The Ashton Manual
Updated: Apr 2
Prof. C. Heather Ashton wrote what many medical professionals — and even more patients — consider the “bible” for benzo withdrawal (BIND). If you are considering tapering from a benzodiazepine, please work with your doctor and read this manual.
Where to Find It
BENZODIAZEPINE INFORMATION COALITION (BIC)
BENZO.ORG.UK (Original Source)
About the Manual
Benzodiazepine withdrawal (BIND) is ripe with unending questions. Most without answers. But one question has been answered: What is the single best resource for benzo withdrawal?
It’s simple. The Ashton Manual.
The Ashton Manual is officially titled Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdraw and was written by Prof. C. Heather Ashton DM, FRCP. The original manual can be found on the website benzo.org.uk/manual. Benzodiazepine Information Coalition (BIC) provides PDF, Kindle, and Nook versions of the manual at benzoinfo.com/ashtonmanual. All are free to the public.
Prof. Ashton’s manual has guided thousands of patients to success during BIND. No other resource has helped more people through this challenging experience. Full of medical facts and valuable information, Prof. Ashton finds a way to let us know that she believes we can succeed and motivates us to do just that.
About Professor Ashton
Many people in the benzo community will tell you that Prof. Ashton has helped more people taper from benzodiazepines than all the other people combined. And they would be right.
Chrystal Heather Ashton DM has held such distinguished titles as Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London (FRCP), National Health Service Consultant in Clinical Psychopharmacology, National Health Service Consultant in Psychiatry, and Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Prof. Ashton worked at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne since 1965 as a researcher, clinician, lecturer, senior lecturer, reader, professor, and emeritus professor. She published approximately 250 papers in professional journals and books on psychotropic drugs and gave evidence to various government committees on tobacco smoking, cannabis, and benzodiazepines, and lectured on benzodiazepines in various countries.
When Professor Ashton closed her clinic in 1994 to retire, there was no one to take it over to continue her work. In 1995, she submitted a research proposal to the medical research council in the U.K. to “investigate the link between long-term benzodiazepine use and permanent brain damage.” Her proposal was rejected. [Lakhani, “Drugs Linked to Brain Damage.”]
Prof. Ashton sadly passed away on September 15, 2019. We created a Tribute Page to share how much she meant to us in the benzo community.
Visit our tribute page to read what she meant to so many people… or even add your own.
Prof. Ashton’s Experience with Benzo Withdrawal
In 1982, Professor Ashton established the first benzodiazepine withdrawal clinic within the British NHS and ran the clinic for 12 years. She studied the histories of over 300 patients and closely followed their progress.
For twelve years I ran a benzodiazepine withdrawal clinic for people wanting to come off their tranquillisers and sleeping pills. Much of what I know about this subject was taught to me by those brave and long-suffering men and women… It is interesting that the patients themselves, and not the medical profession, were the first to realise that long-term use of benzodiazepines can cause problems. — Prof. Ashton
Ashton, C. Heather. Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdraw (aka The Ashton Manual). 2002. Accessed April 13, 2016. http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/.
Foster, D E. Benzo Free: The World of Anti-Anxiety Drugs and the Reality of Withdrawal. Erie, Colorado: Denim Mountain Press, 2018. https://easinganxiety.com/book.
Lakhani, Nina, “Drugs Linked to Brain Damage 30 Years Ago,” Independent, November 7, 2010, accessed March 4, 2017, https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/drugs-linked-to-brain-damage-30-years-ago-2127504.html.
For Information Purposes Only – Not Medical Advice
All information presented on Easing Anxiety is for informational purposes only, and should never be considered medical or health advice. Withdrawal, tapering, or any change in dosage of benzodiazepines or any other prescription drugs should only be done under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.
Please read our site disclaimer for more information.