This is the final article of the five-part series Benzodiazepines: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You. Read part four, Relapse Prevention During Klonopin Withdrawal.
Benzo Buddies is a popular online support group for people going through benzo withdrawal. But while many people find Benzo Buddies helpful, others have found it and similar websites to be more harmful than beneficial.
Because Benzo Buddies is privately run, many users complain that their posts are censored or deleted. Additionally, while Benzo Buddies puts an emphasis on staying positive, many users share harrowing stories that can trigger some users.
A number of Benzo Buddies participants report that the overall tone of the group is judgmental and can border on abusive. An overarching theme on Benzo Buddies is that seeking medical or other professional help for ending a dependence on benzos is unnecessary, and it’s even frowned upon. Some members of this forum dispense medical advice while discouraging seeking the help of a professional.
Most people who have an addiction need professional help to overcome it, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA also stresses that good intentions and willpower are rarely enough to send an addiction into remission for the long-term.
Quitting taking benzodizapines is only part of the battle. The rest of the battle is identifying and changing self-destructive thought and behavior patterns, getting mental illnesses like anxiety and depression under control and developing the skills you need for successful ongoing abstinence.
Although Benzo Buddies and other privately run forums don’t offer the type or level of support many people need, support groups in general can be enormously helpful for ending dependence and addiction for the long-term. In fact, support from family, friends and others in recovery is one of the pillars of recovery, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.5 But choosing a high-quality, well-moderated support group is essential for getting the best level of moral support and the most sound advice.
Well-known and reputable support groups for addiction include Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery and, for those with a co-occurring mental illness, Dual Recovery Anonymous. These groups are recommended by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and offer both in-person and online meetings and provide quality moderation and facilitation. As we wrote about in a recent article, the type of support group one joins is less important than the community support they offer. Outcomes for longterm sobriety are far better for people who actively participate in a recovery support group.
Recovery is Possible
Benzo withdrawal doesn’t have to be miserable or dangerous, and you don’t have to be a slave to your addiction any longer. Detox and addiction treatment lead to successful recovery and a higher quality of life and well-being. Seek professional help today if you or someone you love is struggling with benzodiazepine addiction.
Download this entire series as a fully illustrated eBook, Benzodiazepines: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
10 thoughts on “Benzo Buddies Support Groups: Do They Help or Hurt?”
I became depressed at the age of 62 and was admitted to a psych hospital where I met my psychiatrist who I saw for over 19 years. He prescribed for me an antipsychotic, and antidepressant, a benzodiazopine for anxiety even though I never felt anxious, and a benzodiazopine as a sleep aid. Although I was depressed on and off for about 2 years and never suffered from depression again, my psychiatrist kept prescribing all four medications for 19 years. When I told him that my PCP said I should stop the benzos, he said that because I had never shown any signs of depression again, the meds were probably helping me and he would not take me off the meds. As prescribed by insurance, I saw him or after Covid talked to him on the phone once every six months at which time he asked me how I was feeling and went ahead and called in prescriptions for all four meds. A month ago I almost dies from dangerously high blood pressure and was admitted to the hospital. They gave me some meds that brought the bp down so abruptly that my body’s muscles went into spasm. I thought I was dying. I was discharged the next day with 18 meds. I went back to my PCP’s office where they were not quite sure to do with the 18 meds. I ventured out on my own and found a Cardiologist who placed me on one BP medicine which is controlling my BP. While in the hospital they stopped giving me the psych meds and I told my PCP and she didn’t object. Ihave not taken any of the psych meds since then and I am having a really hard time sleeping. Iam averaging 1-2 hours per night. When I went back to the PCP she prescribed the benzos again. I told her that I wouldn’t take them. I have been trying CBD gummies and various other natural meds none of which are helping. I fired my PCP and am going to try a family practice doctor in the hopes that she will be able to help me with a holistic approach to my sleep problem. Yesterday I posted a report about my abuse by the psychiatrist to a hotline of lawyers and I will see if anything comes of it. My children have asked me to talk to Dr. Joseph Simpson, the psychiatrist as they feel that I am manic and that he can help me. I agreed to talk to him, not because i think he can do any good, but rather I am going to ask him what he thought he was doing by prescribing those meds for 19 years and how I believe it is gross malpractice.
You cannot just stop taking benzos. You need to be tapered slowly off of them. The build up in your body over the years of taking them has your body addicted to them whether you want to take them or not. I almost died from withdrawal from them. Don’t make yourself suffer. Have a doctor wean you off of them.
I have been on klonopin for 4 months at .75mg. It helps me sleep and I take a total of .75 .5 at night and .25 in the day for anxiety. It is prescribed by my pshyciatrist I take it only as prescribed but I am afraid to quit because I don’t do well with withdrawals. I take antidepressants too. What do I do.
You’re going to go through hell, getting off them. You’ll either be forced to quit due to tolerance , or you’ll stay on the medication for the rest of your life. If it’s the latter, just pray it continues to work for you as long as you live because as soon as you decide to stop them, it will be unimaginable mental anguish.
Quitting a benzo need not be an “unimaginable mental anguish” if it is done with a very slow, gradual taper. It can take several months to several years to accomplish this. It isn’t easy, but with determination, can be accomplished.
Agree, and the Ashton Manuel is a good read to help taper off. I saw a doctor that is good , as also he had a degree in pharmacology.
Hello Harper. May I ask what type of doctor you went to and how you approached him. I’ve been taking benzo for about 5 yrs and last December 2021 I started tapering myself from 3mg a day to now only .5 to sometimes .75 a day. I’ve been wanting to see a doctor for a while but just now got insurance and I’m no longer able to get benzos so I need to see one pretty quickly. Thanks for any advice..
I’d imagine most things with time turn well enough alone. Not all can be gotten in terms of rational discussion. When debating such novel ideas it’s best to bring upon a sense of urgency and sensitivity to uncertainty. We’ve been down this road before and most need a shoehorn to accomplish this.
Truer words have never been spoken. I appreciate your honesty.
Can you taper From Ativan and still have withdrawals.