Our Latest Updates
Our medical director, Dr. Huff, presented the pilot training course Recovering from Benzodiazepines for Peer Support with D Foster of Easing Anxiety and Ginger Ross of Choices Recovery Training. This course, developed by the Colorado Consortium’s Benzodiazepine Action Work Group (BAWG) in conjunction with Choices Recovery Training, trains peer support specialists on prescribed benzodiazepine harm. In 2023, the training course will be available in Colorado and launched nationally later. This training will increase support options for the benzodiazepine-injured.
Christy Huff, M.D. appeared on Emma Hames’ Cassette Monkeys podcast. Listen to the episode here.
Medical board member Nicole Lamberson, PA appeared on Mollie Eastman’s Sleep is a Skill podcast. Listen to the episode here.
Nicole Lamberson, PA also published a blog about supporting an adult child who is benzodiazepine-impacted. Read her blog here.
We released two new #BenzoStories on our YouTube and Instagram. Learn how to submit your own here.
Coming Soon from BIC
On January 26, 2023, BIC Medical Board Member Dr. Michael Bohan will operate our booth at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia, for a screening of the documentary Medicating Normal. This free event includes 2.25 hours of CME credit for qualifying professionals. Post-screening panelists include journalist Robert Whitaker, Sami Timimi, MD, author Brooke Siem, and Gretchen LeFever Watson, Ph.D. Lieutenant commander Mark Keller, whose recent presentation is mentioned later in our newsletter, will also be in attendance. To attend, register here.
The second paper reporting data from our benzodiazepine experience survey, entitled Enduring Neurological Sequelae of Benzodiazepine Use: An Internet Survey, will be published soon in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. We will share the results in a separate email as soon as it is available.
A report published by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) highlighted a ten percent increase in drug overdose deaths in 2021, with spikes in fentanyl and benzodiazepines usage. Read more here.
In this study, American psychiatrists’ perceptions about safety and abuse/therapeutic potentials associated with certain psychoactive drugs (including alprazolam) were inconsistent with those indicated by their placement in drug schedules. These findings add to a growing consensus amongst experts that the current drug policy is not scientifically coherent. Read more here.
This study concluded: “Patients who receive sedative-hypnotic medications during adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer are at risk of becoming new persistent users of these medications after chemotherapy. Providers should ensure appropriate sedative-hypnotic use through tapering dosages and encouraging nonpharmacologic strategies when appropriate.”
The findings of this study suggest that benzodiazepines, compared with alternative pharmacologic treatments for common sleep disorders, were associated with an increased risk of drug overdose among young people ages 10 to 29 during the following 6-month period, especially among those with a recent opioid prescription.
Drug overdose is an important safety consideration when treating young people with benzodiazepines. Read more in this MedPage Today article.
Benzodiazepine treatment in patients with methamphetamine or amphetamine use disorder is linked to a higher risk of death and hospitalization than other pharmacotherapies, this JAMA Psychiatry article shows. Read more here.
Using a Medicare database, researchers identified primary care providers who had prescribed a benzodiazepine in 2017 and surveyed a random sample of 100 doctors on their attitudes around benzodiazepine prescribing. Approximately 62% of clinician respondents reported that they disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement, “If a patient has been prescribed a benzodiazepine for years, the potential harms from continuing the benzodiazepine are low,” while 18.0% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement. Read more here.
Netflix releases Take Your Pills: Xanax featuring many perspectives about Xanax, including the story of John, a benzodiazepine-injured patient.
USA Today covers Take Your Pills: Xanax, highlighting John’s story: “neither John nor the many doctors he consulted made the connection between the dose reduction and the symptoms.” Read more here.
Lieutenant commander Keller talked about his benzodiazepine injury on Veterans Day, 2022, as the keynote at the Veterans Prostate Cancer Awareness Foundation gala at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Watch the video below.
The Islington Tribune covers Melanie Davis’ work at Recovery, Experience, Sleeping Pills and Tranquilisers) REST in the United Kingdom. Read more here.
Global Health Film Festivals screening of the documentary As Prescribed included a panel discussion featuring psychiatrist Dr. Peter Jarrett, with panelists Geraldine Burns, Dr. Anne Guy, and film director Holly Hardman. Watch the discussion below.
Mayo Clinic malpractice lawsuit alleges brain injury after administrating lorazepam. Read more here.
The People’s Pharmacy asks Why Do Doctors Deny Side Effects? Read more here.
The Daily Mail covers how the only helpline for desperate victims of prescription pills ‘where the telephone rings constantly’ faces closure to save just £65,000. Read the story here.
Rochester First published an interview with benzodiazepine-harm survivor Renee Schuls-Jacobson. Read it here.
Kara Wada, MD, writes about medical gaslighting in her MedPageToday op-ed. Read more here.
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