week limitation recommendation was stated. I never prescribe it because of its risk. Having said that, after those 2-3 weeks clients should be tapered down. It goes in fast but comes out fast and as it comes out many feel awful and this is leads to risk of needing more. The problem is the absence of attention by prescribers In tapering clients down and off the med. And then if anxiety continues the choice and time to initiate a move to an alternative med that posses less risk like clonazepam and for some an SSRI and for some Buspar that that has non-addicting properties altogether. Maybe all of these steps should be undertaken. The same has happened with opiates. The absence of attention to tapering off of the opiate after pain should subside Is the problem and then moving to less risk agents as pain decreases. Unfortunately, many operate by an “all or nothing”. Start them but never taper them until they have habituation and shame on insurance companies for not paying for this taper time treatment- in and out in 20 min is all the time that is allotted with inadequate time for overall evaluation of the patient’s regimen initiating taper schedules. Shame on adequately trained nurses who could bring attention to the time that clients have been on benzos or opiates to the physician’s attention. One thing that stood out- that lLori had to undertake her own taper without guidance by her initial system. We did the same with opiates. It is not the agents’ use at times but the time on them- THE TIME NOT TAKEN TO TAPER by the initial system. That is what the step of evaluation and good care is about- but insurance companies need to value this as an imp step and be willing to cover it.

    1. “And then if anxiety continues the choice and time to initiate a move to an alternative med that posses less risk like clonazepam and for some an SSRI…”

      “Less risk????” Hahaha!

    2. Doc. With all due respect clonazepam is a benzo and is horrific to get off of or stay on. So ate ssris. Not safe or good. Listen up and change .

  7. A hopeful letter. You don’t know for sure if your withdrawal symptoms will get better or not, it’s up in the air. My story is I was totally and permanently disabled at age 26 because I was poisoned by a cocktail of chemicals daily. I was never suppose to get better, only advice from the doctor was to maintain a life running from any chemical that made me sick (car exhaust, store smells, plastics and paints, cleaning chemicals and many others) BUT! Even though I wasn’t suppose to get better, slowly over the course of a few years I improved. I did supplements, made sure my environment was as non toxic as I could afford (organic bed, expensive air purifiers and water filters, and lots of stuff). I was prayed over constantly by a church that found me on a forest trail walking and invited me. I was finally able to work again in a few years against all odds. So now….fast forward 5 years, I now have cancer linked to my chemical exposure. I thought for sure I was doomed for the rest of my life, since chemo is pumping chemicals into your body, and that’s what already injured me . I saw they gave me Ativan. I won’t take it. I had them give me something else, which works and isn’t addictive. There are lot of things like the medicinal CBD oil that comes from the hemp plant. That works too, doesn’t make you high because the THC isn’t in the hemp plant. It really made me sad that you don’t want to continue cancer treatment because of the Ativan. I honestly think you should give the chemo a shot again. The chemo breaks your body down, good and bad cells. You get to a point where everything is dying and messed up in there. So if you eat a Taylord diet to your needs then your body can build itself back up to its original homeostasis. I believe this because I went thru it already. Like I said I was poisoned, I couldn’t eat anything, I was down to a underweight BMI. The only option I had was to eat food that I could eat, supplements, and exercise. I built my body back up from poisoned nothing, And eventually was able to work again! Something I had no hope in. remember the body is relentless, it works night and day to try and work the way God intended it in the beginning. I hope you find hope in this, you don’t know what will happen if you try, but you do know what will happen if you don’t. I don’t know you but I don’t want to see you give up. If I had given up (which I had) I would be dead.i had severe psychiatric problem from the poison frying my brain. The pastors that ran into me on the forest trail were the ones who introduced me to that hope that awakened the will to live and fight. I hope this encourages you. I’m living proof a situation like yours can turn completely around

    1. I am dealing with psychiatric medication poisoning myself.. my body is ravaged.. I and weaning my last medication very slowly.. god help us all.. trying to eat right and stay away from toxins.. also gonna do tms to help with my depression and chronic pain.. god will.. I will have faith.. thank you

  8. Jesus, Is this what is wrong with me?!?! I thought 1 Ativan a day was helping me tremendously. I am still taking xeloda the chemo pill from hell when my doctor cut my Ativan from 30 to 15 and I threw my chemo pills away refusing treatments feel like shit and don’t care!!

  9. It’s horrible the way our medical systems work now. What happened to hypicartith oath .All profit driven never mind doing someone’s life .Just keep prescribing junk that kills people greed greed greed .

  10. Last year, on the second annual World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day, a mere three days before we lost Lori, I shared my benzo story publicly on Facebook. For the third annual World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day, I will be sharing Lori’s story. It might be the most powerful thing I have ever read on the subject.

  11. I feel very sorry for you and your family’s and friend’s loss. I do not know what to say but that I strongly agree and just that I have read your letter and how it touched me. I don’t know if it reaches your family but your story touched me.

    Kind regards,

    Dennis