Jordan Peterson Was Not “Addicted to Benzos”

In late 2019, Jordan Peterson went on an extended absence from public life. In a series of videos on his and his daughter Mikhaila Peterson’s YouTube channels (1, 2, 3, 4), it eventually became clear that he was suffering side effects from taking benzodiazepine medications (commonly known as “benzos”).

Despite the extreme detail the videos went into, the press reported these events in an incorrect and misleading manner. The most common headline and talking point became that Jordan Peterson was “addicted to benzos.” The reports later embellish this claim by declaring that Peterson was taking benzodiazepines to treat his anxiety.

Peterson was never “addicted” to benzos. He developed a physical dependency to them. There is a difference between these terms.

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