The New York Post reports that Canadian clinical psychologist and author Jordan Peterson has checked into rehab following his wife’s cancer diagnosis. He is reportedly seeking help to get off the anti-anxiety drug clonazepam, brand name Klonopin, which he began taking to cope with his wife’s cancer battle amid other health problems.
Although Peterson tried to quit the drug cold-turkey after his wife recovered miraculously from kidney surgery complications, his daughter, Mikhaila, claims that the horrific physical withdrawal — which is notoriously dangerous and can lead to seizures and even death — was too much to handle on his own.
“He decided to check himself into a place because he didn’t want to stress mom out, wanted to get off of this as quickly as possible, and honestly needs the medical help,” Mikhaila said.
She claims that the process has been miserable and she has never seen her dad in such a state.
Peterson gained international fame when he refused to use transgender people’s preferred pronouns — which led to a great deal of backlash from the left — citing concerns over the disintegration of free speech and the dangers of such a process. He has also been open about his struggles with depression. During an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, Peterson revealed that one of the things that helped him the most in his struggle was his controversial meat-only diet.
“I’m better now probably than I’ve ever been in my life, and I haven’t been taking anti-depressants for a whole year.”
— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) August 28, 2019
Although benzodiazepines like Klonopin and Xanax are not meant for long-term use, they are often overprescribed and used in such a manner despite their dangers. NBC News reports that many patients are prescribed the notoriously addictive drugs without being aware of their addictive potential and the potential horrors of withdrawal.
“I don’t remember getting any warnings from doctors as far as addiction or dependence,” said Christy Huff, a cardiologist, who was prescribed Xanax for sleep troubles stemming from an eye problem. “I was completely shocked at how sick I was.”
According to Dr. Anna Lembke, chief of addiction medicine at Stanford University Medical Center, medical students, residents and even doctors in practice often don’t recognize the addictive potential of benzodiazpeines. She claims that the level of awareness growing around opioids is not seen around benzodiazepines, despite the fact that people are dying from them.
Lembke claims that benzos are very effective for anxiety and sleeplessness on a short-term basis, which is why patients respond to them so fast, and doctors are so quick to prescribe them.