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what percentage of people who stop taking benzos end up in benzo wd hell?


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[81...]

Well, based on your data points (you and your sister), the answer is 50%  :)

 

I'm not sure there's been a study of this subject. The pharma companies want us to believe that most people are like your sister, but I strongly suspect they are lying. I think most people end up in benzo wd hell (although many probably don't figure out the reason).

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Hard to say what the exact percentages are since there has been no formal study but I would wager it's just a small percentage that end up in hell. Millions of people have been prescribed benzo's, yet benzobuddie membership is in the thousands. Of course not all people who have a hellish withdrawal will find benzobuddies but I would imagine there aren't a ton of people in the English speaking world that havent sought comfort from benzobuddies after going through such an experience.
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[81...]

I disagree with that line of reasoning:

 

- Millions of benzo prescriptions have been written, but the number of people prescribed benzos *long term* is much smaller - probably less than 1 million.

- Of those, some never try to stop

- Of those who do stop, many have symptoms that they don't connect with benzo withdrawal. For example, the first time I stopped taking benzos I had what I now recognize as benzo withdrawal, but my doctor told me I had developed an anxiety disorder and ... put me back on benzos. I didn't connect it up with benzo withdrawal syndrome until years later when I tried to stop again. Remember, many doctors do not believe benzo withdrawal syndrome *exists at all*. Because the pharma companies are lying to them and saying it does not exist. Something is bound to be under-recognized/under-diagnosed when the medical community denies its existence.

- Finally, many people with recognized benzo withdrawal symptoms don't join benzobuddies, for whatever reason. I also belong to an in-person benzo withdrawal support group, and the majority of people there are not members of benzobuddies. More are active on Facebook support group than benzobuddies.

 

Even with all the above caveats, benzobuddies has about 20,000 members.

 

I think benzo withdrawal is a huge problem. I believe the vast majority of people on benzos long-term *do* have serious problems getting off.

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Yeah i agree with chess player on this. I think most people who have been on benzos longterm suffer withdrawals and often take a long time to heal. This seems to be the case when asking the many people who i have talked to who have been through benzo withdrawal (outside of benzo buddies). No one seems to come away unscathered after long term use.
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I was only on .5 Klonopin for 4 months but c/t and that began my journey.  Stupidly got on Xanax in June for a few weeks and realized I was addicted to 2 mg.  Pdoc told me I would NOT get addicted if I took it at the same time every day.  Of course he is the dr that rolled his eyes when I told him about Klonopin and did not believe me.  Not years for me but c/t and then kindling??? due to another benzo plus I am extremely med sensitive.  No one believes me.
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I think this is what angers me most about this whole process, how our symptoms are invalidated and we are disbelieved by the medical community.
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I disagree with that line of reasoning:

 

- Millions of benzo prescriptions have been written, but the number of people prescribed benzos *long term* is much smaller - probably less than 1 million.

- Of those, some never try to stop

- Of those who do stop, many have symptoms that they don't connect with benzo withdrawal. For example, the first time I stopped taking benzos I had what I now recognize as benzo withdrawal, but my doctor told me I had developed an anxiety disorder and ... put me back on benzos. I didn't connect it up with benzo withdrawal syndrome until years later when I tried to stop again. Remember, many doctors do not believe benzo withdrawal syndrome *exists at all*. Because the pharma companies are lying to them and saying it does not exist. Something is bound to be under-recognized/under-diagnosed when the medical community denies its existence.

- Finally, many people with recognized benzo withdrawal symptoms don't join benzobuddies, for whatever reason. I also belong to an in-person benzo withdrawal support group, and the majority of people there are not members of benzobuddies. More are active on Facebook support group than benzobuddies.

 

Even with all the above caveats, benzobuddies has about 20,000 members.

 

I think benzo withdrawal is a huge problem. I believe the vast majority of people on benzos long-term *do* have serious problems getting off.

 

I beg to differ.

-Yes millions of prescriptions have been written, but this stuff has also been available since the 60's so the amount of people that have been on for long term (defined as 3 months or longer) is probably well into the 10's of millions.

-Most people are not on this stuff for life.. as most people will get to a point where they reach tolerance so they will be forced to come off (tolerance withdrawal)

-I'm not suggesting that most people don't experience some withdrawal symptoms, just that most symptoms are quite gentle in nature. Tolerable to the point that they don't need to see a doctor.

- Many doctors don't recognize benzo withdrawal as a condition simply because most people don't suffer like us. If there truly was a large percentage living in hell (as you put it) we would see hundreds of thousands of people suffering at once. Benzobuddies and facebook groups combined don't even come close to that amount.

- I understand pharmaceutical companies are out to make a profit but I don't believe they are suppressing pertinent information to the doctors either. What evidence do you have?

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I believe sahtest is about right.  I will add to his post that there might be 20,000 members here, but many of those did not suffer/were duplicate accounts/caretakers, etc.  obviously the vast majority suffered to some degree, but that number comes nowhere near the number of people currently on benzos.  I think I read somewhere that 15% of people in the US will have been prescribed a benzo this year... Sounds crazy!  That's a large group of people!  *My memory could be way off so please fact check me. 

 

Regardless if we are a subset of people or not, doctors MUST provide informed consent with these drugs.  We are still a large number who are suffering an unimaginable and frightening condition and we should not be unnoticed.  Its a crime. 

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- I understand pharmaceutical companies are out to make a profit but I don't believe they are suppressing pertinent information to the doctors either. What evidence do you have?

 

This is a well known fact, it's no hushed secret, the pharma companies pay billions in fines for suppressing info, they budget for lawsuits.  You'll find an ABUNDANCE of evidence out there, from published books to documentaries to even mainstream media articles.  I can immediately think of ten or more "Benzos in the News" links to refer you to, you may wish to spend a little time on that board.  :thumbsup:

 

Just a couple (of the *MANY*) books you may also be interested in reading: "Anatomy of an Epidemic" by Robert Whitaker and/or "The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It" by Marcia Angell (former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine).

 

And one recent article I added regarding OxyContin:

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=166588.0

 

Sorry for butting in, but hope this helps.

 

 

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in the Ashton study she stated that 10-15% of people who are taking benzos experience protracted withdrawal syndrome.  My sister took Xanax for 4 years and when she saw what was going on with me she quit taking it. She was taking 1-2mg per day. She had almost no withdrawal symptoms. She never missed one minute of work, taking care of her kids. cleaning her house nothing. She had no increased anxiety and no insomnia. I had told her to brace for a really hard time and it never happened. Of course now my family is comparing me to her when they talk about my messed up symptoms. I'm happy for her that it was not difficult at all to quit.
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Davis-  did you take benzos more than once?  I took clonazepam for 6 weeks and got off just fine.  When I restarted them several weeks later, I became symptomatic within days.  Heart palpitations were my first sign of something wrong.  Maybe you kindled and your sister didnt?
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my sister stopped taking temazepam and xanax after taking months and had no problems.  Then there's me.

 

The majority of people can get off benzodiazepines with little to no problem the first time around. Those are not the ones that typically find their way here.

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[86...]

The data sets/stats would be difficult to fully interpret; due to the fact that many folks are on other medications at the same time, which definitely can affect the withdrawal process. Age, overall health, etc.

Kindling is something I am very interested in. I'm not sure I fully grasp it. The way I understand it is that if a person stops benzodiazepines, and then later restarts and then stops the second time, something is skewed in the nervous system, hence making the second withdrawal more difficult. ??

I think Ashton said if you can make it past a few weeks, try not to reinstate, Avoid Kindling??

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I took benzos for 15 years where my sister took them for 4 years. My dosage was like 3-4 mg per day while hers was like 1-2 mg per day. I never stopped and restarted I just took them for a really long time and I never knew even when my WD started that it was going to go so badly. I had no idea what protracted symptoms were I believed I would get better soon. My sister has always been a highly functioning person who is a success in her career, she cares for her children, she makes dinner every night her house is spotless. She quit on a Friday after work but she never missed 1 minute of work. I talked to her on Saturday she said she was feeling OK, sunday no problem. Monday she went to her job and was fully functional since then.

 

I think she is just one of those people who did not get hit with a painful withdrawal. My family is like look at her what's wrong with you. I am glad for her she quit so we would go through it together, she helps me out all the time bringing me food and shopping for me. I'm happy for her I was so sure she was going to be a basket case like me. She never stops she is busy 24 x 7. she is always well dressed well put together that also never changed. 

 

She went to my doctor because I had given her mine sometimes and she has a lot of stress with all the things she has to do. She quit in feb CT with no taper. I told her to taper them and she said if it got bad she would, she never did that either. She quit that Friday and has not taken one since.

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Great thread. Boy would I love to do this research. Some great points have been made. I'd also like to throw out there that many people in my experience who are prescribed benzos for years only take as needed, not daily or regularly, and I suspect these are usually not the folks who find their way here.
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So most people who take benzos short term or long term, get off them just fine, with few withdrawal symptoms? This doesn't seem right to me. Maybe i am wrong though. I thought the consensus was that if you had been on benzos for anything longer than a few months, then it was likely you were going to have withdrawal symptoms. This thread has got me confused.
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[19...]

All of them.

 

Take everything I say with a grain of salt, and feel free to shoot holes into my theory.

 

I think most of us in withdrawal are not special in any way. Sure, there are very few people who are very sensitive to medicine that affects GABA receptors, but that does not apply to most of us.

 

From what I gather, the process of taking benzodiazepines and withdrawing from the is a lot like Russian roulette. The bullet in this case is the kindling process and the downregulation/damage of GABA(A) receptors. Some people are unlucky enough to get shot right on their first try. Are they special? No. They're just unlucky. Others are fortunate enough to get several tries before their receptors become downregulated/damaged. Seems like the constant back and forth of withdrawing and reinstating is the most sure way of getting withdrawal syndrome -- just like getting shot in Russian roulette while you keep pulling and pulling the trigger.

 

 

The majority of people can get off benzodiazepines with little to no problem the first time around. Those are not the ones that typically find their way here.

 

That's me! During my first year of taking Xanax, I took it at times occasionally, at times for a longer period, and the only withdrawal symptom I experienced was elevated anxiety. At one point I decided to taper off it (rapid taper --> 0.25mg cuts per week) and did so successfully without feeling any discomfort.

 

A year later I tried the same taper and ended up here...

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I used benzos for some years with breaks in between before my last benzo binge. I started in 2011 at 2mg of Xanax and took it for some months and quit CT and never got any problems. Repeated this cycle many times without any withdrawals. Tolerance was the only issue but no withdrawal symptoms. The problems started when I got above 8mg and because I withdrawn many times from them and caused some kind of kindling effect I guess.
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I used benzos for some years with breaks in between before my last benzo binge. I started in 2011 at 2mg of Xanax and took it for some months and quit CT and never got any problems. Repeated this cycle many times without any withdrawals. Tolerance was the only issue but no withdrawal symptoms. The problems started when I got above 8mg and because I withdrawn many times from them and caused some kind of kindling effect I guess.

 

Your story sounds very similar to mine. First time I used zopiclone was in 2011 and never had any issues discontinuing. Used klonopin, ativan, and zopiclone periodically throughout 2012 to 2014 and didn't have any issues stopping. It gave a false sense of security thinking I could use this stuff whenever I needed and would have no problem getting off. However, my most recent usage of benzos is a completely different story. Almost 7 months since I got off Xanax and I'm still dealing with this shit.

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I used benzos for some years with breaks in between before my last benzo binge. I started in 2011 at 2mg of Xanax and took it for some months and quit CT and never got any problems. Repeated this cycle many times without any withdrawals. Tolerance was the only issue but no withdrawal symptoms. The problems started when I got above 8mg and because I withdrawn many times from them and caused some kind of kindling effect I guess.

 

Your story sounds very similar to mine. First time I used zopiclone was in 2011 and never had any issues discontinuing. Used klonopin, ativan, and zopiclone periodically throughout 2012 to 2014 and didn't have any issues stopping. It gave a false sense of security thinking I could use this stuff whenever I needed and would have no problem getting off. However, my most recent usage of benzos is a completely different story. Almost 7 months since I got off Xanax and I'm still dealing with this shit.

 

Indeed. I cycled all sorts of benzos throughout those years and I mostly used them every other day because I thought I could get away with that without withdrawal symptoms. I became blind for the risks and started to think I could use them like that for the rest of my life. I was wrong, really wrong.

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  • 2 weeks later...
[e3...]

I disagree with that line of reasoning:

 

- Millions of benzo prescriptions have been written, but the number of people prescribed benzos *long term* is much smaller - probably less than 1 million.

- Of those, some never try to stop

- Of those who do stop, many have symptoms that they don't connect with benzo withdrawal. For example, the first time I stopped taking benzos I had what I now recognize as benzo withdrawal, but my doctor told me I had developed an anxiety disorder and ... put me back on benzos. I didn't connect it up with benzo withdrawal syndrome until years later when I tried to stop again. Remember, many doctors do not believe benzo withdrawal syndrome *exists at all*. Because the pharma companies are lying to them and saying it does not exist. Something is bound to be under-recognized/under-diagnosed when the medical community denies its existence.

- Finally, many people with recognized benzo withdrawal symptoms don't join benzobuddies, for whatever reason. I also belong to an in-person benzo withdrawal support group, and the majority of people there are not members of benzobuddies. More are active on Facebook support group than benzobuddies.

 

Even with all the above caveats, benzobuddies has about 20,000 members.

 

I think benzo withdrawal is a huge problem. I believe the vast majority of people on benzos long-term *do* have serious problems getting off.

 

I beg to differ.

-Yes millions of prescriptions have been written, but this stuff has also been available since the 60's so the amount of people that have been on for long term (defined as 3 months or longer) is probably well into the 10's of millions.

-Most people are not on this stuff for life.. as most people will get to a point where they reach tolerance so they will be forced to come off (tolerance withdrawal)

-I'm not suggesting that most people don't experience some withdrawal symptoms, just that most symptoms are quite gentle in nature. Tolerable to the point that they don't need to see a doctor.

- Many doctors don't recognize benzo withdrawal as a condition simply because most people don't suffer like us. If there truly was a large percentage living in hell (as you put it) we would see hundreds of thousands of people suffering at once. Benzobuddies and facebook groups combined don't even come close to that amount.

- I understand pharmaceutical companies are out to make a profit but I don't believe they are suppressing pertinent information to the doctors either. What evidence do you have?

 

agree with this 100%. i have seen several, several people quit benzos after long term use (including my sister, of course, and that too multiple times -- why me?). this is why doctors do not recognize withdrawals as such.

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