Death Grip: A Climber’s Escape from Benzo Madness

Matt Samet. St. Martin’s, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-00423-9
Samet (Climbing Dictionary), a former editor-in-chief of Climbing magazine and an accomplished rock climber, unsparingly recounts his addiction to and withdrawal from benzodiazepines or “benzos”—the family of fast-acting minor tranquilizers that includes Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin. Samet describes how regularly pursuing the high-altitude sport in his teens provided him with an “almost transcendental peace” that “stood in stark juxtaposition to all the urban and childhood anguish” in his loving but less-than-stable family life. But this peace is soon disrupted by a series of panic attacks that produce in him “a terror like no other... my heart slamming... hands shaking violently.” Samet details each step in his long search to conquer his panic through psychopharmacology, which leads to addiction, “ferocious” withdrawals, misdiagnoses, overmedication, and hospitalization. Samet is no fan of the way “Big Pharma” encourages “drug-mongering” by psychiatrists to patients like him. But Samet’s admission of complicity in his drug problems—including “gobbling Valium like Tic-Tacs” while having an “on-and-off love” affair with marijuana, wine, and Vicodin—actually supports his belief that “benzo” users don’t always realize how dangerously addictive the pills can be. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/10/2012
Release date: 02/12/2013
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 302 pages - 978-1-250-04328-3
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-250-02236-3
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.