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Benzo Pharmacology, Dependence, and Advocacy: A Conversation with Dr. Robert Valuck (Part 1 of 2)

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

Robert J. Valuck, Ph.D., is a Professor in Clinical Pharmacy, Epidemiology, and Family Medicine at the University of Colorado (CU) and the Director of the Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention at CU. This is a conversation not to miss.

In Part 1 of our discussion, we compare the opioid and benzo crises, visit the age-old addiction vs. dependence debate, and explore the recent FDA warning on benzodiazepines among other topics. I also share a benzo story from San Francisco and talk a bit about connecting with each of you and your daily struggles.

Video ID: BFP069


Watch the Podcast

This episode is part of a 2-part series. Listen to Part 2 here:

The Benzo Free Podcast is also available on...



00:00 INTRODUCTION 02:53 Relating to Your Struggles 11:03 BENZO STORY: Ray’s Story 17:57 FEATURE: Conversation with Dr. Valuck 20:43 Dr. Valuck’s Background 25:55 State of the Opioid Crisis 28:50 Concerns about Benzos 32:20 2016 FDA Benzo Warning 35:10 Recent FDA Benzo Warning 38:19 DEA Drug Scheduling 42:22 FDA Communication of Warning 46:33 Surprised by FDA Warning? 48:45 FDA Tapering Recommendations 50:06 Addiction vs. Dependence 54:45 Interview Closing: Part 1 56:15 MOMENT OF PEACE



The following resource links are provided as a courtesy to our listeners. They do not constitute an endorsement by Easing Anxiety of the resource or any recommendations or advice provided therein.

FEATURE: Conversation with Dr. Rob Valuck



In today’s intro, I discussed the difficulty of balancing my healing and feeling better with still being able to relate and connect with those who are suffering. I discuss the superficiality of our media and how I’m trying to take a different tack, and just be me. Warts and all.


Benzo Story

For today’s benzo story I shared an audio story from Ray, in San Francisco, California. If you’d like to check out Ray’s podcast, you can find it here:



Our feature today is a Conversation with Dr. Robert Valuck, Part 1. This was an amazing conversation with someone who has decades of experience not only in pharmacology, but in advocacy for change, both for opioids, and benzodiazepines. Check out our chapter list above for highlights of our conversation. It’s a good one.


The Podcast

The Benzo Free Podcast provides information, support, and community to those who struggle with the long-term effects of anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Valium) and Z-drugs (Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata).


All content provided by Easing Anxiety is for general informational purposes only and should never be considered medical advice. Any health-related information provided is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems, or to prescribe any medical devices or other remedies. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it. Please visit our website for our complete disclaimer at


Music provided / licensed by Storyblocks Audio

Benzo Free Theme

— Title: “Walk in the Park”

— Artist: Neil Cross


Easing Anxiety is produced by…

Denim Mountain Press

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