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Awesome ABC article on Benzo dependance


[Ma...]

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I just found this and thank God I did, very reassuring to read and hear today.

 

This is an Australian Broadcasting Corporation news article on Benzo dependence. Please note it has an accompanying radio clip in mp3 format. Please listen as well if you're interested.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/the-use-and-abuse-of-benzos/6945200

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Personally I'm not a fan. This article makes the typical mistake of of using the words addiction and dependence interchangeably and does not mention that you can have major problems with these drugs even if they are taken exactly as prescribed.

 

If we want any of this to change, the BIG problems with benzos (the fact that they can cause physiological dependence, not addiction, even at a fairly low dose taken for a relatively short period of time) need to be exposed for what they are. As long as people think that they can't have any issues as long as they listen to their doctor and as long as doctors are looking for signs of addiction to ferret out "problem" patients, this issue will never, ever go away.

 

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Personally I'm not a fan. This article makes the typical mistake of of using the words addiction and dependence interchangeably and does not mention that you can have major problems with these drugs even if they are taken exactly as prescribed.

 

If we want any of this to change, the BIG problems with benzos (the fact that they can cause physiological dependence, not addiction, even at a fairly low dose taken for a relatively short period of time) need to be exposed for what they are. As long as people think that they can't have any issues as long as they listen to their doctor and as long as doctors are looking for signs of addiction to ferret out "problem" patients, this issue will never, ever go away.

 

Exactly.

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Hi. A never ending semantics debate until it strikes at home...Dependence, Addiction..Dependence, Addiction..Who can say, tell? Only one who has reached the dead end..at the sign post up ahead...I'd Turn Back If I were You..Accidental Addicts.

Peace. Karuna

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It's because the media outlets rarely give examples of uncomplicated benzo dependence. They always give examples of people who combine benzos with other things, and that does a great disservice to us who are dependent on benzos alone....
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Hi. A never ending semantics debate until it strikes at home...Dependence, Addiction..Dependence, Addiction..Who can say, tell? Only one who has reached the dead end..at the sign post up ahead...I'd Turn Back If I were You..Accidental Addicts.

Peace. Karuna

 

Um, is it benzo brain or am just easily confused?

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It's because the media outlets rarely give examples of uncomplicated benzo dependence. They always give examples of people who combine benzos with other things, and that does a great disservice to us who are dependent on benzos alone....

 

The media has to sell a story and unfortunately our situation isn't as interesting or attention grabbing as it could be. Throw in a healthy dose of ignorance about these drugs and you get article after article that miss the mark in some fundamental way, and worse yet serve to continue to promote the same ignorance that got many of us here in the first place.

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[69...]
HopeForHealing;My comment was in pieces, off the cuff, and partly in jest. So much effort into defining addiction, dependence. Peace. Karuna
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Roger that.  Addiction is definitely a tough one, I have trouble explaining the difference between our Benzo conundrum and what other drug a like to people.  I am not an "addictive personality" and the only drug I take is Benzos - hopefully not for much longer.  I have been tapering very fast but am surviving for the most part and really look forward to the day I can be free.  I'm very glad to not be on anything else at all like opiates. 
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These terms are easier in the explanation, developed to ease people out of the addiction, I mean dependency... The point became moot to me; I just wanted to stop.

 

The problem is that it is not a "moot point" when your brain and body are dependent on a drug in order to function, but your doctor wants you off of the drugs immediately because you are "addicted".

 

It is absolutely not just a semantics argument- people's health is at stake and for the sake of future benzo patients it is imperative that we make the distinction, start using correct terminology and correct others when they try to use the terms interchangeably.

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Pretty good article. I left a comment at the end, and encourage all to do so. . I remember my doctor in 1992 asking me

if I had an 'addictive personality' . I was like, 'I don't know ! Are we talking about girls in bikinis or chocolate or what ?'

And he started me on the xanax path, that sunuvabitch, just because of one panic attack at work.

-Justaman

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[69...]

Hello. For me; it was  prescription culminating in addiction. Addiction has many definitions;not a moral issue. If treated as a physical problem, maybe more folks could recover...For me, it was instant gratification; a quick temporary fix. It works until it doesn't. Stepping out the denial: It was then I faced the problem, took responsibility for ingesting the stuff, (despite it was a Medical professional writing the prescriptions); i.e. no one forced me to take the Xanax. Xanax is tricky, insidious, spellbinding. Instant gratification.

In my experience, the turning point is being at that dead end of wanting to get off the Rx. So, for me, the goal was to get the monkey off of my back.  Similar to people seriously trying to recover;(12-step and the like) a person (addict or dependent) must want to get off of the substance. I find 12-step very wise and they always say, take what you want and leave the rest. And it's a fellowship, not a cure. The structure is good, people are very good. They train with slogans, and I like that. I spoke with many different types of professionals; yes, some may have their box and if you don't fit in, then that modality of healing may not be for you.

I was against tapering on another benzodiazepine. I was advised (also given a choice) to get off of them, and my acupuncturist/MD (not the MD writing the prescription), advised not switching to another med (no other drugs). Acupuncture is an excellent adjunct to withdrawal.TM, Yoga, Exercise; the best for me. These Eastern practices are what provided the biggest advance in my recovery. Exercise was the big turning point.

Doctors may have their definition of addiction because they are liable. I am a licensed professional, so I understand liability. Perhaps their licenses are on the line, so I respect that. And I want to be happy, not right all of the time. What exactly is dependency??  A doctor "stringing you along"? Peace. Karuna

 

 

 

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Quoting the article:

 

------------------------

 

"According to McDonough, treatment for benzodiazepine addiction begins with a patient's readiness to accept the notion that they might be helped by coming off medication.

 

'The exit plan, that's incredibly important, followed by a planned strategy for gradual reduction and continued reappraisal, and that being explained to the patient so that they know they are not just going to be plucked from the benzodiazepines, they going to be gradually guided and supported on that journey.'

 

The physician says it's about educating the patient on the realities of the withdrawal process, and highlighting the potentially substantial health benefits if the treatment is successful."

 

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IMO this is well meaning albeit wishful thinking.  Psychiatrists are not going to shift their paradigm and justification for treating a so-called diagnosis with pills.  The current paradigm sets up a fantastic business model where patients become long term financial annuities and treating the patient is oh so simple...just refill the prescription and keep reminding the patient that they are "sick."  Managing a patient through the rigors of long term withdrawal is just too difficult, time consuming and stressful for the doctor.  Few psychiatrists, especially those who actually believe in the dark art they practice, will have anything to do with this compassionate approach.

 

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