“I didn’t think for one minute I was going to get hooked on them. Not for one minute…
… I was working night shifts, and my sleep during the day got worse and worse. I was prescribed sleeping tablets on about two or three occasions, and they only gave me about 10 at a time, saying ‘try not to take them every day’ – but they worked for me, they really did. And I ended up buying them off the internet. Before I knew it I was taking 70 – maybe 80 mg a day….
… and I found I was getting a little bit of a buzz off them just before I went to sleep … some weekends if I combined it with a bottle of wine it heightened the effect and I would just lose the whole weekend. I’d black out. I was ordering stuff off the internet, having it arrive 2 or 3 days later, not even remembering that I’d ordered it.
I thought ‘this is becoming a problem now’ – when I started forgetting things … it started affecting my work … I was questioning what I was doing at work even though I knew the job off by heart. It wasn’t an illegal drug, it was prescribed. I used to think ‘well, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke – this is my thing. This is my ‘bottle of wine’’
I’d already seen various different doctors within my practice – I told them I was buying them off the internet, and they just told me to drop one a week – there was no support. I found out later that if I had dropped one a week I could have had a seizure, I was on such a large dose and the doctors really didn’t know anything – until my sister phoned the practice and booked me in with a doctor who was quite knowledgeable on drug addiction. I told this doctor what was going on, and she referred me to DHI (which is Developing health and Independence) and as a result of that I got referred onto Postscript360.
The Practitioner’s advice at Postscript360 was tailored to what I was taking. Even the doctor was asking me what the Postscript practitioner thought! Or, say, if I was making a cut ‘does Postscript say that’s OK?’ so the doctor was really relying on everything Postscript said. If my practitioner said it was time to make a cut, I’d tell my family and they’d bring me over 6 tablets instead of 7. And we did that in three-weekly increments. Regularly making small cuts.
I wanted to get off them before I went to work, because I’ve been off work a long time – and they’ve been really good with me, and patient, so I needed to do my bit and go back to work drug-free. That was my ultimate aim, and my ultimate goal – and I have achieved it. I have.
‘I had tried so many times to reduce my benzo use and failed, my GP suggested I contact PostScript360, he said that this charity is different and gets results. I thought here we go again, but my GP was right, PostScript360’s Therapy 300 is different, I have learnt so many new things. I actually enjoyed the group sessions, none of this ‘my name is, I have been taking blah, blah, blah’ and sitting around doing nothing. The sessions were informative, I learnt to draw myself and to be around people again. At one of the sessions, a Charity worker from a Dogs Rescue came to give a talk about volunteering for them. You learn about the new you, not the old one and I quite like myself now. This was the first time I had taken control of my diazepam; it’s was hard but PostScript360 has supported me all the way, giving me the strength to carry on, they we honest with me saying that it is going to be hard but it was so worth it. I have a newfound confidence thanks to PostScript360; I have been free of my dependence for two months, I am volunteering at the Dogs Home, dog walking 4 times a week and I love it’.
Claire – Bristol
After a long talk with my partner who was about to leave me, I knew I needed help. I spent a few months trying to cut my use again, but with no success, I searched online for local drug support organisations and found Bristol Drugs Project. I spent hours anxiously going over in my head what I would say, whoever I spoke to on the phone was very helpful and understanding. They told me they don’t have services to help with benzodiazepine use directly and signposted me to PostScript360 who have been helping me ever since.
They drew up a reduction plan for me to give to my GP and liaised with them on my behalf, the counsellor made it clear that I shouldn’t feel pressured to make any cuts to my dose until I am ready, that I was the one in control of my medication. I’ve been attending all my group sessions with PostScript360 every week, confronting my demons… Some days, I just feel blank and empty inside, other days it’s like having a head full of bees – but now, I know it’s the withdrawal.
With the support group therapy, it’s always very liberating to let it out, simply knowing that I have a safe space with other people going through the same, makes the process easier. I have learnt so much about myself, removing triggers and making positive choices. I have nothing but infinite gratitude towards PostScript360 they treat me with respect. They give me strength, and strength is a rare resource to find in the depths of withdrawal.
I’ve kept reducing my use with the help of PostScript360, unbelievably my girlfriend is still by myside and I’ve even come clean to my friends and family’. Thank you PostScript360.
Daniel – South Gloucestershire.
Training feedback from group sessions
“I was most impressed when you came and spoke to the Clinical Psychologists at the Coast Resource Centre a couple of months’ ago and I feel that our multidisciplinary team would really benefit from having the same talk. Your session was very informative and thought provoking – I believe that it really changed our thinking about the effects of, and withdrawal from, taking tranquillisers. For my part, it has made me question how readily our services prescribe these medications without always talking through the full implications with service users. We have many training and educational sessions, but I do feel that your training is one which I will remember and will inform many future discussions on the subject.”
Dr Suzanne Davis, Clinical Psychologist (North Somerset Liaison and Later Life Therapies)