Psychiatric Medication Awareness Group: psychiatric medications, addiction, recovery, withdrawl, risks & side-effects

Benzodiazepines & sleeping pills

Recovery | Changing Policy | Bonnie's Story | Our Disclaimer

This page has resources you'll find useful in researching benzodiazepines (benzos) and sleeping pills including finding help if you need it. PMAG does not provide personal input/advice about individual tapers.

Sleep Recovery without Drugs

Many of us turn to drugs to deal with sleeplessness. This article offers a drug-free alternative.

For decades, Kate Edgley struggled with insomnia. She tried everything, but nothing seemed to work… Here, she reveals the terrible toll it took on her life — and how she eventually realised her dreams. — How I finally learned to sleep

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Help with Recovery

Benzodiazepine withdrawal is characterized by sleep disturbance, irritability, increased tension and anxiety, panic attacks, hand tremor, shaking, sweating, difficulty with concentration, confusion and cognitive difficulty, memory problems, dry retching and nausea, weight loss, palpitations, headache, muscular pain and stiffness, a host of perceptual changes, hallucinations, seizures, psychosis, and increased risk of suicide. — Wikipedia

If you need help recovering from benzo addiction, these resources can help:

Ashton Resources for Health Professionals

Dr. C. Heather Ashton is an expert in benzodiapines, including her taper method discussed in The Ashton Manual — detailed information on discontinuing and safe tapering off benzodiazepines.

Dr. Heather Ashton's Maine Benzodiazepine Conference Presentations (Oct./05)

Dr. Heather Ashton's lectures on Benzodiazepine Dependence and Withdrawal Methods to heath care providers in Victoria and Vancouver, B.C. are available on DVD:

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Changing Drug Policy

These pages deal with policy — things we can change to avoid problems in the future:

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Bonnie's Story

Photo of Bonnie

Bonnie was a brilliant, creative, curious, kind person who took her life due to Benzodiazepine withdrawal. She had worked very hard to taper off of benzodiazepines for over 21 months then took her life 4 weeks after completing her taper.

Bonnie's Story (PDF–84 KB) is a tribute to Bonnie's struggle to recover from benzodiazepines.

Dr. Ashton's DVD

Order Dr. Heather Ashton's DVD

Dr. Ashton photo
Dr. Heather Ashton on YouTube

Our Disclaimer

PMAG does not provide individual advice or respond to individual requests for assistance. We encourage you to seek qualified medical support. More…


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Updated: January 12, 2024