Posted by Viridis on August 29, 2003, at 0:18:28
In reply to Re: withdrawal from Klonopin, posted by shadows721 on August 28, 2003, at 19:41:05
A recent study (released by the World Health Organization, I think; I'll have to find the reference) ranked medications in order of difficulty of discontinuation. The hardest one to quit (on average) was the SSRI antidepressant Paxil. Effexor was close, and other SSRIs were in the top ten. Benzos like Klonopin were quite a bit further down the list, in the teens and twenties.
There are many drugs that, if discontinued suddenly after extended use, can cause serious withdrawal or worse. If you suddenly stopped, say, Effexor and had the kind of severe reaction some people have reported here (and elsewhere), would you say you were "addicted" to Effexor? It's strange how people use the term "addiction" so selectively (and usually incorrectly) for certain drugs like benzos, but not for others, especially those that are still under patent and heavily advertised.
I and many others have said this over and over again here, but addiction has a very specific meaning in medicine, involving obsession with a drug, continued and often escalated use despite negative consequences, and so on. This is not the same as dependence, which means that your body becomes accustomed to a substance (anything from insulin to Paxil to Xanax to heartburn medications) and reacts badly if the substance is suddenly withdrawn.
By your criteria, anyone who takes any medication for a substantial period of time and has a bad reaction if they stop it must be an addict. If so, there are an awful lot of "addicts" walking around who are "hooked" on blood pressure medications, anti-epilepsy drugs, and so on.
What makes responsible use of benzodiazepines any different ?