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Other Drugs and Benzo Withdrawal

All data must be read in conjunction with the survey limitations.

Sixty percent (60%) of survey respondents reported that they were taking other medication prior to starting benzodiazepines.

 

A variety of other medications were being taken. Twenty percent said they were taking a combination of medications. The most common single medication being taken was antidepressants. Eighteen percent (18%) reported they were taking this class of medication.

A comparison of the group that was taking other medication at the time they started benzodiazepines with the group that wasn't taking other medication shows very little difference on their average functionality rating at the worst point in withdrawal, the difficulty they had withdrawing rating, or the number of months that it took them to recover.

Those who didn't take additional drugs prior to taking benzodiazepines reported that they were able to 2.2 of the nine functionality tasks with ease compared to 2 that was reported by the group who did take other medications.

Both groups rated the difficulty of withdrawal as 12.5. (The ratings were 10 = Easy, 11 = Wasn't easy but not too difficult, 12 = Difficult, 13 = Extremely Difficult).

The group who didn't take additional drugs got better on average 11.7 months after ceasing benzos while those taking drugs averaged 12.4 months.

 

        AVERAGE FUNCTIONALITY RATING
        Additional Drugs Prior to taking  Benzos No Additional Drugs Prior to taking  Benzos
      Mean 2.0 2.2
        WITHDRAWAL DIFFICULTY RATING
        Additional Drugs Prior to taking  Benzos No Additional Drugs Prior to taking  Benzos
      Mean 12.5 12.5
        AVERAGE RECOVERY TIME - MONTHS
        Additional Drugs Prior to taking  Benzos No Additional Drugs Prior to taking  Benzos
      Mean 12.4 11.7

Around 40% of respondents said that they added in medication during withdrawal.

The most common action for those who added in drugs during withdrawal, was to add either a combination of drugs (13%) or added in antidepressants (9%).

Of those that added in medication during withdrawal, around 50% thought that it helped them, 25% thought that it didn't make any difference and 25% though that it was detrimental to their withdraw.

The table below compares 4 groups. The groups were, those that added in medication during withdrawal who thought it helped them, those that added in medication during withdrawal who thought it neither helped them nor hurt them, those that added in medication during withdrawal who thought it hurt them, and those who did not add medication in during withdrawal.

They were compared on their

- average functionality rating at the worst point in their withdrawal

- the rating they gave to their withdrawal experience (10 = Easy and 13 = extremely difficult)

- the average number of months it took to recover.

Those who did not add medication in mostly rated themselves better on the three measures than the other groups. For instance they felt at the worse point in withdrawal that they were able to do 2.5 of the 9 activity tasks with ease. The group who added in medication and felt it helped were able to do 1.9 tasks and those who added in medication and felt it hurt them only rated themselves as being able to do .5 of a task. The group who did not add medication in said they recovered on average 11.4 months after ceasing benzodiazepines compared with 15.8 months for those who added in medication and felt that it helped them.

Note the figures below cannot be used to establish that adding medication is causing the difference. The table only shows that there was some difference between the various groups. The difference may be random occurrences or the group that didn't add medication in may not have been as sick to start with. It is a concern that those who added in medication and felt it hurt them are scoring worse on the various comparison statistics.

    AVERAGE FUNCTIONALITY RATING
Extra Meds Added Not Added
    Helped Neither Helped or Hurt Hurt  
Mean 1.9 1.3 0.5 2.5
    WITHDRAWAL DIFFICULTY RATING
Extra Meds Added Not Added
    Helped Neither Helped or Hurt Hurt  
Mean 12.4 12.9 12.9 12.4
    AVERAGE MONTHS TO RECOVER
Extra Meds Added Not Added
    Helped Neither Helped or Hurt Hurt  

Mean 15.8 8.1 18.7 11.4

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Disclaimer:  The information contained in this website was not compiled by a doctor or anyone with medical training. The advice contained herein should not be substituted for the advice of a physician who is well-informed in the subject matter discussed. Before making any decisions about your health or treatment you should always confer with your physician and it is always assumed that you will do so.

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Last updated 22 July 2015