How to Stay Well | Prevention Resource Center

Are There Safe Alternatives to Addictive Psychiatric Drugs?

The Church of Scientology Silicon Valley hosted a forum to inform the community of studies showing the risk of benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs) and to present holistic alternatives.

News of a benzodiazepine overdose crisis prompted a community open house at the Church of Scientology Silicon Valley in Mountain View, California. As these drugs are frequently prescribed for stress and anxiety, the news is particularly pertinent in Silicon Valley where, according to Business Insider, a recent survey found “more than half (57.16%) of tech employees surveyed said they were feeling burnt out by their jobs.”

A study published January 25 by the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals an overdose epidemic caused by a dramatic escalation in the use of benzodiazepines. From 2003 to 2015 annual overdose deaths from these drugs in the U.S. increased 800 percent—from 1,298 to 10,684.

In addition to the danger of overdose, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warns that:

  • “Tolerance, in which more and more drug is needed to produce the usual effects, can develop rapidly, and psychological dependence occurs”
  • “Chronic, high-dose use is frequently associated with agitation, hostility, panic, aggression, and suicidal or homicidal tendencies. Paranoia, sometimes accompanied by both auditory and visual hallucinations, may also occur.”

The local chapter of Citizens Commission on Human Rights organized the forum at the Church of Scientology to alert the community to this crisis and some of the dangerous effects of these drugs. Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States have issued 27 warnings on the harmful effects of benzodiazepines. These effects include:

  • Impaired driving or sleep-driving
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicide risk or attempts
  • Abnormal bleeding

CCHR arranged for Dr. Vikki Petersen, founder and executive director of Root Cause Medical Clinic, to brief the community on healthy alternatives to the use of benzodiazepines. In her presentation, Dr. Petersen stressed that by locating underlying physical and nutritional problems, natural remedies can be found to address anxiety or depression.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights is a nonprofit charitable mental health watchdog cofounded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and professor of psychiatry Dr. Thomas Szasz. It is dedicated to eradicating psychiatric abuse and ensuring patient protection.

With headquarters in Los Angeles, California, CCHR International guides a global human rights advocacy network of some 180 chapters across 34 nations. CCHR Commissioners include physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, lawyers, legislators, government officials, educators and civil rights representatives.

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

Church of Scientology Media Relations
(323) 960-3500 phone
(323) 960-3508 fax