Updated: Aug 2
February 6, 2023 – The second paper on the Benzodiazepine Survey of 2018-2019 was published today in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology titled: “Enduring neurological sequelae of benzodiazepine use: and Internet survey.” This is the second in a series of three papers our team has been working on for almost four years now. The first paper was published on April 25, 2022 and was titled “Experiences with benzodiazepine use, tapering, and discontinuation: an Internet survey.” Our third paper was recently completed and we are in the process of its submission.
One of the key findings of this second paper is the differentiation between acute withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, hallucinations, and body trembling which typically last for days or weeks, and the protracted symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, cognitive difficulties, low energy, and others which can often last for months, even years. According to the paper’s conclusion, “Evidence tentatively suggests that early and late symptoms occurring following benzodiazepine use may be attributable to different mechanisms,” and that the latter may be due to neurotoxicity and/or neuroplastic changes in the brain. These findings are groundbreaking and also led us to a third and final paper from the survey, which will address the life consequences of these drugs and formerly introduce the term benzodiazepine-induced neurological dysfunction, or BIND.
As I mentioned when we announced the first paper, I was very grateful to be one of the authors on this amazing team which includes Dr. Christy Huff, Director of Benzodiazepine Information Coalition and Drs. A. J. Reid Finlayson and Peter R. Martin of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Special thanks also go out to Christy Huff, M. D. (BIC), and Jane McCoubrie, Ph.D. who originated the survey, and equally so to Bernie Silvernail and the Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices for sponsoring the work and leading the charge to get these papers completed and published.