RESOURCES

There are various resources available to help support and educate you (and, if necessary, your prescriber) about the process of discontinuing (withdrawing from/tapering) prescribed benzodiazepines.

In a few places (mainly the UK, NZ and Australia), there are a few withdrawal charities set up specifically to help people withdraw from benzodiazepines and Z-drugs.  Some of these will also help with tapering other prescription drugs, including antidepressants and painkillers.

Benzodiazepines (and other psychiatric drugs) can have powerful withdrawal effects, and rapid or cold turkey withdrawal can be very dangerous and lead to more severe and long-lasting symptoms. It is therefore important that anyone deciding to withdraw from psychiatric medication tapers off slowly under the supervision of an experienced doctor (or other medical providers) who is well-informed about withdrawal and who respects the patient’s desire to come off their medication.

Some medical providers/doctors, however, are unaware of the potential severity and duration of withdrawal effects and may misdiagnose these as the return of an underlying disorder or even a new disorder for which more drugs are sometimes prescribed. In these circumstances, patients are advised to seek out a more experienced medical provider/doctor and/or get in touch with one of the withdrawal charities below if there is one in your local area.

Please note that w-bad.org is not associated with any organization or support group so we cannot endorse or guarantee any advice that you might receive while utilizing these resources.

W-BAD cannot provide any medical advice or individual withdrawal support. W-BAD is an activism and awareness effort only.


For information on iatrogenic benzodiazepine dependence:

www.benzo.org.uk : benzo.org.uk is dedicated to sufferers of iatrogenic benzodiazepine tranquilliser dependence. Launched on July 6, 2000, this website has always been a work in progress consisting of articles, information, expert medical documents, news stories and personal accounts.

Benzodiazepine Information Coalition: In the summer of 2016, members of the benzodiazepine-impacted community and allied medical professionals formed the Coalition as a U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to advocating awareness and reform around the dangers of benzodiazepines. BIC’s mission statement is “Educating about the potential adverse effects of benzodiazepines taken as prescribed.”

The Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices: The Alliance for  Benzodiazepine Best Practices is a non-profit 503(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation formed in the state of Oregon.  It is composed of a board of directors and an advisory board. Our mission is to make evidence-based improvements to prescriptive practices for benzodiazepines and Z-drugs. The Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices’ primary objective is to significantly reduce the number of benzodiazepine withdrawal sufferers by reducing the number of benzodiazepine and Z-drug prescriptions written. Our focus is to illustrate the problems associated with benzodiazepines, illuminate alternatives to their use, and provide tools for clinicians to assist benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome sufferers. A secondary, complementary objective is to develop, educate, and help promote best practices in benzodiazepine prescribing and problem management.

Recovery Road: Founded by therapist Baylissa Frederick in 2006 while she was recovering from an intense and disabling withdrawal experience of her own. Note: Recovery Road is no longer an active withdrawal charity, but its information still remains online for access.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Support: Developed in association with the online support group called the Yahoo Benzo Group (now closed) to give easy access to the information which this group had gathered to help people in their journey off benzodiazepines. The Benzodiazepine Withdrawal support site is partly a collection of benzodiazepine-related links to information that is available elsewhere on the Internet. It is also partly a summary of the collective wisdom and insight into benzodiazepine withdrawal and recovery that was gained from the Yahoo Benzo Group (now closed) over the 10 years that it operated as a support group and it is partly a collection of individual experiences of withdrawal and recovery.

British National Formulary Benzodiazepine Guidance: this information can also be found on the BNF’s website, but the direct link is only accessible to those in Great Britain.

BenzoFree.org: A site founded by D E Foster who suffered benzodiazepine withdrawal himself and then authored the book, Benzo Free: The World of Anti-Anxiety Drugs and the Reality of Withdrawal. “This site is dedicated to anti-anxiety drugs and those who suffer their effects. This site is dedicated to sharing the facts about benzo dependence, encouraging constructive change in how they are managed, and supporting those in withdrawal.”

W-BAD.org The official site of World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day, which occurs annually on July 11th (you are here now).

Identifying Medications/Pills:

Pillbox

Slow Tapering Protocols & Methods (this list is not inclusive):

The Ashton Manual: aka “The Ashton Manual” by Professor C Heather Ashton, DM, FRCP. Versions of the Ashton Manual in eleven languages can be accessed from this page.

cepuk.org: Withdrawal Advisers: The videos here represent the individual views of UK professionals who provide support and advice to individuals coming off benzodiazepines and/or antidepressants.

The Withdrawal Project: A grassroots (“layperson withdrawal community”) effort of Inner Compass Initiative

The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs: Written by Will Hall, a leading US mental health advocate, and counselor, this guide shares insight and experience of withdrawal from all classes of psychiatric medications. The guide is available in many languages.

w-bad.org (Slow Tapering Protocol Info)

benzoinfo.com (Tapering)

Benzosupport.org (Water Titration)

Peer-created YouTube instructionals: here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

Online support forums:

Benzobuddies: An inclusive, nonjudgmental mutual-support environment (forum) for those who wish to withdraw from benzodiazepines.

Surviving Antidepressants: Peer support forum for tapering and withdrawal syndromes from all psychiatric drugs. It hosts a members-only benzo forum.

Sevrage des benzodiazépines, antidépresseurs et somnifères: (French forum) Forum de soutien et d’entraide—Forum d’entraide qui propose des solutions de sevrage des benzodiazépines ( benzo ), antidépresseurs ( AD ) et somnifères. Weaning of benzodiazepines, antidepressants and sleeping pills—Forum for support and mutual aid. A self-help forum that offers solutions for the withdrawal of benzodiazepines (benzo), antidepressants (AD) and sleeping pills

Informations et entraide au sevrage des benzodiazépines et somnifères: (French forum) Information and assistance with the withdrawal of benzodiazepines and sleeping pills. INFORMATIONS PSYCHOTROPES ET MEDICAMENTS, SEVRAGE DES PSYCHOTROPES, ENTRAIDE, LUTTE CONTRE LES PRESCRIPTIONS DE PSYCHOTROPES, INFORMATIONS SANTE, INFORMATION DES VICTIMES, MEDICAMENTS DANGEREUX.

Consultations/Coaching: (many require a fee for service)

Baylissa Frederick: Baylissa Frederick is a BACP registered mental health counselor, as well as a coach and author. Baylissa.com is a space that offers support, reassurance and responsibly considered information and guidance to individuals and families affected by antidepressant and benzodiazepine dependence and withdrawal (paid membership required to access the information).

Chris Paige: Chris Paige, MSW, LCSW has been a licensed therapist for over 20 years and sees clients for a variety of reasons including anxiety, depression, trauma, loss, and bereavement. He is a level two certified EMDR therapist and has been using this amazing technique for over 15 years. He is licensed in the state of Florida for psychotherapy but also works with individuals as a coach throughout the nation remotely.

The Warrior Room: In “The Warrior Room”, Dede Moore offers EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique aka “tapping”) for those tapering or in withdrawal from benzodiazepines and other psychiatric drugs. There is a membership fee for services and to join.

Benzo Withdrawal Help: Dr. Jennifer Leigh’s blog. Aside from the blog, Dr. Leigh offers benzo withdrawal education and coaching for a fee to people who want to better understand the recovery process and find the best ways to cope with the myriad of benzo withdrawal symptoms. She coaches people worldwide via phone, Skype, Facetime, or Zoom Room.

Peer-led, in-person local support groups:

Austin, TX

Boston, MA: contact Karen for more information

Chicago, IL

Highland, IN: A support group for people affected by benzodiazepines and suicide. “We are here to provide support for individuals and families living with the benzodiazepine nightmare and suicide of our loved ones.” Meetings are held every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (Glory to God on the Sign), 3711 Ridge Road, Highland, IN 46322, 6:30-8:30pm. Please check this website before attending for the most up to date information.

Vancouver, BC

Western, MA: hosted by a social worker, Cheryl D. Harrell

WARM Network: The Withdrawal and Recovery Meeting (WARM) network of groups are confidential support groups for people interested in tapering and recovering from the effects of prescribed medications.

Possible benzo-cooperative/wise doctors:

Benzo-wise Doctors

Benzoinfo.com Doctors List

Recommended doctors, therapists, clinics from survivingantidepressants.org 

WARM Network doctor list

In-person benzo-wise therapists:

Elizabeth McCarthy Counselor, MA, LPC: She only sees in-person clients in Michigan

Information for professionals:

The Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices: The Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices is a non-profit 503(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation formed in the state of Oregon.  It is composed of a board of directors and an advisory board. Our mission is to make evidence-based improvements to prescriptive practices for benzodiazepines and Z-drugs. The Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices’ primary objective is to significantly reduce the number of benzodiazepine withdrawal sufferers by reducing the number of benzodiazepine and Z-drug prescriptions written. Our focus is to illustrate the problems associated with benzodiazepines, illuminate alternatives to their use, and provide tools for clinicians to assist benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome sufferers. A secondary, complementary objective is to develop, educate, and help promote best practices in benzodiazepine prescribing and problem management.

Recovery Road: For Professionals

Benzo.org.uk: Medical Articles

Benzodiazepine Information Coalition: For Prescribers

Beyond Benzodiazepines: The 2010 version of the Beyond Benzodiazepines Manual  (revised from the original manual developed in 1997 and updated in 2000) was undertaken by Tomi Redman (Reconnexion psychologist) and Gwenda Cannard (Reconnexion CEO).

Analysis of Adverse Behavioral Effects of Benzodiazepines With a Discussion on Drawing Scientific Conclusions from the FDA’s Spontaneous Reporting System, by Dr. Peter R. Breggin

Benzodiazepines revisited—will we ever learn? by Prof. Malcolm Lader

cepuk.org: Withdrawal Advisers: The videos here represent the individual views of UK professionals who provide support and advice to individuals coming off benzodiazepines and/or antidepressants.

For families/friends/caregivers of those affected by iatrogenic benzodiazepine dependence/withdrawal:

Handle With Care: How to Support Someone in Benzodiazepine Withdrawal by Baylissa Frederick

Facebook support group for loved ones: Benzo Withdrawal: Loved One’s Guide

Advice for Caregivers of Folks with Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) From a Benzo

What We Wish Family and Friends Knew About Benzo Withdrawal

How to Support a Loved One with Benzo Withdrawal Syndrome

Recovery Road: For Family and Carers (click on “resources” then go to “for family and carers”)

Baylissa.com: For Family and Caregivers (requires a very affordable joining fee, as it is run by a licensed therapist)

A guide for carers who are helping people to recover from benzodiazepine dependence

Tips for Loved Ones: From a Benzo Survivor

Benzodiazepine dependence/withdrawal experts:

benzo.org.uk: Doctors and Experts

The Ashton Manual: Dr. Heather Ashton’s manual, “Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdraw”

cepuk.org: Withdrawal Advisers: The videos here represent the individual views of UK professionals who provide support and advice to individuals coming off benzodiazepines and/or antidepressants.

Educational Videos (Some Contain Experts)

Withdrawal charities: 

Bristol and District Tranquiliser Project (Bristol): 0117 950 0020 (helpline) The Project is a voluntary sector organization set up originally in 1985 to help those having problems with certain prescribed psychotropic medication (benzodiazepine tranquillisers/sleeping tablets, other sleeping tablets, and antidepressants). They help people who are taking, who are considering taking or have recently withdrawn from this type of medication.

Battle Against Tranquillisers (Bristol): 0844 826 9317 (helpline) Mission statement: “To lessen the harm caused by benzodiazepine and z-drug tranquilizers and sleeping pills.” Aims: “To help those who are addicted to benzodiazepines, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills, and drugs with similar effects, and who wish to withdraw from them, to do so as comfortably as possible, and to help them to make the changes necessary in life after withdrawal. To educate and inform all those who may come across the problem of BZ etc. addiction, either personally or professionally, towards an understanding of the difficulties caused by the drugs’ action and the compounding of these difficulties in withdrawal. To influence services in their prescribing, managing and supporting of clients who take/want to withdraw from benzodiazepines and similar drugs.”

R.E.S.T. Minor Tranquilisers Service (Camden, London): 020 7241 8980 (helpline) Mind in Camden’s R.E.S.T. (Recovery Experience Sleeping Tablets and Tranquillisers) Service, established in 1988, provides support for individuals who may be experiencing difficulties due to Benzodiazepine dependency.

The Bridge Project (Bradford): 01274 723863 (telephone contact)  Is a specialist service to help individuals from the Bradford and Airedale locality to reduce and cease their use of prescribed benzodiazepines (including Z–drugs).

Addiction Dependency Solutions (Oldham): 0161 831 2400

Reconnexion (Australia): 1300 273 266 (telephone contact). Reconnexion programs and services address the challenges of anxiety, stress, depression and benzodiazepine (tranquillisers & sleeping pills) dependency and related conditions.Reconnexion provides counseling, telephone information & support, community information, and health practitioner education.

TRANX: (Auckland, NZ) A certified non-profit organization. A community-based alcohol and other drug treatment service that specializes primarily in benzodiazepine addiction and dependence. They provide counseling, support, education, information and individual reduction programs for people with benzodiazepine addiction/dependence and other mind-altering substances.

Benzo.org.uk: Support and Contacts (this list may be out of date, as some charities have closed)

Cepuk.org: Support: Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry’s list of charities

Benzodiazepine information in languages other than English:

The Ashton Manual in Many Languages

benzo-case-japan.com: Japanese BZ Information

DanYaku.com (Japanese)

W-BAD Japan

French: http://benzo.forumactif.org and http://bbhepar.canalblog.com

German: ADFD

Danish: http://benzostop.dk and http://benzoinfo.dk/index.php

Books about iatrogenic benzodiazepine dependence and withdrawal:

Benzo Book Review

Benzo Free

benzo.org.uk: Benzo Books & Other Resources

Death Grip: A Climber’s Escape from Benzo Madness

Recovery & Renewal by Baylissa Frederick: The newest, most updated version

Stepping Toward Freedom: Affirmations for Healing in Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

The Benzo Book (free .pdf)

Documentaries:

The Benzodiazepine Medical Disaster by Shane Kenny. This documentary tells the hidden story of how benzodiazepines can both main and kill. The serious crippling physical side effects of these drugs can last for years after the medication is stopped, possibly permanently. Renowned expert Professor Heather Ashton compares it to the Thalidomide scandal.

As Prescribed by Holly Hardman. (Documentary in-the-making) For over fifty years, doctors have been prescribing benzodiazepines. The drugs bear well-known names: Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan. They are commonly thought of as safe, helping to take the edge off or give a better night’s sleep. As Prescribed, however, documents a strikingly different narrative. Through personal accounts and investigating the mounting evidence, the film reveals the errant medical culture that promotes them. The result is the story of an epidemic that is devastating lives globally.

Medicating Normal – The Film: Documentary in the making (release date: 2019)

More Documentaries

Podcasts:

Benzo Free Podcast

Mad in America Podcast (W-BAD does an episode every July 11)

Withdrawal Meditations:

Meditations

Peer-Led Facebook Support Groups for BZ Dependence/Withdrawal: (this list is not exhaustive or in any particular order)

Positives While Healing from Benzodiazepines 

Benzo – Wise and Recovery Experience (B-WaRE)

Benzodiazepine Recovery

Benzo and “GABA Drug” Use & Recovery Experiences

Benzo Warrior Community

Beating Benzos

Benzo Healing: Foods, Supplements, and Diet Information Exchange

Benzodiazepine (Benzo) Withdrawal Support Group

Benzodiazepine & Psych Drug Withdrawal Christian Support: Please note that this is a religiously affiliated group

#Swing Christian Benzodiazepine Hope and Encouragement for Recovery: Please note that this is a religiously affiliated group

Friends Attending World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day: World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day’s planning/campaigning group for all who participate in W-BAD. This is NOT a support group.


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