Current estimates state that at least 50% of the population is taking at least one medication, with women consuming pills at twice the rate of men. The elderly consistently take multiple medications, and because sleep erodes as we age, they often take the most addictive class of tranquilizers, benzodiazepines.
Yet articles are abundantly available that state these classification of drugs are not safe. In spite of the blackbox warnings on many medications, the trends continue to climb. Is it because many cannot withdraw from the medications?
That was certainly the case with Alesandra Rain, co-founder of Label Me Sane. She spent ten years on a cocktail of medications because each time she tried to cut down or quit, the debilitating withdrawals drove her back onto the drugs. “For a decade I truly believed I had an anxiety disorder that just kept getting worse,” states Rain. “It never occurred to me that the drugs themselves were increasing my symptoms. That is exactly why we have a medical advisor and researched how to taper people off safely,” concludes Rain.
This is a common occurrence as the side effects of anti-depressants can lead to increased depression. Additionally, a common side effect of tranquilizers or sleeping pills is increased anxiety and insomnia. Often the withdrawals are misunderstood by family members or members of the medical community and mistakenly viewed as a worsening of mental illness. This may lead to the introduction of yet another medication, or even an abrupt removal of one and introduction of another.
“Many doctors are uncertain how to manage benzodiazepine or anti-depressant withdrawals,” explains Rain. “It is the recognition of the withdrawal syndrome connected to many behavioral drugs that is so essential to ensure people receive the proper care,” insists Rain.
Rain eventually quit the medications cold turkey in a treatment center and suffered months of horrific withdrawals. This drove her to co-found an organization and work with physicians and researchers to develop a program called Point of Return, that could help others through the withdrawals comfortably.
“In the past three years we have helped thousands of people worldwide to taper off the behavioral medications, and do it safely, comfortably, and in their own home,” states Rain. “We are here to help anyone who needs assistance, as I know how horrific the withdrawals can be,” says Rain.
I urge anyone who seeks assistance to withdraw safely from anti-depressants, tranquilizers, sleep pills or anti-anxiety medication, to contact Label Me Sane, toll free at 866.605.2333 or visit www.labelmesane.com.