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Frequently Asked Questions

The Answers

  • Is it necessary for me to come to your office, or do you work remotely?
    For individuals living outside of New York and Connecticut, we provide secure video call consultations.
  • Do you accept a fee per service consultation?
    Our programs offers an all-inclusive outpatient benzo taper program that already covers your doctor visits and functional medicine testing. Our comprehensive program includes more services like nutrients, and possible visits with other specialists and coaches. This ensures that all necessary elements are included to help our patients safely and effectively come off benzodiazepines.
  • What is the cost of each program?
    For our consultant program, the cost is $5000 that covers 2 months of doctor's visits and 3 functional medicine testing. The cost for the third and fourth month is $2000 per month. The following months thereafter will cost $1000 per month. For our comprehensive program, the monthly fee will cover everything and will be determined based on the evaluations and additional services required. Many individuals suffer from long-term withdrawal effects, but our unique outpatient program aims to reduce this suffering. We believe that providing intensive services at the start of the taper program is crucial as this is when most people experience discomfort. We strive to offer personalized care from experienced professionals to achieve an optimal life after benzo use. As a person starts to feel better, they may require less support and the costs may decrease accordingly.
  • How often do I see the physician if I enroll in your program?
    Our basic program offers physician support once a month. Our comprehensive program offers physician support as much as you need, particularly during the initial stages of the program.
  • Is it necessary for me to take supplements?
    Supplements can offer several advantages, such as providing essential nutrients that may be lacking in your diet, supporting optimal bodily function, addressing the imbalances in your brain and body,, and enhancing overall well-being.
  • Do you accept insurance?
    Unfortunately, when doctors participate with insurance carriers, they enter into a contract that allows the insurance companies to dictate what services will be supplied, thus limiting the quality of care that we believe you deserve. Insurance-based medicine does not allow us to practice the in-depth, expert model of functional and root cause evaluations. Therefore, we are out-of-network with all insurance plans. We do not correspond directly with insurance companies; time spent interacting with insurance companies will be billed to you.
  • Why do people call it an addiction?
    There continues to be little understanding of the effects of benzos on the body and the brain by the medical profession. Benzos are generally not misused, they are incorrectly prescribed, which is causing physical dependency in many. Very few of those who benzodiazepines have an addiction. The vast majority use the medication as prescribed, yet many have problems coming off the medications. The withdrawal symptoms are due to compensatory changes that happen in the brain due to consistent use of the benzodiazepine. In reality, there is very little abuse of the drug taking place by those prescribed it, they are effectively unwitting victims to their physicians, who have prescribed the medication without informing the patients about unintended consequences of using the medication for more than a few days to weeks.
  • What medication will I need once I’m off benzos?
    In spite of the availability and usefulness of medications for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms, Dr Madhava has discovered many patients are not interested in starting or continuing new medications for an indefinite period of time. She has seen countless patients come off these ‘replacement’ medications before they are healed and in some cases, spiral into a whole realm of new health issues soon after. We focus on supplements and functional medicine practices to achieve your goals.
  • Why did my doctor not know I would become dependent?
    There continues to be little understanding of the effects of the drug on the body and the brain by the medical profession. While there are some people who find benzos helpful for treating anxiety or insomnia, they should not be prescribed for more than a few weeks. About 20-40% of those who have used benzodiazepines consistently may have many different symptoms while tapering off or even while they are taking it as prescribed. This is because of adaptive changes n the brain.
  • What is functional medicine?
    Functional medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of illness. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s health issues. Our research has taught us that brain imbalances are manifestations of foundational disturbances in the body. Functional medicine practitioners focus on restoring imbalances by looking at the fundamental physiologic imbalances and strengthening the foundational lifestyle factors: sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress levels, relationships, and genetics.
  • I’ve tried to taper off benzodiazepines before, why didn’t it work?
    The Ashton Manual, the "bible" of benzo withdrawal, recommends a long, slow, patient-guided taper for the best chance of success. This can vary from a few months to several years. Many have been ill-advised by the medical establishment and have tapered too quickly for their physiology and have run into trouble tapering. Our program ensures patient’s stability before tapering and provides continued multi-modal support throughout the taper, and beyond to the end of their journey, towards an optimal life.
  • How long will it take to taper?
    As a very rough guide, a person taking 40mg a day might be able to reduce the daily dosage by 1-2mg every 1-2 weeks until a dose of 20mg a day is reached. This would take 20-40 weeks. From 20mg diazepam a day, reductions of 1mg in daily dosage every week or two might be preferable. This would take a further 20-40 weeks, so the total withdrawal might last 40-80 weeks. Yet some people might prefer to reduce faster, and some might go even slower. However, the rate of your taper will be unique to you and your needs, and can be modified at any time if necessary according to your life circumstances. We will work together to ensure your comfort and confidence throughout.
  • Why won’t a detox treatment center work?
    In inpatient detox/rehab centers benzodiazepine tapers are treated under the addiction model, which often means patients are tapered off too rapidly and often cause a lot of problems to the patient. Because of these new symptoms caused by too rapid a taper, patients are given additional medications, which further exacerbate the situation. Anything other than a long, slow, patient-guided taper presents a risk of severe withdrawal (seizures, psychosis, an agonizing movement disorder called akathisia, and suicidal thoughts) and other protracted withdrawal syndromes. In fact, there are very few doctors offering long-term outpatient support who understand the issues with benzodiazepines and their effects on the brain and body.
  • Do I need to switch benzodiazepine to taper?
    We can taper with the currently prescribed benzodiazepine or if you prefer, from a change to a long-acting medication such as Diazepam (Valium), Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), or Clonazepam (Klonopin). Specifically, it is felt that most people taking Alprazolam (Zanax) will benefit from switching to Diazepam.
  • What if I want in-patient treatment?
    Benzodiazepine tapering should be done as an outpatient as this should be done as a slow taper over a long period of time for the best chance of success.
  • What makes testing significant in your program?
    To facilitate your tapering journey, we perform thorough functional medicine testing to gain a better understanding of the state of your body's ecosystem, which enables us to pinpoint and address any imbalances.

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