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Benzo free - Flumazenil method!


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Benzo free, Flumazenil works!

On the 9th of January I stopped taking benzo and started the flumazenil treatment as per the pioneering work of Doctor George O’Neil / Fresh Start Foundation, Australia.

I was the first pilot carried out in the Nederlands under the care of Addiction Doctor Erik Paling (Novadic Kentron) and Addiction Professor Core de Jong (Nispa). The treatment entailed subcutaneous infusion of Flumazenil for 9 days. Additionally I was give an antiepileptic (Depakina) and a anti depressive (Mirtazapine).

From the 9th of January I have stopped taking diazepam. I was on benzo’s for 2 years, my highest dosses was 2 tablets of 2 milligram loremetazapam = 40 diazepam. By the time I entered treatment I had managed to go down to 17 diazepam. I choose to do the treatment even though it was experimental because I realized that I was unable to reduce the diazepam on my own. I had to many withdrawal symptoms. I signed an indemnity form in which I took full responsibility of my choice.

The first days were the most challenging ones. My sister had specially take off work to support me during the first two days. I initially had stopped at 5 days, but as I realized that my brain was over stressed I went on for another 4 days. By that time when I stopped the infusion I managed to function reasonably well. Initially I was hipper sensitive to impulses sound, light… but as the days went on I could manage more and more. I now started going to the gym doing simple work outs. The only medication I am still taking is ½ a tablet of 17 milligram mirtazapina.

How does flumazenil work, it is not yet clear. The thinking is that is somehow repairs the gaba receptors so that they work properly. How much time must flumazenil must be administered to achieve this is still an unanswered question

All in all I had 4 panic attacks, one just after stopping after 5 days of treatment, one when restarting the extra 4 days and one during the first week at home, and the last one now that I am sick with flu and my sinus hurt so I don’t sleep well. These are the times when I felt my heart flutter. For the rest I am doing well, better and better every time. It nearly feels unreal that I had so much stress. I am able to do more, handle more and start thinking about the my future.


I am grateful that this opportunity appeared, that I had the courage to do it. But it wasn’t just me, you benzo buddies helped me. I wanted to thank the Benzo Buddies team and all its member for without all the information I got from the site I would have believed that I was mentally ill. All the symptoms we discussed, all the postings kept me focussed and gave me courage to take the plunge. Thank you.

The advice that I can give you is flumazenil works, Professor de Jong will be undertaking a formal study but that takes time before it gets published. For those that don’t want to wait you could follow this treatment in Australia at the Fresh Start Foundation. For those that can’t afford such a trip I would advise them to contact a professor of addiction nearby and convince him/her to do a pilot. Perhaps make a benzo buddies flumazenil group and work together at organizing the treatment in the USA. Coming to the Netherlands is not an option because its public health care and you need to be a Dutch citizen. When looking on internet I have seen some detox centres in the USA that work with flumazenil, I don’t know what their protocol is. So I will give you some important points that you need to keep in mind:

subcutaneous infusion is better than intravenous, it is just as affective and your body fat doesn’t get bruised as easy as veins.

George O’neil uses a small pomp that you carry around your neck and you are allowed to go home after two days. That is you are only hospitalized for two days. This allows you freedom of movement and helps you keep your sanity.

The longer you stay on flumazenil the smaller the drop in well being when you stop. Therefore a place where you can decide for how long you want to have flumazenil and gives you the option to restart your treatment when you don’t feel well is the best.

Ideally you stop all medication before you stop the flumazenil. Stopping medication gives you stress and you want to be done with all the pills while you are on flumazenil.

Having a boddy during the detox and the days, weeks after is important. somebody that care, supports you and encourages you. Somebody you can talk when you are having a bad day. I had my sister, she was amazing.


Last but not least please note that this is an experimental treatment, it has not been officially verified through quantifiable studies. Thus you are navigating uncharted territory, therefore you will be fully responsible for your choices and the consequences that arise from it. I wish you wisdom and courage regarding the decision you take.


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Wow that sounds amazing! Were there any side effects while taking the treatment? Are they looking to see if  it helps if you are already off but are having the protracted withdrawals? Can anyone go to the Australia clinic to have it done, as I am Canadian? What type of side effects or concerns are there that they mention about trying this treatment? Do they have any idea why it repairs the gaba receptors?


Thanks so much



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