On March 17, 2013, I wrote a post titled Withdrawal from Benzodiazepines. In that post I wrote:
“Withdrawal from these drugs is potentially dangerous, incidentally, and medical supervision is a good idea, especially if the dependence is marked. Try to find a physician other than the one who got you hooked on them in the first place. In severe cases, hospitalization is required.”
On December 27, 2014, a reader (Nancy Rubenstein) left a comment which stated that this is dangerous advice in that “…there are literally less than a handful of doctors nationwide who have proven they can handle this. There is no safe hospitalisation for people in psych drug withdrawal…” Nancy also pointed out that when people do go to hospital for emergency withdrawal problems, they are often met with disbelief, and that this disbelief can result in further problems, e.g. diagnosis of a “mental illness”, further drugging, etc…
All of these points are well taken, and I appreciate Nancy’s feedback. I received similar feedback from Monica Cassani (Beyond Meds) in March of 2013.
The great difficulty in all of this is that withdrawal from benzos can be life-threatening. So people who have become addicted to these products are in a particularly difficult dilemma: to seek medical care or not? I would be very grateful for comments from people who have had to face this question, and from people who have experienced adverse consequences as a result of seeking medical care for this kind of withdrawal.