Welcome! You've arrived at Part 2 of TWP’s Companion Guide to Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal.
In Taper, you will:
- get informed about the drugs you take,
- determine whether the medications you’re planning to reduce or come off are in a ‘taper-friendly’ form,
- learn about risky interactions, reactions and sensitivities that can happen during withdrawal,
- review the taper rates, schedules, and methods commonly used in the layperson withdrawal community,
- walk through the various decisions, gear, and skills needed for your chosen taper method, and
- get a sense of how laypeople typically implement their taper methods.
Before starting in, please take a moment to run through the list below to ensure you’ve taken all the measures needed to prepare for the safest and most responsible taper possible. If you discover you’ve missed any of these steps, it’s important to return to the relevant section:
- You have generally educated yourself about what’s known regarding the safety and efficacy of the different classes of drugs that you take by consulting independent resources such as Inner Compass Initiative’s Learn/Unlearn section.
- You have worked through Part 1 of TWP’s Companion Guide to Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal- Prepare where you reviewed what’s currently known about psychiatric drug dependence, tolerance and withdrawal, and explored making changes to various aspects of your personal, practical and social circumstances to enhance the likelihood of having the safest, smoothest taper possible.
- You have weighed the possible risks, benefits, pros and cons of reducing, fully coming off, or staying on your psychiatric medications and have decided that the time is right for you to take action or at least to learn more about exactly what tapering involves.
- You have considered joining TWP Connect in order to get other kinds of information, insight and support that you might need from others who have walked or are walking the withdrawal path.
- If you discover you’ve missed any of the above steps, we strongly encourage you to circle back to them. Without effectively educating and preparing yourself for your taper, you dramatically reduce the odds that your withdrawal journey will go as safely, smoothly, and successfully as possible. Remember:
What many of us in the layperson withdrawal community have found is that the more time a person invests into careful and intentional preparation in advance of a taper, the sooner they are likely to successfully get off, heal from, and stay off psychiatric drugs.
CAUTION: Most of the information in this Taper guide is anecdotal knowledge that has been collected and reported by laypeople and is being shared for educational purposes; it is not and should not be taken to be medical advice, nor should it be taken as advice that you or anyone should come off medications. It can be very risky to reduce or stop any psychiatric drug, and it can be especially dangerous and potentially life-threatening when done rapidly. Any reductions to psychiatric drug dosages should involve careful preparation and are best made in collaboration with a prescriber who is well-informed about a wide range of risk-minimizing approaches to psychiatric drug tapering.
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