Benzodiazepine/Sleeping Pill Addiction, Tapering and Recovery

About this Blog

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Who Am I?

Janet has provided information to accidental psychiatric drug addicts, healthcare workers, national and provincial governments and health organizations for over a decade.

Her knowledge comes out of her research and policy background (she is the director of a research firm in western Canada), talking and working with hundreds of benzodiazepine victims and her personal experience with Zopiclone and Ativan which she describes as both “devastating” and “life changing.”

Janet is knowledgeable about the potential adverse reactions caused by psychiatric drugs, the signs of growing addiction and the challenges faced by those who want to get off psychiatric drugs and feel well again.

The Purpose of this Blog

This blog provides specific information and support to people who are considering tapering off psychiatric drugs such as benzodiazepines, sleeping pills and anti-depressants and who want practical help on how to do it safely and successfully.

The questions discussed in the blog are those that have frequently been sent to our site for the last eight years by "accidental addicts." These are the questions that people want and need answers to and that physicians are often not able or willing to provide.

Although this blog is focusing on benzodiazepines and sleeping pills we will also be addressing questions related to anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, particularly in the context of tapering.


The views on this site are those of the author and are not intended to replace medical advice provided by a physician who, ideally, is well informed about psychiatric drug reactions, tapering and recovery.

A Tip of Our Hat and Our Bias

There are many sources of information on the Web and elsewhere which provide support and information to those who have been accidentally and unwittingly addicted to prescription psychiatric drugs and who are having trouble getting off.

We applaud all of those working in the area and know, from experience, that people who have stopped taking psychiatric drugs have used many different methods and had success.

We tend to recommend the Ashton method involving a slow substitution of valium for most tapers of benzos and sleeping pills simply because it has an evidence base that is supported with data from a withdrawal clinic.

We await the day when credible and consistent research is done by pharmaceutical companies, physicians and/or government that will help us better understand how different tapering and recovery methods compare. Will this ever happen? Since benzodizapines have been around for over 50 years without this research being done, we aren't holding our breath!

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Updated: November 6, 2012

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