The assistance, encouragement and camaraderie that I’ve had as a result of my participation in various online peer support groups while going through benzodiazepine withdrawal has been a lifeline for me. However, I’ve often wished that in-person versions of these groups existed. Tapering (and recovering from a taper) can be a very lonely business. Finally, I got tired of waiting for a group and decided to start one. And, it turns out, I’m not the only one. Listed below are in-person support groups for psychiatric medication tapering and recovery. I’ll add more to the list as I become aware of them.
The Freedom From Psych Drugs support group meets every Sunday at Joe’s Coffee Shop from 3-5 p.m. in Durango, Colorado. Phone support is also available. Contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Port Saint Lucie
Have you stopped taking a benzodiazepine such as Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, etc. and you’re having a bad time? I am forming a local support group for this as there’s nothing available for us right now. You must either be off the drug or trying to get off, and be 18-years-old or older. This will be a “peer” support group only, not therapy, and will NOT use a 12 Step approach like AA or NA. Contact Annie at email@example.com
Coming Off Psych Drugs mutual support group
This group is mine. It exists as an e-mail list. We’ve met several times at a local coffee shop and, most recently, at my home. Meetings aren’t on any set schedule, but tend to happen when enough people ask for one. We’ve been averaging quarterly since August 2012. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or to be added to the e-mail list. UPDATE 7/17/15: My old group has been replaced by a new group which meets weekly on Saturdays at 4 p.m. The location is Austin State Hospital, Building 635. The group is being run under the auspices of Communities for Recovery. Although CFR has lots of ties to the 12 Step community, this is not a 12 Step group, but rather a peer discussion group. This new group understands that most of its members don’t suffer from addiction, but rather dependence after taking benzodiazepines as prescribed. It also understands that some of us suffer from addiction as well. In other words, regardless of how you encountered the withdrawal syndrome, this group is for you. The group is also open to people suffering from other withdrawal syndromes such as those to Z-drugs (Ambien, Lunesta and others), antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics, etc. For more information, contact Michael at 505-301-7398, Charley at 512-736-6778 or Andrea at 760-525-0637.