Personal stories about benzodiazepine abuse, withdrawal, and recovery abound online. Anyone who searches for a benzodiazepine withdrawal story is likely to quickly find famed singer Stevie Nicks’s story. Nicks did not take benzodiazepines for insomnia or another sleep disorder. Nicks began taking a benzodiazepine after she recovered from cocaine addiction. Nicks got a prescription for a benzodiazepine from a psychiatrist who advised her that it would help her remain calm during her long-term recovery process. Nicks took a benzodiazepine for the following eight years. She shares that over time she had gained at least 30 pounds, was depressed, and not interested in music. After Nicks stopped using Klonopin, she went through severe withdrawal. Nicks entered a rehab program, to manage the benzodiazepine withdrawal process. Today, she is fully detoxed from all drugs.
Stories about everyday people who have been through benzodiazepine withdrawal can be particularly illuminating. For instance, Melissa Bond, a mother of two in Utah, began a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 to raise money to help her write a memoir, Dear Little Fish. The book, which appears to still be in progress, is about benzodiazepine withdrawal. As Bond explains, during her second pregnancy, she developed insomnia. Her doctor prescribed a benzodiazepine. After taking the benzodiazepine for some time, Bond advised her doctor that she wanted to stop using them. Her doctor then advised her that she was at risk for seizures. Bond was distraught, she didn’t know that withdrawal could be so dangerous. She eventually detoxed, but it was an extremely challenging process for her. Bond’s Kickstarter campaign closed with 98 backers and raised $11,505. Bonds story and the support she has received reflect that taking a benzodiazepine can start a person down an unexpected path. Withdrawal is a necessary feature of the exit, but it can be safely managed.