“Many, many people living long, productive and happy lives while being dependent upon and using benzos as prescribed”

Re: Watch "This is Life" With Lisa Ling
« Reply #96 on: September 29, 2019, 02:21:11 am »

[Buddie]

Quote from: [Buddie] on September 29, 2019, 01:53:48 am
Quote from: [Buddie] on September 29, 2019, 12:47:21 am
Quote from: [Buddie] on September 29, 2019, 12:40:35 am
Quote from: [Buddie] on September 29, 2019, 12:36:04 am
I’m curious: Does this piece with Lisa Ling address at all, people who live long, productive & happy lives while using long-term benzodiazepines as prescribed?

No it does not. That’s a different show.

Thanks for the quick response. Do you mean Lisa Ling will be doing a different show that reflects the lives of real people who are benzo dependent and continue living long, productive & happy lives? Or do you mean there is no show that you are aware of which reflects this reality that does exist? Thanks in advance.

I’m sure those people exist. Our aim is to let people know the risks, as they will not receive it in the doctors office and are being rapidly tapered. Many people doing well on benzodiazepines became harmed by trying or being forced to stop. And many don’t. This episode is a warning about the drug, not an ode to the drug. I’m unsure if such an ode exists.

You’ve answered my questions and for that I’m appreciative. I will resist the urge to question in detail any motive(s) in you choosing to use the word “ode” to describe the reality of many, many people living long, productive and happy lives while being dependent upon and using benzos as prescribed. I will continue to extend my best wishes.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 02:27:07 am by [Buddie] »

Benzo Buddies member goes back on benzos after brutal Ashton taper fails and is doing great!

a lifetime of decisions, and a long weird path back towards reinstatement
« on: July 17, 2019, 06:37:35 pm »

[Buddie]

Hello,

I had initially kept this post to a handful of staff members, but was encouraged to feel free to make a more public post.

Put simply, I am back on benzodiazepines after an extended period off, and while I have deep reservations about this, after eight months it does not yet seem to have been a mistake.

Abbreviated backstory: I was on benzos for a number of years in late adolescence / early adulthood for anxiety based reasons. I had mild tinnitus at that time (possibly attributable to many things, including a distant history of childhood ear infections). Tapering was brutal and took me 14 months, and I wrapped that up sometime in 2005. I don’t recall tinnitus ever being a problem, except briefly during parts of the taper.

In 2010, an acoustic trauma did some significant damage to my auditory system, the tinnitus turned into a wailing monster, and I used benzos again for about a year before tapering again. I spent 2011-2015 basically miserable, highly functional but chronically consumed with the violent, often painful, extremely high pitched noise in my skull. I tried all kinds of things; if there is a supplement, drug, medical practice, massage practice, alternative medicine practice that someone on Google says helped their tinnitus, I probably tried it. I also tried doing “nothing”; I learned to meditate. I learned to sleep with earplugs in spite of the noise. I spent a lot of money; I spent $10,000 to be a lab rat in one clinical trial alone (lots of travel involved).

I remain hopeful about the tinnitus treatments that are in the pipeline, but a little voice continued to say “I need to do something now”, as my life sort of passed before my eyes. I achieved significant professional success. I was able to relocate out the city to a pristine, quiet area in 2016. This did all make me feel better in some ways, but still the noise.

In late 2015, unrelated medical circumstances forced me to consider short-term PRN use of Valium, and, of course, I discovered that it still “worked” as far as taking my mind off the tinnitus. From early 2016 until November of last year, I used Valium PRN; when the tinnitus would become absolutely intolerable, I would take enough to knock it way back (usually 10-20mg over 24-36hrs), and then try to not do that again for 3-4 weeks. I became a parent over this time period, and I realized that the times I was the most medicated were also the times I felt the most joy and connection with my child. By July of 2018, I was agonizing over the idea of reinstatement, but I wasn’t sure.

I made a list of every possible tinnitus remedy that seemed reasonably attested which had not yet been attempted. It was a pretty short list which included some out there ideas like “cervical chiropracty” and “microdose psilocyban”. None the less, I crossed these items off my list as I tried them. Finally, in late November of last year, well supported by a medical team (including a prescribing doctor who is deeply aware of the hazards of benzos and necessity of a slow withdrawal), I elected to resume daily benzo use. After 2 weeks at 25% of the dose I’d previously been on long term, things felt very bad; more or less, I felt like I was in withdrawal, and I almost aborted the experiment then and there. One of my medical team persuaded me to at least attempt my full prior dose for some period of time; I also elected to supplement it with gabapentin based on some research into the combination for tinnitus specifically (and the general observation that gabapentin is much less scary than benzos, so if it can be used to supplement a benzo dose and reduce benzo consumption, that’s probably a win).

More or less I had a one month “honeymoon” where life seemed too good to be true, and as expected, that faded as tolerance became obvious and peripheral side effects also vanished. However, what I am left with, so far, is a life which is much more manageable. It’s hard to put numbers on things, but the tinnitus is more distant, it’s generally less disturbing when it does get my attention, and I’ve been able to make significant progress in my family life, in my professional life, and in therapy, which had been blocked by the state of utter discomfort, misery and despair that my tinnitus had thrown me into. The general observation of my spouse is that I am easier to talk to, more likely to listen to them, less likely to snap, and more likely to be sympathetic and caring in general.

To make a few things clear:
This was my choice and I would not encourage anyone else to do the same thing. No one’s circumstances are identical. For all I know, my use of benzos during developmental years caused problems that couldn’t self-fix, and if not for that I might not be in this situation at all. Likewise, if I had taken better care of my ears, or had better genetics around hearing, tinnitus and anxiety, I might not be in this situation. But, that doesn’t matter: the way things are, is the way things are.

I do not know the long term results of this (and neither do you) – I waited more than six months before posting this because I wanted to be sure a beneficial effect that outweighed my reservations about benzo use, would persist for some period of time after obvious tolerance had set in. It’s entirely possible that this will “stop working” at some point, and I will be left with my generally terrifying tinnitus on top of having to do another taper. But, it’s also possible that won’t happen (one of my family members has taken Klonopin with no loss of efficiency for more than 15 years) – and it’s further possible that some of the tinnitus treatments which are currently in the experimental or early marketing phase will turn out to be extremely effective, at which point attempting another taper might seem very rational to me.

I agonized over this decision more than you can possibly imagine over a five year period; eight months in, it’s given me eight of the best months of the last 10 years of my life. I am happy to answer any reasonable questions, but I ask that you respect my right to autonomy and decision making over my own body.

Gratitude for psychiatry

IN PRAISE OF VALIUM

Medical uses

Diazepam tablets (2, 5, and 10 mg)

Diazepam is mainly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks and symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. It is also used as a premedication for inducing sedation, anxiolysis, or amnesia before certain medical procedures (e.g., endoscopy).[11][12] Diazepam is the drug of choice for treating benzodiazepine dependence with its long half-life allowing easier dose reduction. Benzodiazepines have a relatively low toxicity in overdose.[7]

Diazepam has a number of uses including:

Dosages should be determined on an individual basis, depending on the condition being treated, severity of symptoms, patient body weight, and any other conditions the person may have.[18]

Seizures

Intravenous diazepam or lorazepam are first-line treatments for status epilepticus.[7][20] However, intravenous lorazepam has advantages over intravenous diazepam, including a higher rate of terminating seizures and a more prolonged anticonvulsant effect. Diazepam gel was better than placebo gel in reducing the risk of non-cessation of seizures.[21] Diazepam is rarely used for the long-term treatment of epilepsy because tolerance to its anticonvulsant effects usually develops within six to 12 months of treatment, effectively rendering it useless for that purpose.[18][22]

The anticonvulsant effects of diazepam can help in the treatment of seizures due to a drug overdose or chemical toxicity as a result of exposure to sarin, VX, or soman (or other organophosphatepoisons), lindane, chloroquine, physostigmine, or pyrethroids.[18][23]

It is sometimes used intermittently for the prevention of febrile seizures that may occur in children under five years of age.[7] This use, however, is not typically recommended as the benefits are small and side effects are common.[24] Long-term use of diazepam for the management of epilepsy is not recommended; however, a subgroup of individuals with treatment-resistant epilepsy benefit from long-term benzodiazepines, and for such individuals, clorazepate has been recommended due to its slower onset of tolerance to the anticonvulsant effects.[7]

Other

Diazepam is used for the emergency treatment of eclampsia, when IV magnesium sulfate and blood-pressure control measures have failed.[25][26] Benzodiazepines do not have any pain-relieving properties themselves, and are generally recommended to avoid in individuals with pain.[27] However, benzodiazepines such as diazepam can be used for their muscle-relaxant properties to alleviate pain caused by muscle spasms and various dystonias, including blepharospasm.[28][29] Tolerance often develops to the muscle relaxant effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam.[30]Baclofen[31] or tizanidine is sometimes used as an alternative to diazepam.

Availability

Diazepam is marketed in over 500 brands throughout the world.[32] It is supplied in oral, injectable, inhalation, and rectal forms.[18][33][34]

The United States military employs a specialized diazepam preparation known as Convulsive Antidote, Nerve Agent (CANA), which contains diazepam. One CANA kit is typically issued to service members, along with three Mark I NAAK kits, when operating in circumstances where chemical weapons in the form of nerve agents are considered a potential hazard. Both of these kits deliver drugs using autoinjectors. They are intended for use in “buddy aid” or “self aid” administration of the drugs in the field prior to decontamination and delivery of the patient to definitive medical care.[35]

Kook petition for independent inquiry into benzodiazepines fails miserably

“The horrific life-destroying implications of benzodiazepines have been known about for decades and yet the medical profession remain largely in denial of the damage. The doctors are in denial not us. They conspired with Big Pharma to turn us into accidental addicts. Blah blah blah. The Department of Health, the BMA, and Parliament have a duty to give justice to those whose lives have been ruined. Blah blah. There must be an inquiry for the sake of future generations and for those undergoing the horrific consequences of this iatrogenically induced pandemic. Iatrogenic? Big word that means the doctors did it and we hate them. Pandemic? An epidemic of infectious disease that has spread throughout the world? Get a grip.”

https://www.change.org/p/health-select-committee-an-independent-inquiry-into-benzodiazepines

Even though it is a UK petition, signatures are being solicited, at secret online sites, not only from UK, but also from U.S. and Canadian, citizens. At last count they had 604 signatures. Their goal is 1000. One of the doctor-bashing groups claims to have over 1500 members but can’t even rouse a significant percentage of its members to sign the petition (they don’t have 1500 active members). Benzo Buddies claims 28,000 members but over 90% of the listed membership never posts, or has posted once, and ran from the site screaming (it is rumored Benzo Buddies even keeps deceased members on the membership rolls). If Benzo Buddies had that many members it would be very easy to get 5,000 of them to sign a petition that bashes doctors — some movement. It is as fake as their claims Big Pharma targeted them.

  • UK population 64 million
  • U.S. population 319 million
  • Canadian population 36 million

That is to say, out of a combined total population of 419 million only 604 people signed this garbage. What percentage is that? Pathetic is not even the right word to describe this.

Medication helps people live productive lives.

Thank you Dr. Sternbach!

Diazepam was the second benzodiazepine invented by Dr. Leo Sternbach of Hoffmann-La Roche at the company’s Nutley, New Jersey, facility following chlordiazepoxide (Librium), which was approved for use in 1960. Released in 1963 as an improved version of Librium, diazepam became incredibly popular, helping Roche to become a pharmaceutical industry giant. It is 2.5 times more potent than its predecessor, which it quickly surpassed in terms of sales. After this initial success, other pharmaceutical companies began to introduce other benzodiazepine derivatives.

Diazepam was the top-selling pharmaceutical in the United States from 1969 to 1982, with peak sales in 1978 of 2.3 billion tablets. Diazepam, along with oxazepam, nitrazepam and temazepam, represents 82% of the benzodiazepine market in Australia. While psychiatrists continue to prescribe diazepam for the short-term relief of anxiety, neurology has taken the lead in prescribing diazepam for the palliative treatment of certain types of epilepsy and spastic activity, for example, forms of paresis. It is also the first line of defense for a rare disorder called stiff-person syndrome.

Diazepam has a broad spectrum of indications (most of which are off-label), including:

  • Treatment of anxiety, panic attacks, and states of agitation
  • Treatment of neurovegetative symptoms associated with vertigo
  • Treatment of the symptoms of alcohol, opiate, and benzodiazepine withdrawal
  • Short-term treatment of insomnia
  • Treatment of tetanus, together with other measures of intensive treatment
  • Adjunctive treatment of spastic muscular paresis (paraplegia/tetraplegia) caused by cerebral or spinal cord conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injury (long-term treatment is coupled with other rehabilitative measures)
  • Palliative treatment of stiff person syndrome
  • Pre- or postoperative sedation, anxiolysis and/or amnesia (e.g., before endoscopic or surgical procedures)
  • Treatment of complications with a hallucinogen crisis and stimulant overdoses and psychosis, such as LSD, cocaine, or methamphetamine
  • Prophylactic treatment of oxygen toxicity during hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diazepam

IN PRAISE OF VALIUM

  • Valium much less sedating than its predecessors Miltown or Librium (Before Valium came along, millions of Americans begged their doctors for Miltown prescriptions. By 1957, a prescription for Miltown was filled an average of every second in the U.S. Suburbs became the site for Miltown parties, cocktails were named for the pill – a Miltown replaced the olive in a Miltini – and high-end jewelers designed rings with compartments to hold the “tranks.” In 1960, Swiss drug maker Hoffmann-La Roche unveiled Librium, less sedating than Miltown but just as calming. In one famous experiment, the bitter-tasting drug tamed lions and tigers at the San Diego Zoo.)
  • By the end of the 1960s, Valium was the top-selling psychotropic drug in the United States
  • Valium quickly surpassed Miltown and Librium
  • Among Valium’s biggest selling points: no bitter taste, and it was nearly impossible to overdose on (In one widely reported instance that came much later, a Reagan administration official tried to kill himself with a heavy dose of Valium but failed.)
  • In the 1970s, Valium became the most widely prescribed drug of any kind
  • Valium was everywhere: Mike Brady popped a couple on the television show “The Brady Bunch,” and the Rolling Stones composed an ode to the drug, dubbing it “Mother’s Little Helper”
  • Ten of millions of people with anxiety disorders have been able to lead normal lives due to Valium
  • Dr. Leo Sternbach a medical hero who deserves posthumous Nobel Prize in Medicine
Diazepam

Diazepam /daɪˈæzɨpæm/, first marketed as Valium /ˈvæliəm/ by Hoffmann-La Roche, is a benzodiazepine drug.

It is commonly used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, seizures (including status epilepticus), muscle spasms (such as in tetanus cases), restless legs syndrome, alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal, opiate withdrawal syndrome and Ménière’s disease. It may also be used before certain medical procedures (such as endoscopies) to reduce tension and anxiety, and in some surgical procedures to induce amnesia.

It possesses anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant, and amnestic properties. The pharmacological action of diazepam enhances the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA by binding to the benzodiazepine site on the GABAA receptor (via the constituent chlorine atom) leading to central nervous system depression.

Adverse effects of diazepam include anterograde amnesia (especially at higher doses) and sedation, as well as paradoxical effects such as excitement, rage or worsening of seizures in epileptics. Benzodiazepines also can cause or worsen depression. Long-term effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam include tolerance, benzodiazepine dependence and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome upon dose reduction. After cessation of benzodiazepines, cognitive deficits may persist for at least six months and it was suggested that longer than six months may be needed for recovery from some deficits. Diazepam also has physical dependence potential and can cause serious problems of physical dependence with long term use. Compared to other benzodiazepines, though, physical withdrawal from diazepam following long term use is usually far more mild due to its long elimination half-life. Diazepam is the drug of choice for treating benzodiazepine dependence, with its low potency, long duration of action and the availability of low-dose tablets making it ideal for gradual dose reduction and the circumvention of withdrawal symptoms.

Advantages of diazepam are a rapid onset of action and high efficacy rates, which is important for managing acute seizures, anxiety attacks and panic attacks; benzodiazepines also have a relatively low toxicity in overdose. Diazepam is a core medicine in the World Health Organization’s Essential Drugs List, which list minimum medical needs for a basic health care system. Diazepam, first synthesized by Leo Sternbach,  is used to treat a wide range of conditions, and has been one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the world since its launch in 1963.

Medical uses

Diazepam is mainly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. It is also used as a premedication for inducing sedation, anxiolysis or amnesia before certain medical procedures (e.g., endoscopy).

Intravenous diazepam or lorazepam are first line treatments for status epilepticus; However, lorazepam has advantages over diazepam, including a higher rate of terminating seizures and a more prolonged anticonvulsant effect. Diazepam is rarely used for the long-term treatment of epilepsy because tolerance to its anticonvulsant effects usually develops within six to 12 months of treatment, effectively rendering it useless for that purpose. Diazepam is used for the emergency treatment of eclampsia, when IV magnesium sulfate and blood pressure control measures have failed. Benzodiazepines do not have any pain-relieving properties themselves, and are generally recommended to avoid in individuals with pain.  However, benzodiazepines such as diazepam can be used for their muscle-relaxant properties to alleviate pain caused by muscle spasms and various dystonias, including blepharospasm. Tolerance often develops to the muscle relaxant effects of benzodiazepines such as diazepam. Baclofen or tizanidine is sometimes used as an alternative to diazepam.

The anticonvulsant effects of diazepam can help in the treatment of seizures due to a drug overdose or chemical toxicity as a result of exposure to sarin, VX, soman (or other organophosphate poisons; See #CANA), lindane, chloroquine, physostigmine, or pyrethroids Diazepam is sometimes used intermittently for the prophylaxis of febrile seizures caused by high fever in children and neonates under five years of age.  Long-term use of diazepam for the management of epilepsy is not recommended; however, a subgroup individuals with treatment resistant epilepsy benefit from long-term benzodiazepines and for such individuals clorazepate has been recommended due to its slower onset of tolerance to the anticonvulsant effects.

Diazepam has a broad spectrum of indications (most of which are off-label), including:

  • Treatment of neurovegetative symptoms associated with vertigo
  • Treatment of the symptoms of alcohol, opiate and benzodiazepine withdrawal
  • Short-term treatment of insomnia
  • Treatment of tetanus, together with other measures of intensive treatment
  • Adjunctive treatment of spastic muscular paresis (paraplegia/tetraplegia) caused by cerebral or spinal cord conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injury (long-term treatment is coupled with other rehabilitative measures)
  • Palliative treatment of stiff person syndrome
  • Pre- or postoperative sedation, anxiolysis and/or amnesia (e.g., before endoscopic or surgical procedures)
  • Treatment of complications with a hallucinogen crisis and stimulant overdoses and psychosis, such as LSD, cocaine, or methamphetamine.
  • Prophylactic treatment of oxygen toxicity during hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Dosages should be determined on an individual basis, depending upon the condition being treated, severity of symptoms, patient body weight, and any comorbid conditions the patient may have.[13]

Availability

Diazepam is marketed in over 500 brands throughout the world. It is supplied in oral, injectable, inhalation and rectal forms.

The United States military employs a specialized diazepam preparation known as CANA (Convulsive Antidote, Nerve Agent), which contains diazepam. One CANA kit is typically issued to service members, along with three Mark I NAAK kits, when operating in circumstances where chemical weapons in the form of nerve agents are considered a potential hazard. Both of these kits deliver drugs using autoinjectors. They are intended for use in “buddy aid” or “self aid” administration of the drugs in the field prior to decontamination and delivery of the patient to definitive medical care.

History

Diazepam was the second benzodiazepine invented by Dr. Leo Sternbach of Hoffmann-La Roche at the company’s Nutley, New Jersey, facility following chlordiazepoxide (Librium), which was approved for use in 1960. Released in 1963 as an improved version of Librium, diazepam became incredibly popular, helping Roche to become a pharmaceutical industry giant. It is 2.5 times more potent than its predecessor, which it quickly surpassed in terms of sales. After this initial success, other pharmaceutical companies began to introduce other benzodiazepine derivatives.

The benzodiazepines gained popularity among medical professionals as an improvement upon barbiturates, which have a comparatively narrow therapeutic index, and are far more sedating at therapeutic doses. The benzodiazepines are also far less dangerous; death rarely results from diazepam overdose, except in cases where it is consumed with large amounts of other depressants (such as alcohol or other sedatives). Benzodiazepine drugs such as diazepam initially had widespread public support, but with time the view changed to one of growing criticism and calls for restrictions on their prescription.

Diazepam was the top-selling pharmaceutical in the United States from 1969 to 1982, with peak sales in 1978 2.3 billion tablets. Diazepam, along with oxazepam, nitrazepam and temazepam, represents 82% of the benzodiazepine market in Australia. While psychiatrists continue to prescribe diazepam for the short-term relief of anxiety, neurology has taken the lead in prescribing diazepam for the palliative treatment of certain types of epilepsy and spastic activity, for example, forms of paresis. It is also the first line of defense for a rare disorder called stiff-person syndrome. In recent years, the public perception of benzodiazepines has become increasingly negative.

Recreational use

Diazepam is a drug of potential abuse and can cause serious problems of addiction and as a result is scheduled. Urgent action by national governments has been recommended to improve prescribing patterns of benzodiazepines such as diazepam. A single dose of diazepam modulates the dopamine system in similar ways to how morphine and alcohol modulate the dopaminergic pathways. Between 50 and 64% of rats will self administer diazepam. Benzodiazepines including diazepam in animal studies have been shown to increase reward-seeking behaviours by increasing impulsivity, which may suggest an increased risk of addictive behavioural patterns with usage of diazepam or other benzodiazepines. In addition, diazepam has been shown to be able to substitute for the behavioural effects of barbiturates in a primate study.  Diazepam has been found as an adulterant in heroin.

Diazepam drug misuse can occur either through recreational misuse where the drug is taken to achieve a high or when the drug is continued long term against medical advice.

Sometimes, it is used by stimulant users to “come down” and sleep and to help control the urge to binge.

A large-scale, nationwide study conducted by SAMHSA found benzodiazepines in the USA are the most frequently abused pharmaceutical, with 35% of drug-related visits to the emergency department involving benzodiazepines.

They are more commonly abused than opiate pharmaceuticals, which accounted for 32% of visits to the emergency department. Males abuse benzodiazepines as commonly as females. Of drugs used in attempted suicide, benzodiazepines are the most commonly used pharmaceutical drug, with 26% of attempted suicides involving benzodiazepines. The most commonly abused benzodiazepine is, however, alprazolam. Clonazepam is the second-most-abused benzodiazepine. Lorazepam is the third-most-abused benzodiazepine, and diazepam the fourth-most-abused benzodiazepine in the USA.

Benzodiazepines, including diazepam, nitrazepam, and flunitrazepam, account for the largest volume of forged drug prescriptions in Sweden, a total of 52% of drug forgeries being for benzodiazepines.

Diazepam was detected in 26% of cases of people suspected of driving under the influence of drugs in Sweden, and its active metabolite nordazepam was detected in 28% of cases. Other benzodiazepines and zolpidem and zopiclone also were found in high numbers. Many drivers had blood levels far exceeding the therapeutic dose range, suggesting a high degree of abuse potential for benzodiazepines and zolpidem and zopiclone. In Northern Ireland in cases where drugs were detected in samples from impaired drivers who were not impaired by alcohol, benzodiazepines were found in 87% of cases. Diazepam was the most commonly detected benzodiazepine.

Legal status

Diazepam is regulated in most countries as a prescription drug:

  • International: diazepam is a Schedule IV controlled drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances
  • UK: classified as a controlled drug, listed under Schedule IV, Part I (CD Benz POM) of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, allowing possession with a valid prescription. The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 makes it illegal to possess the drug without a prescription, and for such purposes it is classified as a Class C drug. “List of Controlled Drugs”
  • Germany: classified as a prescription drug, or in high dosage as a restricted drug (Betäubungsmittelgesetz, Anhang III)
Judicial executions

The State of California offers diazepam to condemned inmates as a pre-execution sedative as part of their lethal injection program.

Veterinary uses

Diazepam is used as a short-term sedative and anxiolytic for cats and dogs, sometimes used as an appetite stimulant. It can also be used to stop seizures in dogs and cats.

Letter
Valium Saved My Life
Published: October 5, 2012

To the Editor:

Re “Valium’s Contribution to Our New Normal,” by Robin Marantz Henig (Sunday Review, Sept. 30):

After serving in the Army in Vietnam and suffering from what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder, I found that Librium, and then Valium, definitely saved my life.

Whatever negatives there may be about the use and overuse of Valium, it has saved many lives and improved the quality of millions of lives.

Its positives dramatically outweigh its negatives, and right now, there is really no adequate substitute for the psychoactive drugs.

MICHAEL J. GORMAN
Whitestone, Queens, Sept. 30, 2012