In-person support groups for psychiatric medication tapering and recovery

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.

Colorado

Durango
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 jenniferbryantco@gmail.com for details.

Florida

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 benzowallofpain@gmail.com

Massachusetts

Boston
Coming Off Psych Drugs mutual support group
http://www.meetup.com/Coming-off-psych-drugs-mutual-support-group/

Texas

Austin
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 lifelieswaiting@gmail.com 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 UPDATE 7/17/15: My old group has been replaced by a new group which meets weekly on Saturdays at 4 p.m. The location is Austin State Hospital, Building 635.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.

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19 Responses to In-person support groups for psychiatric medication tapering and recovery

  1. Linda Fielden says:

    Thank you. Hope there will be one in the DC area soon. I can’t organize it though, at this point in my recovery.

  2. liz says:

    Anything in Canada?? Toronto??

  3. Suzi Carlock says:

    Any in Thurston County, Washington?

    • Not that I know of. Our local group came into existence because I collected names. On the various benzodiazepine support forums and groups that I belonged to, whenever I would meet someone from my city, I would make note of it. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the information. I just thought it would be good to know some local folks. Later, when I wanted to put a group together, I messaged these people and asked them if they were interested. Most of them were.

  4. Ally says:

    I am trying to launch my own support group in southern california. Trying to get the word out. Any help is appreciated…

    http://www.meetup.com/Encinitas-Benzodiazepine-Recovery-Group/members/106592742/

    -ally

  5. Liz Carlson says:

    I’m in the Houston area. Do you know of anything nearby?

    • There’s a man in the Houston area who says he’s interested in starting a group. I also know a few Houstonians who are going through or have been through benzo withdrawal. I’m not sure of the best way to connect you with them as I want to protect everyone’s privacy. I could pass along your e-mail address if you wish.

  6. Angela says:

    Could you email me some docs you trust in Austin for tapering? I have had such a hard time finding one!

  7. Jean says:

    I am also looking for a doctor who could help me with tapering. I am south of Fort Worth. Could you please email me as well with anyone you know of? Thank you.

  8. Joe Bell says:

    Hi. I might recognize you from the Benzobuddies board. Short story. I tapered over a year and had to reinstate after a year. I feel I am in tolerance withdrawal. My pdoc appears to be willing to work with me on a Valium crossover. I plan on starting next month. I am at 3 mg K (ouch) and that is doubled from what I appeared to be stable on two months ago. Two young girls (even though I am an older dad), so I worry about stability and working. I did my last taper over a year, off K using compounded solution. I managed but it was difficult. I am divorced now and have little social support. Actually, I didn’t have it then, but that is another story. Thank you four what you have done for all these people.

    Joe (formerly Benzo3 on Benzobuddies)

    • Joe Bell says:

      For what you have done, that is.

      • My best advice would be to take it really slowly. Get as stable as you can possibly get and gently ease your way off the Klonopin. If it takes years, so what. Far better to hang onto your functionality than to try to regain it. That’s a lesson that I, unfortunately, learned the hard way. Hopefully your pdoc will be okay with a turtle taper, but if not, there are other doctors in the area who can help. Best of luck to you.

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