Benzodiazepines are some of the most commonly prescribed medications in the entire world. There are very few medications available that are suitable alternatives. They are very useful for emergency situations and short-term management of certain physical and mental health ailments. They have abuse and addiction potential, and even those who are not prone to addiction can find themselves terribly physically dependent upon them with chronic use, and may experience a withdrawal syndrome upon discontinuation. Some people experience withdrawal symptoms when they aren’t even reducing their dosage as a result of tolerance to the drug (down regulation of brain’s receptors), and many people report having withdrawal symptoms between doses, especially from short acting benzodiazepines such as Ativan (Lorazepam) and Xanax (Alprazolam). With this in mind, the breakdown of the problems which this blog will address are as follows;
A percentage of benzodiazepine users will go on to become physically and/or psychologically dependent on the drug.
A portion of those people may decide to discontinue the drug due to side effects or other reasons;
…a portion of those people may experience a withdrawal syndrome upon discontinuation;
….a portion of those people may experience a severe withdrawal syndrome;
…..a portion of those people may develop a Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome (est. 10% – 15% who experience a withdrawal syndrome may experience PWS) in which withdrawal symptoms similar to the original withdrawal syndrome last a considerable amount of time after complete cessation of the drug. Ashton, Professor C. BENZODIAZEPINES: How they Work and How to Withdraw. 2002.
It is my hope that you are not a statistic in the above facts. Perhaps you are, or know someone who is, or perhaps not. However, the purpose of this blog is to bring attention and information to the issue of the Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome (BWS) and its complications; to validate its existence