Welcome to the Benzo Friends Support group! We are a group of people who have been prescribed benzodiazepines by our doctors for various reasons. While taking these medications or trying to discontinue their use, we experienced withdrawal symptoms which have been very debilitating.
This group was formed to help us support each other through the process of withdrawal, to encourage each other, and to share information. The founders, each felt alone in their battle to regain their health until they found each other and decided to start the Yahoo Benzo group, the fore- runner of this group.
This group can offer sympathy, advice and information for anyone going through benzo withdrawal. The most important thing YOU can do is educate yourself and use all your resources, including your doctors, internet links, books and support groups. The more you understand about benzo withdrawal, the better you will be able to cope with it. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something. Remember there is no such thing as a stupid question here.
A group philosophy is located here: http://www.benzosupport.org/group_philosophy.htm
Most of the members are NOT professionals in the health field, but all of us have experienced or still are experiencing benzo withdrawal symptoms or know people who are suffering from benzo withdrawal. Some of our original members have finished withdrawing from benzos, and they are available to help and encourage others through the tapering process. We have group members from all over the world.
The Benzo Friends group recommends that people who want to get off benzos taper slowly off the drugs. While cold turkey might work for opiates and other hard drugs, going cold turkey off benzos can cause very severe symptoms, including convulsions. People who survive cold turkey often take much longer to recover than people who taper their daily dose over time. If you already went cold turkey, please know that you’ll find a lot of company and support here, too.
It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you read the following documents so you’ll have a basic understanding of benzo withdrawal before posting to the group.
1. The Ashton Manual. Dr. Heather Ashton did the only medically researched method of tapering off benzodiazepines. Her work in the field of benzo withdrawal syndrome resulted in what we’ve come to know as the Ashton Manual located at http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/ Dr. Ashton recommends substituting an equivalent dose of Valium for the faster-acting benzos, such as Ativan, Xanax and Klonopin and using the Valium to get to a smoother, more controlled taper. This is all explained in her manual and available for free at the above site.
You may also like to purchase your own hard copy here: http://www.benzosupport.org/books.htm
2. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) can be found at http://www.benzosupport.org/faq.htm You will probably find many of the questions you have about benzo withdrawal are contained in this important document.
3. Mastering Water Titration. Information about this method of tapering is located here: http://www.benzosupport.org/water_titration.htm
This information was written by a list member who learned the method from a former list member. Many folks who were unable to get their doctors to prescribe Valium or simply didn’t want to do the Ashton crossover have used water titration to get off the faster-acting benzos such as Ativan, Klonopin or Xanax. So far, this method has worked well for many people.
Many topics are discussed including introductory letters from new members usually describing their symptoms and history, medications, dosages, side effects etc; personal observations; coping strategies including massage, stretching, yoga, meditation, music, exercise, hypnosis, diet, talk therapies (e.g. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) etc.; and their relationship to benzo withdrawal.
Some symptoms may seem bizarre at first, that is, until we find out that many others have had a similar experience. We discuss descriptions of symptoms and other complicating illnesses. We talk about choosing a competent doctor, helping to locate one, and how to ensure that you receive quality care from your physician
Other subjects we discuss include depression, family relations, frustration, how benzo withdrawal affects your relationships, jobs, school, social life, etc, how to deal with benzo withdrawal when going in for surgery, travelling and working.
The Group Rules can be found on our support site here: http://www.benzosupport.org/group_rules.htm
Like any other support group of this size, the Benzo Friends group has rules that all members must follow in order to remain members in good standing. You will also find detailed instructions on how to post messages to the group here:
There are many websites concerning benzo withdrawal but the largest resource on the Internet is “Benzodiazepine Addiction, Withdrawal, and Recovery” located at http://www.benzo.org.uk
You will also find resources on our support site here: www.BenzoSupport.org
There may be times when you feel overwhelmed or feel you can’t do this. There may be times when your symptoms will worry you. Please know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that there are many people here who have recovered and have become Benzo success stories. Some of the success stories are posted on our support website, as well.
Many thanks to Geraldine Burns who founded and ran the Yahoo Benzo group for 7 years from 1999 to 2006.
Disclaimer : All viewpoints and any advice given in the Forum are lay in nature and primarily based on the participants' own experiences, and the opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the owner.
Any advice given on this site should not be substituted for the advice of a physician who is well informed about benzodiazepine addiction and withdrawal. All advice given here is therefore to be followed at your own risk. You are advised never to stop taking any medication abruptly.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website was not compiled by a doctor or anyone with medical training. The advice contained herein should not be substituted for the advice of a physician who is well-informed in the subject matter discussed. Before making any decisions about your health or treatment you should always confer with your physician and it is always assumed that you will do so.