May 18, 2021
Hosted by Dr. Patricia Halligan

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Cardiologist Dr. Christy Huff and Physician Assistant Nicole Lamberson tell how they both survived Xanax and are healing from years of a severe, debilitating protracted withdrawal syndrome. One was prescribed Xanax for insomnia and the other for work-related stress. Despite taking their medication as prescribed, they developed worsening rebound anxiety, crippling side effects, tolerance and inter-dose withdrawal. It took Dr. Huff years to wean off benzodiazepines and Nicole was rapidly withdrawn in a "detox" facility. In the process, both became completely incapacitated and no longer able to function or work. These medical professionals experienced first-hand the medical community’s total lack of awareness around benzodiazepine physical dependence and severe, protracted withdrawal. We discuss the harmful effects of long term benzodiazepine prescriptions and offer guidance and compassion to people wanting to taper their medication safely and effectively. Dr. Huff weighs in on the recently updated Black Box Warning for benzodiazepines and shares her thoughts on what’s missing. While enduring a long healing process, both dedicate their time and energy to promoting awareness and education about the harms of benzodiazepines and the need for long, slow, patient-led tapers.


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RECOVERY: THE HERO’S JOURNEY provides best practice information and support to people struggling with Substance Use Disorders/Process Addictions and Prescription Drug Dependence. We confront the stigma surrounding Opioid Use Disorder and Benzodiazepine Dependence, understanding that both are the direct result of an overprescribing epidemic. We discuss Buprenorphine, a first line, long term treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. We validate people struggling with Benzodiazepine Dependence (ie-Xanax/Klonopin), and offer resources and a recovery plan.

Experts explore Eating Disorders, Sex Addiction, PTSD, and the effects of today’s Cannabis on teens and young adults, offering guidance and resources to individuals struggling with these issues and their families. This podcast gracefully combines interviews with experts in the field and patient stories of recovery and redemption. The show is about connection, reclaiming personal integrity and hope.

Dr. Patricia Halligan

Dr. Patricia Halligan is an Addiction Psychiatrist, who specializes in the treatment of patients diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders, Prescription Drug Dependency and Process Addictions. She completed a residency in Psychiatry at Cornell-The New York Hospital, followed by a Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1998. Dr. Halligan is double board certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry and is a trained CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist). Believing in the healing power of connection, she trained at the Center for Group Studies in NYC and runs modern analytic group therapy for people in recovery.

Dr. Halligan has been prescribing Buprenorphine in her private practice since 2003 and continues to be a strong advocate for patients with Opioid Use Disorder throughout the Opioid Epidemic. She has spent the last two decades in the trenches of two tragic epidemics caused by the overprescribing of both Opioids and Benzodiazepines.

Aware that the lack of addiction training in medicine has largely contributed to both epidemics, she has resolved to devote some time to teaching. She creates CME accredited addiction education videos and training workshops for health care providers. Dr. Halligan decided to create this show to support people who are taking the hero’s journey into recovery and their families. You’ll hear interviews with experts surrounding best practices, and embrace the elimination of stigma.

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