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The Builder's Journey

Oct 5, 2022

***WARNING/MEDICAL DISCLAIMER***  This audio content is for conversational purposes only and does NOT constitute medical, mental health, or any other kind of personal or professional services or advice.  Consult with your doctor or health care professional before making any changes to your prescription medication.

“NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH RESEARCH: “FDA Updates Black Box Warning for Benzodiazepines”   . The agency warns patients to talk with their healthcare providers in order to develop a plan for safely and slowly tapering off a benzodiazepine.1 . . . Benzodiazepines already have a black box warning, which warns that taking benzodiazepines at the same time as opioids can lead to extreme sedation, slow and ineffective breathing, comas, and even death.6 FDA’s 2020 decision keeps this previous warning about combining benzodiazepines with opioids and adds additional warnings about the risks of addiction, as well as dangerous withdrawal symptoms. “


While experiencing the transition from high school to college, John Staight was prescribed alprazolam (i.e. Xanax), a powerful benzodiazepine (benzo). As a responsible patient, John acted in good faith, and took his medication as prescribed.  He trusted the “all-knowing doctors” and mental health professionals with his life. Decades later, at a cliffs edge, his trust in the mental health system would be permanently broken.  Listen in, as John shares how he navigated the heroes’ journey and now lives to educate and help others escape the clutches of antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth” Plato

Colorado Consortium Benzodiazepine Action Work Group

The Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices

The Benzodiazepine Information Coalition

Benzo Free website and podcast (D Foster)

“Benzo Free:  The World of Anti-Anxiety Drugs and the Reality of Withdrawal” (D Foster)

“Medicating Normal” documentary website

Watch “Medicating Normal” on Amazon Prime

“Medicating Normal” YouTube Channel – Interviews with patients and medical experts

“As Prescribed” documentary website

The Ashton Manual 

BenzoBuddies support forum

BenzoBrains YouTube channel (Jocelyn Pederson) support forum

“What I Have Learnt From Helping Thousands of People Taper Off Antidepressants and Other Psychotropic Medications”  (Adele Framer, Founder of, in Sage Journals)

“Death Grip:  A Climber’s Escape from Benzo Madness”  by Matt Samet

“Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life”  (Dr. Allen Frances)

“Yes, Benzos are Bad for You”  (article by Dr. Allen Frances in Psychology Today)

“Anatomy of an Epidemic:  Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America” (Robert Whitaker)

The Inner Compass Initiative

The Withdrawal Project

“A Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs” (Will Hall, The Icarus Project and Freedom Center” 

“The Serotonin Theory of Depression:  A Systematic Umbrella Review of the Evidence”  (Dr. Joanna Moncrieff et. al, Nature)

Dr. Joanna Moncrieff’s website

Dr. Roger McFillin on twitter:

The Radically Genuine Podcast by Dr. Roger McFillin

“The Better Brain:  Overcome Anxiety, Combat Depression, and Reduce ADHD and Stress with Nutrition”  (Dr. Julia Rucklidge and Dr. Bonnie Kaplan)

Newsweek articles on antidepressant withdrawal, antidepressant effectiveness, and lack of evidence for “chemical imbalance” theory of depression

New York Post Article “Why we should stop casually prescribing antidepressants to teens” (Brooke Siem, chef and author of “May Cause Side Effects”)

Media interviews with psychiatrist Dr. Joanna Moncrieff regarding her recent serotonin research publication and antidepressant effects

Mad in America Podcast and website – source for a critical look at the evidence for current mental health practices and psychiatric medications

Interview with author Matt Samet


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline . . . 988