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Tribute to Professor Ashton

Updated: Apr 2, 2023


Professor C. Heather Ashton passed away on September 15, 2019. This page is dedicated to her memory.


Funeral Notice for Prof. Ashton

Prof Heather Ashton died peacefully in her sleep at home in South Gosforth shortly before midnight on Sunday 15th September. She lived a long, full, and active life: as a loving wife, mother and homemaker to her much missed husband John and their children John, Caroline, Jim and Andrew (plus family dog Rex, also much missed); as a selfless doctor, teacher, and scientist who never turned away anyone who sought her help; and as a loyal and life-enhancing friend to all to who came close. A light has gone out, but her memory will endure.


Donations would be welcome to Dementia UK, a registered charity providing specialist dementia support through the Admiral Nurse service. See instructions at


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Learn more about Prof. Ashton…

Episode #7 of the Benzo Free Podcast was dedicated to Prof. Ashton and her work.


Tributes for Professor Ashton

Tributes are displayed in the order they were received, with the most recent at the top.

Thank you so much Dear Prof. Ashton. You are one of the few who give people hope. So much important when you experience protracted withdrawal symptoms like I do and I guess many others as well. Through your manual, you explain so well what some others simply are not aware of. But most of all, you give us the strength to be patient, positive, and self-confident about our recovery. I have never met you but you belong to the people. I will always remember. Thank you Professor. R Belgium
Professor Ashton’s manual literally saved my life. I was three weeks into a cold turkey not knowing what was going on. I am forever in her debt. She truly still is my hero. Jan Billings, Montana
Prof. Ashton, thank you for LISTENING. When other professionals were not bothering to look at the anecdotal data to prove what we were going through in withdrawal was REAL, you took the time to hear us and offer a solution to help. You saved many lives with your work. Gratitude. Thank you Jenny New Hampshire
Thank you so much for your dedication and of course your manual , I have read it and still refer back to it often, I am still in the process of recovering from benzo’s and without your work I would still be clueless as to what is happening to me. You have touched the hearts of so many and your legacy will go on forever. Thank you Nancy United Kingdom
Adding my heartfelt thanks to a pioneer who saw early on the devastation that this drug can do, and fought hard to stop it. Her light will forever shine. A true angel. Geraldine South Africa
Almost all the information and advice that helped me to accept and understand what I was going through can be traced back to this woman and her manual that objectively collected together the experiences of so many others that had gone before me. Only by knowing what to expect was I able to have the courage to free myself from the chemical bondage of these sinister drugs. I will remember her. Trevor Canada
A great person leaves us, will live in all those who have to thank her so much, thank you for everything you have done in your life to help others, rest in peace. Alfredo Torrelavega, Cantabria, España
Dr. Ashton’s Manual rescued me, and untold others, from the agony of perpetual physical dependence. She was a consummate scientist, humanitarian, and unsung heroine. I only wish I could have met her and thanked her personally. Jeff Winfield, Illinois
Thank you professor Ashton, may you rest in peace. David Japan
I am sending my condolences to the family of Professor Ashton. Of course I never knew her, but I did spend many long nights reviewing and studying her Manual regarding Benzo drugs and their withdrawal symptoms. Thank you Professor Ashton for helping me through a very long journey through my withdrawal process. Ann California
I would not be here today if it weren’t for Professor Ashton. It was because of her Ashton Manual that I was able to endure the indescribable torture that I endured for several years. Without that manual I would not have known that it was the drugs themselves that were rendering me incapacitated. Her manual allowed me to make sense of what would have otherwise been total confusion and a belief that I was dying. I may have even taken my own life had I not know what was driving those intrusive thoughts. Professor Ashton has literally saved countless lives and as a recipient of that gift I will continue to spread awareness about the dangers of these toxins and to keep her memory and legacy alive. L. P.
Bonjour je suis très triste d’appendre cette nouvelle, cette Dame nous a sauvés Sur le Forum ou je suis modératrice, nous nous servons de son manuel tout le temps Paix à son âme condoléances à sa famille Anonymous
When I heard the news this morning, I started crying although I never met you in person. It surprised myself as I did not know you were my beacon of hope in the struggle for change in the medical field and benzodiazepine prescriptions. I know you were retired for a long time, but still, the fact of you being there was comforting. We were not alone. We had someone who believed us and who fought with us. All I can say to you now is: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a benzo warrior with us and for us. You are an extraordinary woman and you will not be forgotten! Elisabeth The Netherlands
Donde quiera que estes. Siempre Seras mi Ángel. Oracioes por ti. Y gracias infinitas. Alejandro Medelin Antioquia, Columbia
Her light definitely shone brightly over me. Graham
So sad to hear the news about Dr. Ashton’s passing. What a great woman she was, helping so many people. Her “bible” for tapering off benzos is treasured by all of us now and will be for generations to come. Suzanne Silverton, Oregon
On a day when my convulsions have resurfaced, further slowing my tapering, and also the same day I make my first donation to a benzo awareness website, I get this sad news of the great Professor’s passing. Where would we be without her research and her believing the stories of all of us who have suffered and struggled to find help. Thank you, dear lady, for your compassion and hard work. My sincere condolences to her family and the Benzo Community. Liz Portland, Oregon
I would like to express my gratitude to Prof. Ashton for unselfishly giving her time and expertise to a relatively unknown group of benzo withdrawal sufferers. When my husband was in his darkest days of benzo withdrawal, her free manual consistently provided him with the information and hope he needed to carry on. She has been a great source of reassurance for so many people across the globe. My heartfelt sympathies go out to her friends and family — may they find comfort in knowing that Prof. Ashton made a difference in this world. Shana Broomfield, Colorado

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