Good to see the Australian coverage of the Xanax problem. However, they missed a huge part of the story. Most of the people I talk to about their benzo use are not strung out, stumbling addicts. We take our pills as prescribed and do not up the dose. And when we want to be done with the pills, we find ourselves in a nightmare that Dante would not have imagined.
The news story made it seem as if stopping the pills is not that difficult. I spent 8 months tapering, and then had to cold turkey in a hospital for a week. Months later I was back in a hospital when the healing process was too much to handle on my own and the thought of taking my own life was a daily fear. (I have lost three people I used to converse with on a benzo withdrawal forum to suicide.)
The story needs to be told about those of us who are fighting an enormous fight to allow our brains to heal. You simply do not stop taking a pill and walk away from years of use. Benzos change the brain. When you remove the drug you face mental and physical horrors that can last for years. Surviving the horror takes more strength and courage than anyone should have to muster.
I wish a news agency would tell the whole story. Tell the story about the horror of recovery.
I never craved a pill when I was on Klonopin. I took 1 mg as directed. Yet I was hopelessly addicted.
I have never fought so hard in my life to get well.
21 months now and counting.