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The Benzo Beast
It's devious and deceptive, confusing and cunning. It messes with your intellect, your sense of reality, and your emotions. It puts unwanted, frightening, catastrophic thoughts in your head. It's as if it were alive like some kind of demon or monster that holds on and doesn't want to let go. It's a war. But it can be won. It's insidious and all pervasive, but it can't win in the end if we are determined. We can rid ourselves of it and we do recover. Trust me. it's the truth. I did it!
Some brain GABA receptors (which are large proteins) have a number of specific subunits which combine with benzodiazepines. When benzos combine with these subunits (of which there are several different types), GABA activity in the brain is enhanced, resulting in the typical benzo effects (sedative/hypnotic, anxiolytic, muscle relaxant, amnesic, and anti convulsant - each involving different receptor subtypes). Meanwhile, with chronic use of benzos and adaptive (homeostatic) response occurs in which many of the benzo subunits 'down-regulate'. These subunits actually become engulfed within within the neurons so that GABA activity is no longer enchanced, the benzo effects wear off, and the subject becomes tolerant.
When the benzos are stopped after these adaptive changes have occurred the brain is left in a state of GABA-underactivity and therefore in a hyperexcitable state. This accounts for the withdrawal symptoms which are largely the opposite of the original benzo effects (e.g insomnia instead of hypnosis, anxiety instead of anxiolysis, muscle tension instead of relaxation etc).
To restore normality the various subunits which have been down-regulated have to be resynthesised and re-externalised onto the GABA receptor assembly. This is a slow process involving much energy, enzymatic activity and protein synthesis. It takes place over many weeks or months, long after the drugs has left the body. It also occurs at different rates in different parts of the brain and in different subunits mediating different functions - probably accounting for the variable time of emergence, duration and resolution of individual withdrawal symptoms and sometimes the protracted benzo withdrawal. In addition, recovery may require the growth and establishment of new brain synapses as the subject learns drug-free ways to cope with stress.
Prof. Heather Ashton
The names on this list of doctors have been supplied by patients who have found them to be open minded and sometimes helpful to patients who are trying to stop taking Benzos. Nothing more is to be inferred concerning any doctor's abilities or expertise. This is the only information I have been supplied for each.Benzo Wise Doctors and Therapists
December 15th, 2009: New Beginnings Detox in Florida. See below for details. Note: If you can't find anyone locally, New Beginnings may be able to help!
May have list of benzo friendly Doctors in Victoria.
222 Burke Rd.,
GLEN IRIS 3146
Dr Jim Wright, Vancouver Hospital, University of British Columbia
Dr. Judith Dalsin
(250) 370-8155 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (250) 370-8155 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (250) 370-8155 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (250) 370-8155
She is a psychiatrist in Victoria, BC.
"I am the first patient that she has gotten off benzos using the Ashton taper and got me off all my bi-polar psychiatric drugs as well. Good luck to anyone going to her for a benzo withdrawal who wants A/D's or any other psychiatric drug. She just won't prescribe them after seeing how I became bi-polar symptom free once she got me off the benzos and psychiatric drugs."
Dr. Martin Judson (addiction and substance abuse specialist)
240 Wharncliffe Road
Dr. Todd Sakakibara
Three Bridges Community Health Clinic
1290 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC
Dr. Stevien M. Melemis,
208 Bloor St. West, Suite 702,Toronto, Ontario
This doctor will help people with a slow taper off benzodiazepines and believes in Ashton. He is an addiction doctor and may approach the problem from that perspective.
Web site is ADDICTIONSANDRECOVERY.ORG
Dr. Senthelol... Psychiatrist
Rapid responce team in the grand river hospital
"When I went in for consultation she diagnosed me with Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, she based this on the heather Ashton manual."
(519) 749-4300 ext.3829
Dr. David Slyfield
H.R Professional Building
2115 Finch Av. West, Suite 311
Toronto, Ont, M3N 2V6
Phone 416 746-3035
Dr. Pierre Steyn (see note below)
423 Bronson Ave.
Ottawa, Ont, K1R 6J5
Dr Jim Wright,
University of British Columbia
17-100 Bielsk Podlaski
Monton Medical Centre,
Canal Side, Eccles
Salford, Manchester, M30 8AR
0161 789 5966
Professor C Heather Ashton, Newcastle, England (Semi-retired)
Dr. Fletchner, Linden Centre, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford
This is not a recommendation for a specific GP but for anyone in South London who lives in the boroughs of either Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham or Southwark falls under the South London & Maudsley NHS Trust (mental health and addictions). This is different from the primary care trusts which realte only to a few hospitals rather than a whole group of boroughs. The Maudsley is a hospital in Camberwell that deals with mental health problems BUT is well versed in benzo withdrawal. Any of the rehab units in these boroughs should be up to speed on valium tapers if your GP is not (as long as the rehab is general rehab and not specific to e.g. heroin).
Advisory telephone numbers follow:
Croydon - 0800 318721
Lambeth - 020 7188 2151/2
Lewisham - 020 8333 3000
Southwark - 020 7919 2047/8/9
Teresa Buot-Smith, M.D. (psychiatrist)
545 E. Shea Blvd. #112
Phoenix, AZ 85028
She suggested other meds to help, but when I refused, she was respectful and helped me through a 22-month Valium taper. Very supportive and respectful.
D'Souza Netley MD
6565 [...] Carondelet Drive Suite 215, Touscon, AZ, 85710
"He is a VERY nice man too. More than any Doctor I have ever had."
Dr. Darryl J. Ballin, MD Medicine
5525 Etiwanda St. Suite 224
Tarzana, California 91356
Phone number is 818-708-4878
18370 Burbank Blvd. Suite 211. Tarzana. CA 818-708-4848
(Recommended to Michael by the Betty Ford Clinic. Michael said He is a very caring individual)
MAY NOT BE OPEN TO TAPERS OF MORE THAN A YEAR.
May do a drug test upfront.
Dr. Cyril Blaine
Dr. Robert Carvahlo
Vista del Mar Hospital
Timothy Fong, MD
Dept of Psychiatry
760 Westwood Plaza C9-440
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1759
Apparently, there has been recent, negative feedback about Dr. Fong. Might be worth checking, by phone, if he will support Ashton taper prior to visit.
Dr. Howard Kornfeld
Mill Valley, CA (Bay Area),
415 383 2949
Dr. Kenneth Lehrman
Daly City, California, gp
Dr. Peter Madill
Office Phone 707 823-3312
Sebastopol is driving distance from anywhere around San Francisco.
After taking .50mg to .75 mg of xanax a few tmes weekly over a few months after a death in the family I stopped taking them and became ill. Several DR\'s did not believe I was ill from xanax withdrawal. After a long sad story I discovered Dr Madill off of this site and called his office and made an appt. He had the Ashton Manual on his desk and is very familiar with her protocol. Dr. Madill is an excellent compassionate Doctor that answers his calls 24/7. He understands the importance of allowing the patient to control the taper rate. He crossed me over from xanax to valium and has me tapering on pills and a diultion of liquid valium in saline so I can reduce daily as opposed to weekly cuts. This taper method has made my taper so far amost symptom free. I cannot express enough how fortunate I feel to have discovered this Doctor off of your site!
Dr Clarence Perry, MD
2870 4th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
619-688-1383 - will prescribe Valium
Dr. [...] McKenzie
Hemet California, gp,
909 658 3227
Dr Clarence Perry
2870 4th Avenue
CA (California) 92103-6298
Phone: (619) 688-1383
Dr. Jonathan Reitman.
MRH Medical Group
8920 Wilshire Boulevard,
#310 Beverly Hills, CA 90211.
Lovinlife said: I had an appointment with my detox doctor the other day. He has been great and so supportive during this process. He is very open to Valium tapers and said he prefers to get people off this way rather than cold turkey. He knows about the Ashton Manual yet he is always open to and searching for new things that might help people get through it as an adjunct to the Ashton method. He let me control my own taper and was very curious to know what I was doing to help myself so that he might help other patients. Yet he does not push anything on anyone. He understood my desire to keep any additional meds to a minimum and that I wanted NO additional serious meds such as Neurontin, etc. no matter what happened. I asked if he would be opposed to having his name added to the list as a Valium taper-friendly doctor in Los Angeles. (I was surprised to see that there was only one named in your list of doctors... and that even he had had some complaints.) It's so hard to find a good doctor when dealing with these benzos. I would highly recommend him to anyone who is dealing with this difficult time in their lives. His name is Dr. Jonathan Reitman. He is in Beverly Hills at MRH Medical Group. His phone number is 310-360-7690. And his address is 8920 Wilshire Boulevard, #310 Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Not only is he an excellent doctor, but he is a kind, compassionate human being.
Dr. Wetherhold / Scripps Clinic La Jolla - won't prescribe Valium, but understands the need to do a water titration and will continue a prescription if you show him progress.
Dr. Richard Daly
Fort Harrison St.
Health Care Connection "Specializing in the
Treatment of Addictions and Related Disorders"
825 Linebaugh Ave.
Tampa, FL 33612
New Beginnings Detox
Web Site: CLICK HERE!
500 Royal Palm Beach Blvd.
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
12300 Alternate A1A, Suite 112
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
On December 10, 2009, Dennis J. Hansen, Executive Director, wrote:
"We have adopted the Heather Ashton method of withdrawal and have had great success with many patients."
Dr. Asaf Aleem
Comprehensive Psychiatric Care
2150 Peachford Road, Suite H
Atlanta, GA 30338
318 W Pike Street - Suite 402
Lawrenceville, Georgia, 30045
[...] Ogletree said: Been on 1mg klonopin twice daily for panic attacks after having open heart surgery 3 yrs ago. Have started experiencing tolerance withdrawals and need to come off safely.
Dr. Robert Ley (pronounced "Lee")
Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, and can be found with directory assistance.
Theo said: I provided him with the Ashton manual, and while he was pretty unfamiliar with benzo withdrawal, he is willing to support someone with a valium taper, which from what I've read here, is hard to find.
Dr. Andrew B. Pundy, M.D.
Lutheran General Hospital
1875 Dempster Street, Suite 490
Park Ridge, IL 60068
Dr. Pundy prescribes Valium and also Liquid Valium. He supports the Ashton protocol. I used him myself. Tony.
Katelyn Daniels, LCPC, CHT (Therapist - does not prescribe drugs.)
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
EMDR-Level II certification
2332 County Farm Lane, Schaumburg, IL 60194
Web site: The Center or Personal Transformation
Katelyn is awesome. Highly rcommended. Tony.
Medical School Kansas City College of Medicine and Surgery
Specialties General Practice Addiction Medicine
Dr. James Anderson, Psychiatrist
217 S Ryan St
Lake Charles, LA 70601
I initially made an appointment with Dr. Anderson's office in October with his receptionist Margaret. I explained to her in great detail that I was suffering from Xanax withdrawals and wanted to Use The Ashton Manual Valium Taper to withdraw from this medication. I was ASSURED that Dr. Anderson had done this in the past. I drove 3 hours across the state, stupidly allowed him to put me on Klonopin. He refused to agree that the Ashton conversion to valium was incorrect. He was a complete waste of time, money and now has me on klonopin which makes me feel even worse than before I went to see him. Don't go to him for a valium taper, he'll give you klonopin instead. - From: Kellie Marie
Note by Tony: Klonopin is not necessarily a bad thing. It certainly is, in general, a far better option than Xanax due to its longer half-life. Many American doctors prefer Klonopin to Valium. I have seen myself that many people do not tolerate a cross-over to Valium because it makes them feel even more depressed. So do bear that in mind when considering seeing this doctor.
Dr. Stevan Gressitt MD, Psychiatrist
Northeast Occupational Exchange
29 Franklin Street
Bangor, Maine, 04401
Web site: Maine Benzodiazepine Study Group
Dr. Thomas McDermott
Waterville, Maine 04901
Licensed: alcohol, substance abuse
“I love him he saved my life” - Bonnie Parsons
XIANGYANG LI, M.D. Ph D
215 West Street
Dr. Rebecca Lundquist
Umass Medical Center, Worcester, MA
361 Plantation Street
Worcester, MA 01605
[...] Rosenthal, MD
Metrowest Medical Center
Leonard Morse Campus
Phone: (508) 647-0222
Brian McCarroll MS. D.O.
198 North Main
He also has another office at...
22900 [...] Remick
Clinton Township, MI
Julie E. Mariotti, M.D
2709 W. Webster
Royal Oak, MI 48073
Cathy (Youarenotalone) said: Dr. Mariotti is informed about benzo w/d and will prescribe Valium for the Ashton taper. She went through the taper with me and is willing to help others.
Andrew Brown, M.D.
The Counseling Center of Nashua, NH (30 mins from Boston)
Dr. Drummond (author of Benzo Blues)
Andrew Brown, M.D.
The Counseling Center of Nashua, NH (30 mins from Boston)
Dr. Agop Artinian,M.D.
477 Bergen Blvd.
Ridgefield, New Jersey 07657
Tel. (201) 945-6319
Very caring and patient doctor. He has alot of knowledge about benzo's and the experience people go through for years on them for anxiety and other disorders. He thinks slow detox works best so our body does not react too badly, and to avoid relapse. spends a lot of time with each patient.
Dr Michelle Greiver
416 222 3011
Dr. Ted Becker
157 [...] 86th Street
200 W 57th
Private institute located in NYC and lower Westchester. Dr. Gevirtz does not have a problem with Professor Ashton's method. If you have further questions, please call us at 914-636-6210
Dr. John Shenkle, Plattsburgh Clinton County Mental Health Services
Plattsburgh, NY 12901, 518-566-0100 , New York, p,
Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine in
Suffern, NY. Dr. Schachter is a psychiatrist, into holistic medicine
Web Site: Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine
Comprehensive Pain Management Associates
2001 Marcus Avenue
New Hyde Park, N.Y. 11042
125 South Service Road
Jericho, N.Y. 11753
Dr. Priya Narayanan in NYC at 915 Broadway, Suite 1200, New YY, NY 10010, Cell # (917) 519-3642.
"A psychiatrist who helped taper off valium and who followed the Ashton protocol. She is very open minded and caring but she didn't seem to understand why I was having trouble sleeping past 20 days after end of taper and is quick to want to prescribe other psychoactive drugs to deal with sleep issues. First recommended Ambien, then when I refused to take it ran a whole list of anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drugs that help with sleep. When I told her about my current symptoms, she kept on saying that she has not seen it "past 40 days. Although she's aware of the "protracted withdrawal syndrome" described by Dr. Ashton, she doesn't seem able to wrap her brain around the fact that it's real."
Leopold, Ken MD - Brockett & Leopold
400 Matthew st #220, Marietta, OH 45750
800 Pike St. #2, Marietta, OH 45750
Dennis Reitenbach, Ph.D.
Palmentera & Associates Psychological Services
6785 Wallings Road, 3B, Cleveland, Ohio 44133
Office phone: (440) 556-0849.
Cell phone: (216) 856-1970
Dr. Reitenbach is a psychologist with 25 years experience using behavioral and psychological interventions to maintain abstinence from mood-altering substances. He is knowledgeable in the course and signs/symptoms of protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal. He is compassionate and empathic.
James Thomas, M.D.
(513) 231-8000 Ext. 109
Dr. Daniel J. Weber, 820 Delta Avenue,
Cincinnati, Ohio 45226-1221
Nancy P. had this to say about Dr. Weber: "He seems to know a lot about all different benzos, how they react, etc. I don't believe he is an addiction specialist, and as many other psychiatrists, doesn't always agree with everything I tell him we talk about on this site. I can say my doctor listens well, he is gentle, kind, has never gotten angry with me all the years I refused to change drugs, he tells me what he thinks, but the decision is always mine. Now that I am withdrawing, although he suggested Klonopin a few years back, because it has a longer half-life than Xanax, and that is what is used in the US more than Valium, he was very interested in Prof. Ashton's Manual, and keeps a copy on his desk, and was extremely happy when I told him I wanted to switch to Valium. When I began the switchover, I was really afraid, especially when Prof. Ashton's manual didn't work out exactly like it was supposed to for me. He told me everyone was different. I drop 1 mg. Valium about every 2 weeks. He said that was a little slow, but he wanted me to be comfortable with the withdrawal.
During the switchover, and even now, he always reminds me that I can call him anytime if I am running into difficulty and I have talked to him several times during and after the immediate switchover. He always reminds me he is there for me. He doesn't charge me extra when I have to make a frightening call to him, (but I don't take advantage either). I am not the least bit afraid of him, because he lets me say what I want, tells me what he thinks, but lets me be in control of my withdrawal. I could not handle a doctor like a few I went to years ago, who would prescribe a lot of medicines and get "angry" with you when they made you sick or you chose not to take them. He let's me know his feelings when we talk, but always lets me make my own decisions."
Dr. Damon Whitfield, Liberty Osteopathic Clinic,
Dr. RAY, FREDDIE A
Address: 10 S TREATY RD
MIAMI, OK, 74354-0000
Area Code: (918)
Credentials: MD - Medical Doctor
Speciality: General Practice
Dr. Gregory Richards
462 Chestnut St.
Meadville, PA 16335
"I gave him a copy of the Ashton Manual, seemed really interested and he's also very laid-back (cool)."
Dr. John Buttross
Cresthaven Internal Medicine
1068 Cresthaven Road
Memphis, Tennessee 38119
Phone: 1 (901) 821-8300
Dr. Rahn Bailey
2116 Bissonnet, Houston TX,
Dr. Ronald Garb
713 973 1007
Dr. Carlos Guerra
Margaret Kaufmann, MD
Someone on the Yahoo benzo group said, "She has been very supportive of the tapering thing and I sent her a copy of the Ashton book just last week so she is hip to all that."
Recent feedback that this Doctor:
Margaret Kaufmann, MD may not be as Benzowise as previously said to be so it's worth calling and inquiring before making an appointment...
Dr. Patel at the Solace Clinic in Dallas
Web Site: Solace Counseling
The doctor originally wanted to use Librium, but was open to using Valium.
Layne Kamalu, MD
934 S. Main
Layton, Utah 84041
"He's compassionate and willing to work with Dr. Ashton's Valium taper schedule."
Grant J Rasmussen MD
"He is extremely understanding. He has been more and more compassionate with me as time goes on. I believe he now accepts the Valium crossover method. He will screen you to see if you are abusing drugs; but be sure, he is an awesome doctor. He does not cost nearly as much as the Utah doc in Layton.
Dr. Jefferson Sommers M. D.
Richmond Medical Park
2006 Bremo Road
Suite 101 Lower Level
Richmond, Virginia 23226
"I described the Asthon Manual and crossover tapering process to him and he was very open minded. Said "he loved learning things from his patients". I was stunned. Great doctor!"
Dr. Mario H. Gomez,
Very knowledgeable in addiction medicine, supportive and willing to work with you in any way he can. He not only offers his expertise but (amazingly) will devote extra time in unscheduled appointments and phone calls at any time. He is willing to discuss and prescribe additional medications to help with the withdrawal and will not rush you into anything or prescribe anything you do not want. At the same time, he will not just prescribe anything you ask for unless he feels it has some merit in your particular situation. He is a rare find indeed.
Dr Mark Chalem
105 W. 8th Ave
Spokane, WA 99204
"... a great psychiatrist who was open to doing a valium taper but hadn't done many of them and did not know the correct conversion of Ativan to Valium. He was very willing to read the Ashton Manual when I gave him the website. He was extremely impressed with it, willing to follow the recommendations and has been 100% supportive of my valium taper including doing it at the pace that is comfortable for me. He is also very kind and easy to talk to. I asked his permission to have his name added to this website and he said that was fine."
Dr. Marta Schneider
5401 MACARTHUR BLVD NW
Washington, DC 20016
Office Phone: 202-362-3905
Dr. Carole Stovall & Associates (Psychologist)
4501 Connecticut Ave.
N. W., Ste. 215
Washington DC 20008
The names on this list of doctors have been supplied by patients who have found them to be open minded and sometimes helpful to patients who are trying to stop taking Benzos. Nothing more is to be inferred concerning any doctor's abilities or expertise. This is the only information I have been supplied for each.
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