Benzodiazepines; Help, Hope, & Healing – A Peer Training Program

Sponsor: NH Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors Association

PRESENTATION:  Benzodiazepines, often referred to as “benzos,” are a class of psychoactive drugs commonly prescribed for various health conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and seizure disorders. While these medications can provide therapeutic benefits, they also come with a range of potential side effects and risks, including physical dependence and addiction.

Using nationally recognized best practices for Peer Support, this two-day, 12-hour NAADAC & COPA approved training is designed to build on existing peer services through a comprehensive training program designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the effects of benzodiazepines taken as prescribed or illicitly, and support those who may be experiencing adverse effects from them. Whether you are a peer, friend, family member, or healthcare professional, this course will provide you with cutting edge knowledge and tools to offer help reduce harm while providing informed assistance to those suffering from the effects of benzodiazepines. By the end of this course, participants will be better prepared to offer non-judgmental assistance to individuals taking prescription withdrawing/tapering from benzodiazepines as prescribed or illicit use), potential harm, and promote overall well-being within their communities.

This training program combines interactive presentations, group discussions, case studies, and practical exercises to ensure that participants develop a comprehensive understanding of benzodiazepines and the ability to provide meaningful peer support. Please note that this course does not qualify participants to diagnose or treat medical conditions but aims to provide information and support for those affected by benzodiazepine use. This course is for peer support, counselors, family members, caregivers, nurses or clinicians, or anyone who works with individuals who took or are taking Benzodiazepines.

Following this training, participants will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of what benzodiazepines are, their common brand and generic names, and the various medical conditions they are prescribed for;
  2. Define and explain the concepts of physical dependence versus addiction (substance use disorder) and the signs and symptoms associated with each;
  3. Explain Benzodiazepine-induced Neurological Dysfunction (BIND); the short and long-term effects of benzodiazepine use, symptoms, stages, and challenges with discontinuation;
  4. List at least 3 skills and strategies for recognizing and addressing suicidal ideation in individuals withdrawing, tapering, and taking prescription benzodiazepines as prescribed, including crisis intervention and prevention techniques;
  5. Identify the bio-psychosocial, societal, and systemic barriers and stigmas associated with benzodiazepine and the barriers that prevent people from healing;
  6. Explain at least 3 of the challenges of benzodiazepine withdrawal and the importance of safe tapering methods;
  7. List effective tools and strategies that peer supporting, friends or caregivers can provide support to those experiencing adverse life effects from taking prescription benzodiazepines; and
  8. Identify at least 3 community resources and services available to help individuals struggling with benzodiazepine use, including treatment options and support groups.


Ginger Ross, BA, CRSW, NCPRSS, Hampton, NH. Ginger is the founder & CEO of NH Recovery Coach Academy & Choices Recovery Training. Ginger has worked in the peer recovery field since 2015 and is a grassroots pioneer in developing the movement in NH. She is recognized nationally for her passion, expertise, and leadership in the peer recovery coach profession. She has her BA in Psychology, holds the state CRSW credential and the national NCRPSS credential. Ginger’s passion is to educate community partners around SUD and recovery to improve social justice.

D E Foster is the founder of the support site Easing Anxiety, host of The Benzo Free Podcast, and Co-Chair of the Benzodiazepine Action Work Group at the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. He is also an active member of multiple research teams and a global advocate for benzodiazepine awareness, education, and support. In 2002, D was prescribed clonazepam (Klonopin) by his primary care physician, and he took the medication for 12 years without warning. His withdrawal experience was extreme and became the foundation for his book Benzo Free: The World of Anti-Anxiety Drugs and the reality of Withdrawal.

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Multi-day Event