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25 Comments

  1. my dr. had me on clonazepam for almost 20 years. On many occasions I asked to get off and now I know why he would always say we would retire together. I am now for months Benzo free but struggling due to cognitive issues, I am an electrical engineer.

    He even told me once how much clonazepam would kill me. Doctors dont know how to get you off, Ashton Manual I found on benzobuddies was the key. I used liquid titration and worked great. Now I live day to day hoping I feel better, there are good days and not so good. Something must be done to stop this train wreck called benzodiazepines…

    1. Wow, I am reading my comment I made three months ago. It is obvious to me how my cognitive skills were affected. My inability to write clear and concise sentences is apparent in the above comment. I am now nearly eight months benzo free and while my cognitive ability is improving it is not where it should be.

      Based on what I read from other survivors of Benzo’s, I am one of the lucky people. I am sitting here after a good night of over seven hours of sleep. I feel rested and I enjoy the days where I feel good!

      I have had several medical appointments, actually being dropped once due to my benzos, and there are no clear methods on how to “treat” us. More must be done and not 10 years from now. This is important and thankfully BIC is working hard on this issue.

      Many doctors I tell my story to understand the terrible impacts of benzodiazepines. My question is WHY didn’t the doctor that prescribed this to me care enough to explain the consequences of taking a benzo. Maybe he didn’t know or didn’t care, the latter is my guess. I am angry! I lost a big portion of my life due to these drugs. They are not medications.

      Anyway, time to stay in the moment and continue to heal.

  2. I am terrified this bill will pass. What is goIngvto hapornvto the people who are currently on benzos, and trying to get off?
    I am a New Jersey resident who was prescribed benzos for 30 years. No warnings or consent of course.
    I have been doing a slow torturous taper of Ativan for the last year, and have at least another year to go. Medical professionals, including my doctor, don’t really understand why I am going so slow. I am very lucky my doctor is supporting me even though he doesnt understand.
    I am terrified that if this bill passes I will be forced into a quick taper by the new regulations. In addition, insurance companies can use this new legislation to stop paying for benzos after 4 weeks. I have had several non psychotropic drugs that I have been using for years suddenly refused by my insurance company . Medical protocol will.be determined by the insurance company, not the doctor.
    Legislation is not the way to end this benzo horror. It’s going to create more suffering. Horrible idea.

  3. I applaud Lidia for speaking out. I know Lidia personally for the last 20 years. What she has documented is 100 true and valid.

    She is making a difference and sad this has happened to her

  4. It is essential to remember that a taper that is too agressive for the benzo-dependent person is more damaging than remaining on the drug. There is serious ignorance concerning basic science and physiology, and it is shocking to see medical professionals promoting untested taper schemes that ignore basic physiology.

    A taper scheme is not validated simply because a medical professional writes it. It is not valid simply because it is touted at a help-site.

    Another issue:Detox facilities are businesses. They have risk management departments, and the risk that we are talking about is legal risk to the business and not to the patients’ lives.

    At most, but not all help sites it is assumed that the promoted taper plans have been approved after double blind studies. If any have, please tell us about it. Of course double blind studies are not the only possible form of investigation. Still, nothing is actualy tested. At one such site, a member asked about the assumed study that indicated safety. The site owner claimed that these studies really existed, but could not produce one of them.

    It’s also an odd thing: It is assumed that if a medical professional warns of the danger of benzos, this professional will know how to discontinue the drug. The assumption is ubiquitous on the internet. We should be asking why we should believe that a procedure is either safe or effective. The preponderance of devastation following the most touted procedures normally would initiate some pointed questioning. It hasn’t.
    Where are the bona fide studies? What are the origins of discontinuation plans?

  5. Lidia’s letter was so well-written. I wish my brother had understood what he was getting into when he was proscribed klonopin. Neither he, nor his wife, nor any of his family (me) understood the medication he was taking, as proscribed, until it was way too late. He started to drink alcohol heavily to mask what I now believe were interdose withdrawal symptoms. We sent him to a detox facility. They stopped him cold turkey. He had syncopal episodes and ended up in the ER. Then he started having seizures and ended up in the ER. We still thought the detox facility knew what they were doing until they just discharged him stating his care was greater than they could provide. We scrambled to take care of him. He was practically catatonic in the beginning when he came home. Then came terrors, flinching, pacing, trembling hands, intense abdominal and upper torso pain, intense panic, high heart rate, lost weight, incredible insomnia. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. He had teams of out-patient dr’s trying to heal the damage done by stopping the klonopin abruptly. Nothing could be done but try to protect him from killing himself. He begged us to try to help him, and we tried everything. But the first chance that he found a small window of time – a grown 50 year old ex-Coast Guard rescue pilot, college grad with an MBA from a prestigious university and 3 teenage sons, left his family because he knew he was no longer “normal” after the damage had been done. He described disassociation and thought he would never get better. His brain was so incapacitated after the damage from the benzo and its withdrawal that instead he chose suicide. If it was even a choice.
    I was so hoping he was going to be a success story- after what happened in the detox center and I learned that he was on klonopin, all I could do was read all of the blogs and learn about this horrendous nightmare. I thought he was going to make it. No one in my family has ever been an alcoholic, or drug addict, or committed suicide. Ever. My brother was the first on all three and I am entirely convinced it was the klonopin that caused all of it. I get it- why did he go on in the first place? He was stressed and had anxiety- he was dealing with a lot of work stress and life pressures. But why would his general practitioner proscribe klonopin? That’s who gave it to him first. I can only forgive that doctor because he didn’t know. I can only assume that- but now people know. This needs to be prevented. It is destroying people’s lives.

  6. Dear Lidia

    As a 66 year old male professional who can no longer work because of Klonopin that was prescribed to me by a Psychiatrist I identify with almost all of what you said. I wish you some peace.

  7. I was prescribed 10 mg of klonopin and asked the doctor if it was addictive. She said it was an anti seizure medication and besides I’ll be on it for life.

    10 years lost and another 5 years and still tapering. Thank God now in my state there is an informed consent check list you have to fill out and sign. It won’t help me but others. I’d rather take rat poison. Good for you for writing the letter. It gives me impetus to write my own.

  8. I am amazed that the woman who wrote the letter ran into someone who knew tolerance withdrawal exists! I have been an RN for 36 years, even worked in a Detox Facility. Never once did I ever hear that tolerance WD exists! I took benzos for thirty years. For insomnia. The last 15 years I began to have a lot of health problems. I saw specialists. I was told I had fibromyalgia, CFS, maybe M.S., maybe Parkinsons. They put me on more drugs, but nothing made me feel better.
    Fast forward to 2012: I was by then so ill I was seriously considering moving into a nursing home. My medical doctor finally began to see that perhaps my troubles were to do with the benzos and ADs I was on. He forced me to go c old turkey. My withdrawal was horrific and last several years. I sought help online and joined BenzoBuddies. That wonderful site was my real education about benzos, and I am STILL active there. Eastcoast62 is my name there. It is simply unbelievable that the entire truth about benzos is STILL be hidden, probably deliberately.
    Just so you know, I am now fully healed! Happiper and healthier than I can remember being. A true Benzo Miracle.

    1. Annie,
      Thank you for taking the time to go into detail about everything . You hit on three great points.
      1. that you are a medical professional and never heard of tolerance WD
      2. that you took years to withdrawal
      3. that you are great now
      I went from sad to happy tears for you . God bless
      This site is priceless.

    2. Hello Eastcoast 62.you kann tell my something from benzos Tolerance Please?i Need helps for my Boyfriend. Thank you very much .Anna

  9. I have been on some type of Benzo drug for well over 20 years. Mostly Klonopin for anxiety and to help me sleep. I have had depression and anxiety since I was quite young. I have been taking Klonopin now for at least 18 + years. I am not sure of the exact times. Sometimes doctors didn’t want to prescribe them to me. They said that they could be addicting. That is all they said about them.I kept wanting to take them because I had terrible insomnia mostly from anxiety and I couldn’t turn my mind off so I could sleep. I first started taking them when my parents were both very ill and then their deaths. I was very close to them and their deaths were and still are very hard on me. In the mean time I met a man and we eventually married. We have not had a good relationship from the very beginning. I should have never married him. I am just telling you these things because they have greatly affected my depression and anxiety. Therefore I figured I needed to continue the Klonopin. I have had many of the symptoms listed above by Linda. I never thought that they could be caused by Klonopin and I still don’t know if this has caused them. I have no ambition or motivation to do anything. I sit around and do nothing most days. I can’t do the things that I used to do. I couldn’t work anymore and went on Social Security Disability 15 years ago for Depression. I moved to another state to be with my now husband. Needless to say I have been through Hell being with him. I am kind of rambling here.Sorry about that.I am now 64 years old and scared to death to try and go off the Klonopin. I have other health issues also. I have been through so much and don’t believe I could handle all of the symptoms people go through getting off of the Benzos. I don’t think I could handle it both emotionally and physically. It scares me to death to even think about it. Had I known what going off these type of drugs could do to to me I would have never taken them. All I was told that they could be addicting. So what do I do? I think trying to go through withdrawal would kill me. I don’t want to die because of a drug. I am only 64. I want to live and I feel like I have already wasted many years of my life because of Klonopin?

    1. Susan,

      I took Klonopin for insominia for 18 years and had a long, difficult withdrawal. After 2.5 years completely off, I am still dealing with some withdrawal issues. I am not suggesting that you withdraw. However, I do suggest that you consider the protocol at therootcauseprotocol.com. It is a food-based protocol that is effective for anxiety, depression and many other things. It works by replacing nutrients that have fallen out of modern diets. Watch the video and read the testimonials under Resources. This protocol has helped a great deal.

    2. Susan,

      I had a dreadful withdrawal from Klonopin. I am not recommending that you withdraw. But I do recommend looking into the Magnesium Advocacy group on Facebook. They have a protocol that is effective for anxiety, depression and many other things. It is a food-based plan. It turns out that replacing nutrients that have fallen from modern diets goes a long way toward reducing many symptoms. This protocol has helped me a great deal.

    3. Try and do a very slow titration taper. If you go to Benzobuddies you will find instructions on how to properly taper…Done correctly you could possibly come off the benzo nearly symptom free…..
      Wishing you luck..

  10. I would like to know who to write a letter like this to in my state. I don’t know where to begin and I envision changing the law on this drug once and for all.. thank you for doing this. We all need to do this. I was told i could take this drug forever with no knowledge of a taper to come off.

  11. I’m sorry you had to experience this. I just wanted to encourage you to hang on….I’m just over 3 years free from short-term Ativan use and I’m 80-90% back to normal.

  12. Thank you for your courage. I started my journey 30 years ago and have been Klonopin free for just over six months following a four month taper. I am appalled at the lack of knowledge about these drugs in the medical community. It is a daily battle and I now have zero hope of ever being “normal”….”functional” is all I hope for. We MUST keep speaking out and up.

    1. Pray to God that you will be better. Verily God Has Power over all things. It is so good that you are off of the benzos!!!!

  13. I’d like to know what the doctor said after you told him your symptoms. I hope you sent him a copy of this letter. The more people who tell their doctors, the more apt they are to believe them.

  14. I feel your pain. Your story is so similar to mine. I miss the old,carefree,productive, social, spontaneous me. It’s a medical travesty that the public is basically unaware of. Chin up, accept the good days when they come as a blessing.You wrote a great letter, let’s hope it doesn’t fall on deaf ears. Stay strong x