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  1. After decades of use for sleep disorder my doctor now calls it a ‘bad’ drug and will not prescribe. I took it nightly and slept. I believe I was functioning well in the world. Since being taken off I no longer have a fulfilling life. I never had anxiety until being taken off. Now I have such a low quality of life. I sleep very little, cry a lot and do not want to leave my home.

  2. I was on Lorazapam for 5 or more years. I took it for anxiety and insomnia. Low dose of .5 mg. then increased to 1.0 a few years ago because it was no longer effective. In December, I decided to wean off of it or taper slowly. My general care practitioner would not refill my Rx. I went cold turkey after being on it for that long. I have experienced a feeling of intoxication, achy joints, muscle weakness and general ill health. I don’t know how I came across this group but I hope it was divine intervention. I don’t want to feel this way for the rest of my life, I’m only 57 and some days feel so hopeless. I’m not ready to die this way. It’s too late to taper, I don’t know who to turn to for help. I’m scared. When I brought it up recently (after reading this) my GP said, you wouldn’t be still feeling side effects from withdrawal after 3 months. I feel very cheated and unheard. I’m not crazy and I’m not a hypochondriac. What can I do? I’m currently seeing a naturopath and will share this info with her. This is the second drug I’ve been improperly weaned off of Cymbalta was the first and that made me really sick too. I’m losing faith in doctors who are ill informed and pharmaceutical drugs. (although I did get the Covid shot and pray it’s not going to do me dirty) Thank you for any help you can share.

  3. I couldn’t believe it when I read ‘in a historical change of stance for the FDA’ or whatever exactly… I thought I’d never read those words in regards to this. I’m 40 was first prescribed klonopin around 24 or 25 and most of the years between then and now have been spent suffering to no end, being denied by the same Dr.s as to the reality of my situation. If I don’t live to see 2022 this itself feels like the most redemption or acknowledgement I’ve known for seems like a dozen lifetimes. Unfortunately, my family, marriage, life, friends, job, sanity often times… Long gone now. This is a suffering no label could ever warn or prepare one for. Minutes last for what seems like years during the worst of it. So many people kill themselves. Those people need to have some light shed on the circumstances to their loved ones left behind. Because the decline, without acknowledgement, is about the most dehumanizing, dark, torturous spiral I can imagine being sent down. At least the truth is coming to light. I know it will be a process. But full denial has ended it seems. Thank God. Anyone still in the midst of this, my heart goes to you and someone knows how strong you’ve been and more will in days coming. Keep hanging on, it not “all in our heads” and we aren’t “making it up” anymore. We’re real! Thanks so much FDA, bang up job on this one. That’s sarcasm. Btw. Smh

    1. I have been on 30 mg / day diazepam for 15 yrs. It has been a life saver!! I had a really debilitating anxiety problem before this. I have zero side effects. I am dependent on it, but thats okay, because I can function without being an anxoius mess now. The only way benzos can ” ruin your life” is when you do not know how to take them. If you are dependent on them, you have to take the same doses every day….not more…but NOT LESS either!!! Also diazepam is the gold standard. The main reason they keep coming out with new ones like klonopin is because the patents run out and they cannot make money off them. Klonopin is crap. Diazepam is awesome and works great with very little side effects if you take it correctly. All the “new” ssri meds are useless for my anxiety.

  4. Please ignore the posts by so-called Jamie. They are just hawking advertisements for some unheard of character, possibly himself, who has no standing on this subject, trying to make money out others suffering.

  5. Really. I could care less about a lawsuit. I want one doctor to recognize what I m going through at 16 months off of a cold turkey. I m barely functioning. Does this ever end? Does anyone ever heal? BIC is not helping those of us who are suffering. It’s us the patients who need help? Not awareness .

  6. There should also be lawsuits for those who have lived with a sufferer. My friend was prescribed two anti depressants at the same time. It caused a mania. While in the manic phase, he forgot to renew his prescription for a Benzo which he had been on since 1985. IT was now 2010! The side effects were horrific; hallucinations, terrible ringing in his ears; I had to take down the wall clock; awake all night; day after day; I was at risk too as he was a combat vet and in his hallucinations anything could have happened. The suffering this man went through being in the military with heavy responsibilities for many years … he and I both survived but he described the rapid withdrawal event as unimaginable hell and I agree; it was akin to torture and this terrible episode was the coup de grace after decades of suffering. He is now off them; has a good doc… and many symptoms which were attributed to ptsd simply disappeared.

  7. 100% CORRECT!!!
    I was prescribed Ativan…. it stopped working after about 1 week… I took it for another week and then started cutting down….. What ensued was a life changing trip to hell that lasted over 2 years..nonstop physical and mental torture. Now at about 3.5 years… I am 100% back to normal. Someone that has not experienced severe benzo withdrawal has absolutely, not even the slightest idea on how bad it is.

  8. Prescribed Ativan and clonazepam together originally 30 years ago
    As well as quetiapine and nine antidepressants and zopiclone.
    No informed consent,not told quetiapine is an antipsychotic.
    Developed type 2 diabetes,heart problems,thyroid disorder.At the same time prescribed tramadol included for I b S (probably caused
    by the drugs) Then after reaching the highest dose of tramadol
    had to go on Suboxone which necessitated daily pharmacy visits to
    consume in a back room,all at the age of70. Told I would have to take
    for rest of life. Now off all antidepressants Got myself off Suboxone
    Diazepam from 80 mg daily to 2 mg daily
    Convinced diabetes, cataracts thyroid problems heart Q T problems
    Kidney problems relate to antipsychotic use.Now 80 and suffering
    Chronic problems from these drugs. Hope black box warning and
    informed consent can help prevent the horrific suffering these drugs cause

  9. By Gods blessing I began self tapering in November of 2019. After 24 years of Klonopin, 14 yrs at 1.5 mg / 10 yrs at 3 mg and also being on oxycodone it was becoming obvious that at some point sooner than later the prescription monitoring system would flag me resulting in a forced taper.
    The doctor shrugged me off and continued prescribing 3 mg per day until May of 2020 when he was arrested on a list of charges including selling prescriptions, ( a doctor who treated addiction) Fortunately I had saved a good supply to continue my now urgent taper.
    I brought the topic up to other physicians and explained that my taper plan was based on the Ashton manual and could take about two years and at some point I would need small prescriptions of perhaps 15 mgs every 1 – 3 months. ALL 3 refused and in no uncertain terms because of the opioid combination. After explaining that I took it upon myself and had reduced my consumption to 1 mg in just 8 months or 2/3rds less than what I had taken without a problem for a decade. But I would need help when I reached about .5 mg -NO !
    All had stated that I was tapering far too long and that I should simply reduce by 25% per week and be done. When I explained how difficult it was becoming now and the miserable symptoms ranging from insomnia to colon cramping to muscle twitching and myoclonic jerks, depersonalization, depression / mania and on the list goes… It was suggested that I see a neurologist and GI doctor ! No worries about seizures or permanent damage though.

    MY POINT being physicians, PA’s, APRN’s RN’s and paramedics need to be educated properly on benzodiazepine withdrawal and modern tapering programs. Existing medical professionals desperately need the same AND the freedom to prescribe as needed without fear of state and federal agencies.
    And for what its worth, I don’t think I will ever be free of this horrible drug or damage done until I die. The reduction from .625 mg to .5 mg was like hitting a brick wall that I just can not get used to after 3 months

    1. When I got to where you are I asked for the Ativan to be compounded into liquid. That way you can go much more slowly to get to where you want to be and decrease as slowly as you like.I too was stuck where you are.
      It’s something you might want to try. Good luck!

    2. How is it going. My dr advised I START on 1mg of klonopin for severe insomia I am 66 and the lack of sleep is killing me..but the horror stories I read etc scare the fell out of me And advice

  10. Thanks to all who are continuing to bring public awareness to benzodiazepine prescribing and the debilitating consequences. It gives me hope. I was prescribed xanax for 32 years and it is difficult if not impossible to completely heal from the damage these drugs inflict. I hope progress and knowledge continue so more people can effectively navigate the healing process.

    1. How much Xanax were you on? I’ve been on them for 25 years and dr just switched me to Valium and I know it’s easier to taper from Valium but I don’t like the side effects from it.

  11. I was given klonopin originally for sleep disorders, vestibular issues, and anxiety. For 30 years. I never exceeded the prescribed dose. I was told not to worry about dependency since I would likely be on them for life. That was all seemingly well and good until my prescribing doctor moved out of state and I could not find anyone to prescribe. One doctor was willing to give me enough to wean off within two weeks. I tried but it was impossible. I had also had a bad fall and had a severe concussion, so I was in bad shape. My vestibular issues became chronic and severe. I was hospitalized and lost almost one third of my body weight. I had no other option but to go into a drug rehab program. They took me off klonopin in one week. It was absolute hell on earth. My vision was so blurry I couldn’t read. I had auditory hallucinations, I retched constantly for weeks, the panic attacks were indescribable, I had trouble with balance, and a crawling sensation on my skin. I couldn’t tolerate lights, noise or too much motion. Etc. it’s over a year later and I still have withdrawal issues. I’ve developed restless leg syndrome, I have shooting pain, I have horrible insomnia and irritability. Fortunately, after being off klonopin for awhile, my crippling vestibular issues have subsided. I can now go for a walk and drive a car and go into grocery stores. A doctor told me that the klonopin was suppressing my vestibular function and was not giving my brain the ability to heal. If I had only known!

    1. I’m here reading the comments after my 21 y.o. daughter is suffering from benzo withdrawal (& an antipsychotic med, olanazapine/Zyprexa). I’m so sorry to read about all these terrible experiences. Recently, I came across the YouTube channel, “Better Mental Health with Natural Remedies” by Peter Smith (in the UK; he also does video consultation for personal treatment). So far, his suggestions (for supplementation to heal the brain) have been helping my daughter in her recovery from the horrible aftermath of being on Ativan & Zyprexa for two months. I can see that it will likely take some time, but I believe that healing can happen. I hope you can find some relief & healing, too.

  12. 100 percent agree with the article! Benzodiazepines are dangerous and people must be properly informed. Took clonazepam as prescribed and ended up in tolerance withdrawal as all of my doctors watched me deteriorate. They had no clue that patients can develop withdrawal symptoms without ever reducing their dose. Countless doctors visits and testing came up with visual migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety disorder, tmj disorder, the list is long. I tapered on my own based on the Ashton Manual . Completely drug free the past 9 months after 4 months of taper. Still suffering from muscle twitches, depersonalization/de realization, paranoia and cannot leave my house at all because of constant, unbearable fear. Was on this drug under psychiatric care, for 8 years. Never thought this can happen. Never exceeded the prescribed dose. Due to my deteriorating state my doctors literally dropped me, was not willing to discuss tolerance withdrawal or how to proceed with the taper. Refused to acknowledge that my condition was caused by the medication they prescribed.

  13. I was first prescribed Lorazapam abouta 15 YEARS ago. It was for severe on-going insomnia, and my doctor and I tried endless treatments (from meditation/deep breathing and other psychological tools), to supplements (herbs such as lavender, chamomile, hops etc. to magnesium and many others) to a very long list of medications and nothing worked. I also suffered anxiety and panic attacks, Fibromyalgia, chronic pain, Chronic Lyme disease, and an endless list of other medical issues. We didn’t take the decision lightly. But I was truly desperate. But then in 2019 laws changed. My doctor told me that by law I was REQUIRED to either stop taking opiates (I was on Oxycodone and Morphine) OR stop taking the Lorazapam – even though I had NEVER had any medical problems with taking both. At that point my life turned into a living hell and it hasn’t stopped. I was forced into seeing a doctor who claimed to be an expert at tapering. And yet, when I asked to do the Ashton’s method (with supporting documents and a schedule) he stated, “That is too complicated” and then he FORCED me into withdrawal for months because he made me taper to much too fast. I reported the severe withdrawal – both in words and writing. And he gas-lit me. He was sarcastic. He told me it was all in my head. I was in agony 24/7 in withdrawal for months. Eventually I found another doctor to take over. But the damage has been done. And the doctor who did this damage will never be punished, doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and has a reputation in the community of being a “great” doctor. I would have never seen that doctor except that since I was on both a high amount of opiates and Lorazapam, no doctor was interested in helping me. The doctor who originally prescribed this for me – and did for about 15 years, had NO CLUE how to taper someone off and encouraged me to find psychiatrist to help me. That was an entirely different story of hell.

    1. I was put on xanax for 9 months in 2018 I was taken off the drug in 5 days I have throat and chest spasms still Sometime my throat starts to close I feel so scared and alone Would be so happy if someone would talk to me that has been through this So scared Debbie

    2. All GP doctors and addiction specialists I’ve interacted with are completely ignorant of Ashton manuel guidelines and the dependency caused by benzodiazepines. During a 2 week inpatient detox, I had a doctor remove me from taking 40mg of Valium daily and klonopin 6mg per day over a period of two weeks. He discharged me while I was in a state of akathesia after a week of phenobarbital substitution and titration. Said doctor was a benzodiazepine addiction specialist in Beverly hills, ca. He told me he doesn’t believe the claims patients make about all the mysterious insidious symptoms that afflict benzodiazepine users. After I checked out i couldn’t even drive home so their medical transportation had to take me home. Thank God I had a supply of Valium stored at home so I could feel normal. Otherwise I would of committed suicide.

    3. I’m so sorry to read about your experience—I’m watching it happen to my dear daughter after only two months on Ativan. We are now implementing supplementation to help heal her brain, and though it’s only in the beginning stages and might be slow-going, so far it is helping. We watched, “Better Mental Health with Natural Remedies” by Peter Smith (London, UK). His suggestions have been very helpful; he also does video consults for personalized treatment suggestions, which were still going to do. Prayers & hope for your recovery.

    4. It sounds like we have the same Dr. I don’t know what to do. He will not let me taper slowly and said he will not prescribe anymore if I don’t want to be on them. He went as far as calling the pharmacy and canceled my refills. I have never misused them. I just wanted to taper slowly. If you or anyone knows a Dr that will let you taper slowly plz let me know.

  14. I’m curious why there has not been a class action lawsuit or if it is even possible? I believe someone should be held accountable for completely ruining so many people’s lives.

    1. I’ve been saying this for years. Why do attorneys refuse benzo cases? The doctors and pharmaceutical companies have gotten away scott free.

    2. I Agree its been 1.3 eras and I’m JUST starting to feel somewhat normal. I wish I could get my year back.

    3. I totally agree. Is there a Law Firm who could take this up? So much medical negligence, both from the Pharmaceutical companies who do not give accurate warnings and also refuse to make sufficiently low doses to facilitate a safe tapering, to the ignorant and uncaring doctors who I believe take an oath to “First do no harm”.

    4. I agree with some sort of class action. Was given Ativan NO informed consent, got tolerance withdrawal and told I was being under treated so then given 3 mg clonazepam, told I would be on forever and of course got tolerance withdrawal. Multiple providers and lack of knowledge of how to get off this poison. I am tapering going on year 5 with years to go as my body does not tolerate. Then mirtazapine added, no informed consent so now I sleep fAIR BUT will have to wean off this stuff too. It’s a nightmare, lost job, health, freedom and they all act like they bear no responsibility. I am a train wreck, all because I had a reaction to Prednisone. Travesty for all!! I hear you!! Something has to be done….

      1. So sorry…I’ve been seeing my daughter go through the same. Please check out “Better Mental Health with Natural Remedies” on YouTube with Peter Smith (London, UK). His suggestions for benzo withdrawal have been very helpful so far! He also does video consults.

      1. Had anyone successfully t as ken a benzo basicly for life and is ok. OK do they benzo allways turn on you
        I am 67 dr advised I go on klonopin basicly rest of my life..honestly at 67 I am considering ad all I really want is 10 more decent yrs. .any thaughts..tks

  15. An excellent article giving context to the new FDA situation. I am a fellow sufferer, after being prescribed lorazepam to be taken nightly for 5 weeks, at a “low” dose. I had a hellish withdrawal, and I am still experiencing physical and mental consequences from this drug almost three years later. I wish you well, and thank you for fighting the good fight. I know it isn’t easy. xx