Jonathan Davis, an American singer best known as the lead vocalist and frontman of metal band Korn, has spoken up about his own struggles with the benzodiazepine Xanax. Davis, who has struggled with alcohol and other addictions in the past, started off on prescription Xanax 0.25 mg per day for anxiety. He ended up, from tolerance, taking up to 2 mg daily (one Xanax bar) for two years. He shared in a 2018 Forbes interview:
I was doing a bar a day, and I slowly weaned down. Which, you cannot function. And if you don’t do it correctly, if you just stop cold turkey off of it, you can go into seizures and die.
Davis, on his anxiety progressing from panic attacks to generalized anxiety and stopping Xanax:
Then my anxiety started to become generalized. It wasn’t just panic attacks. I would wake up and be panicked all day, for 24 hours at a time. Then I started taking Xanax and was like “Ah, this helped.” But before I knew it, I didn’t want take it no more. When I stopped, I started shaking. I was like, “What the f***?” I called my doctor and he gave me the directions of how to wean off. When I weaned off the first time myself, it was not fun.
Davis, on his final stopping of Xanax after reinstating due to insomnia:
The last time, in 2013, I just had to come off. It was taking over my life. I quit cold turkey and went into the hospital. They gave me phenobarbital to keep me from going into seizures. It was a week of severe shaking. I couldn’t talk. I don’t wish that on anyone.
He explains his experience with Xanax:
Yeah, I was in constant detox. I needed to take a pill to be normal for a little while, but once it wore off, I started to get edgy and weird and not think correctly. It messes with the GABA in your brain. Coming off of it, your brain has to learn how rewire itself. I was in this giant boggy cloud.
It got to the point where I’d rather have anxiety than deal with having a f***ing leash around my neck to these f***ing pills. Or having to go on the road and make sure I have enough pills, because if I don’t, I’m gonna start shaking. It was such a burden.
An interview with Davis where he speaks of his Xanax experience