Nicole Lamberson, PA

Nicole is a Physician Assistant residing in Virginia. She obtained a BS at James Madison University in 2000 and then went on to complete the Master of Physician Assistant program at Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2004. She practiced in an Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine setting until severe illness from benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome left her unable to work.

In 2005, she was prescribed Xanax for “work-related stress”. Over the course of five years, she developed many classic symptoms of benzodiazepine tolerance withdrawal, which multiple psychiatrists misdiagnosed as mental illness. This resulted in prescribed polypharmacy to “treat” the troubling symptoms of tolerance, including two benzodiazepines prescribed simultaneously, a Z-drug, an antidepressant, and an antipsychotic. In late 2010, after discovering a magazine article authored by a journalist experiencing similar symptoms from his prescribed benzodiazepine, Nicole was prompted to research further and made the connection between her own troubling symptoms and the medication. This was followed by her immediate decision to withdraw. Unfortunately, lacking the proper guidance or information at the time regarding the absolute need for a slow taper, she was negligently cold-turkeyed in a detox center. This ultimately resulted in a severe and protracted withdrawal syndrome that persists to date. When symptoms allow, Nicole writes about benzodiazepines and their potential for severe and/or protracted withdrawal syndrome and volunteers her time helping with ongoing benzodiazepine awareness initiatives, including Benzodiazepine Information Coalition. She hopes to continue to use her lived experience to advocate for more education and awareness around benzodiazepine risks and harms as well as for changes in prescribing and withdrawal practices. Other interests include the primal lifestyle, cooking, and spending time with her supportive family.

 

Media

Doctors, Patients Struggle with Benzodiazepine Use, Matt Smith, WebMD, May 16, 2019

World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day 2018 Podcast, James Moore, Mad In America, July 11, 2018

Too Many Meds? America’s Love Affair with Prescription Medication, Teresa Carr, Consumer Reports, August 3, 2017

Blogs

Hello. My name is Nicole and I am a Physician Assistant. I serve on the Medical Advisory Board of Benzodiazepine ...
Read More
Physician Assistant Commentary on Jordan B Peterson Update - Feb 2020 Transcript

Physician Assistant Commentary on Jordan B Peterson Update – Feb 2020 Transcript

Although Arnold Knutsen and I “met” virtually five years ago, we only first spoke on the phone recently when he ...
Read More
Elderly Former NASA Analyst's Protracted Lorazepam Injury

Elderly Former NASA Analyst’s Protracted Lorazepam Injury

Life experience gives one an intimate appreciation for the meaning behind the saying “just the tip of the iceberg.” Everyone’s ...
Read More
The Tip of the Iatrogenic Benzodiazepine Iceberg

The Tip of the Iatrogenic Benzodiazepine Iceberg

Two new benzodiazepine studies have been published recently and both reveal concerning (albeit unsurprising to benzodiazepine safety advocates) results: Benzodiazepine ...
Read More
Bad News for Benzodiazepines: Two New Studies Reveal Alarming Trends

Bad News for Benzodiazepines: Two New Studies Reveal Alarming Trends

There exists a large, mostly-underground, growing community consisting of those iatrogenically harmed by benzodiazepines. Guilty only of following doctors orders, ...
Read More
Words Can Hurt Those on Benzodiazepines

Words Can Hurt Those on Benzodiazepines

[Spoiler alert: This essay reveals details about the plot of the movie 127 Hours] My name is Nicole and I ...
Read More
But Rather, Slowly Taper

But Rather, Slowly Taper

This article explores five reasons why drug and alcohol detox or rehab facilities are inappropriate for withdrawing compliant, prescribed benzodiazepine ...
Read More
Why Prescribed Benzo Patients Shouldn’t Go To Detox or Rehab

Why Prescribed Benzo Patients Shouldn’t Go To Detox or Rehab

This blog responds to a particularly inaccurate article published in the Aiken Standard by Dr. Greg Smith, a psychiatrist from ...
Read More
A response to columnist Dr. Greg Smith at the Aiken Standard

A response to columnist Dr. Greg Smith at the Aiken Standard