Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions about benzodiazepines, cessation from benzodiazepines and our Coalition.
If you have a question let us know and we may answer it here!
Informed consent is the process by which doctors empower patients with sufficient information to accept or decline treatment based on a full understanding of the relevant risks, benefits, and uncertainties related to the proposed intervention, as well as alternatives. For more information, see here.
While exact numbers are difficult to come by, an industry study conducted in 2012 found that 94 million prescriptions for benzodiazepines were filled annually in the United States.
Non-benzodiazepines (“Z-drugs”) are a class of psychoactive drugs that are benzodiazepine-like in nature. Non-benzodiazepine pharmacodynamics offer very similar benefits, side-effects, and risks as benzodiazepines. However, non-benzodiazepines have different chemical structures, and therefore differ from benzodiazepines on a molecular level.
Common side effects include memory and cognitive impairment, increased or new sleep impairments, increased or new anxiety, neuropathy, pins and needles sensations, unexplained new health or psychiatric problems, increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, lack of balance with an increased risk of falling and related physical injuries, digestion issues, sleep apnea, and tremors. For a more complete list of side effects, see here.
Anything longer than 2-4 weeks.
Tolerance occurs when a higher dose of the drug is needed to achieve the same response achieved initially. Tolerance can be likened to a mini withdrawal for someone dependent on benzodiazepines, because the body demands the drug, and is technically receiving the drug but is too acclimated to the dose to respond in the intended manner.
Interdose withdrawal refers to the withdrawal effect experienced when the drug wears off prior to the next scheduled dose.
Yes. They impede the ability to retain information and form memories, which are essential for the most highly effective anxiety therapies, CBT and exposure therapy. They can also interfere with EMDR and first-line PTSD trauma processing therapies.
Benzodiazepine-injured patients, who grew tired of suffering in silence, decided to take action and spread awareness and advocacy for patients about the benzodiazepine epidemic.
BIC provides resources on their website, instigates media coverage and research, and networks with medical professionals to break the silence around this epidemic and to bring benzodiazepine injury to the forefront of medical discussion.
We provide resources and recommended providers and support groups. We can not help individuals with specific cessation questions or support, and do not answer these questions. For more on specific providers and support groups, see here.
Absolutely not. BIC exists to educate on the dangers of benzodiazepines only.
No. Due to the complicated and potentially disabling nature of benzodiazepine cessation, we firmly believe each patient has the right to a fully informed consent in choosing if and when to take benzodiazepines, and to choose a taper rate of their own when they decide to stop taking them.
We hope to prevent further patient injury by providing accurate information on the risks of benzodiazepine use. We understand that the most complicated and dangerous aspect of benzodiazepine use is cessation; the last thing we want to see is an outright ban on benzodiazepines that would result in thousands of unnecessary deaths.