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Pioneering Benzo Awareness: An Interview with Geraldine Burns (Part 1 of 2)

Updated: Mar 23

Geraldine Burns has been a pioneer in the benzo community for over 20 years. She is the founder of the first support group of its kind on the Internet, is host of a benzo podcast, and was a key player in the publication of the Ashton Manual.

In Part I of this interview, Geraldine shares her personal experiences with benzos and her lessons learned about diet and healing; she looks back at her introduction to benzo activism and the beginnings of the Ashton Manual; and she discusses her adventures with launching two websites and a podcast on benzos.

Video ID: BFP026


Listen to the Podcast

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

The Benzo Free Podcast is also available on...

Apple Podcasts / Audible / iHeart / PodBean / Spotify / Stitcher



00:00  Episode Introduction 03:50  W-BAD Live Stream 07:18  Format and Gratitude 10:07  Interview Introduction 11:50  Welcome Geraldine 12:12  Geraldine’s Benzo Story 15:03  Menstrual Difficulties 15:49  Realization of Dependence 16:54  Tapering 18:03  Finding Info & Support 19:47  Raising Awareness 20:59  Birth of the Ashton Manual 22:23  Starting a Support Group 23:05  The Downside of Online Support 24:15  Sharing Your Story 25:18  Diet in Withdrawal 27:31  Starting a Podcast 29:27  Functional Medicine 32:03  Launching the Podcast 35:05  Isolation: Finding Support 35:53  Benzos and Litigation 37:24  Wrapping Up Part I 38:27  Moment of Peace


Episode Summary

Geraldine Burns has been a pioneer in helping to get the word out about the potential dangers of benzodiazepines.  In 1999 she started the first Internet support group for people wishing to withdraw from tranquilizers or already off and having problems.  This was the first group of its kind and before it closed had close to 4,000 members internationally.  The group was started to offer 24 hour/7 days a week support to people who have been made ill by prescription medications, to learn about symptoms of withdrawal, learn about tapering methods, and natural methods of healing.  She is dedicated to the responsible and informed use of addictive prescription drugs.



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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).





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Benzo Free Theme

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— Artist: Neil Cross


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