Improved provider education, patient support and detox centers for benzodiazepine withdraw

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Benzodiazepines  are a class of medications approved to treat such conditions as anxiety, panic disorder and insomnia.  The most prescribed are:  Xanax (Alpralozam), Klonipin (Clonazepam), Ativan (Lorazepam) and Valium (Diazepam). These medications have been increasingly prescribed by health care providers over the years. Long term usage of benzodiazepines have been linked to detrimental effects to include cognitive decline and addiction.  The statistics with benzodiazepines are scary. From 2001 to 2014, there has been a 5 fold increase of benzodiazepine overdoses in the US (drugabuse.gov). According to the World Health Organization, "In 2010, there has been a 50% increase in prescriptions to our youth, ages 10-19" According to the National Institutes of Health, "In 2008, 1 in 20 people received a prescription for a benzodiazepine (2014). Like opiates, benzodiazepine usage has become an epidemic. Unfortunately, health care providers are not limiting their prescriptions to the advised less then 2 week recommendation. Patients are taking these medications for many years, thus becoming addicted. The sad thing is, withdraw from benzodiazepines can be painful, extremely difficult and incredibly lengthy for many individuals. The symptom list of benzodiazepine withdraw is long, it cannot be listed here. There are many websites that list them.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzodiazepine_withdrawal_syndrome The length can be months to years. This can lead to either frequent reinstatement by patients because the withdraw is so hard and/or the financial problems being in withdraw so long can cause, many ER / health care provider visits because the symptoms last so long making it quite frightening to the patient causing them to think possibly something else is wrong, and sometimes, sadly, suicide. Many reach out for help just to be treated poorly by their uninformed healthcare provider, judgemental emergency room staff or detox centers who have no idea how long it takes to withdraw effectively from benzodiazepines. This leads the patient in withdraw feeling helpless and alone in the process. What is badly needed is more education to our healthcare system to provide adequate/non judgmental care, slow taper schedules and insurance approved detox centers that focus on benzodiazepine withdraw and the length of time needed to detox. Please sign this this petition to help the millions of people currently suffering or future suffering. Thank you. 



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