It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Addiction & Recovery Message Board


Addiction & Recovery Board Index


[QUOTE=mouse62]I am on my first day completely Xanax free and am wondering what I can look for in terms of withdrawals. For the past month I've been taking just a crumb of a pill every morning, definitely less than a quarter of a .5, so I'll guess a .1.

On another note, I see disagreements about withdrawals and severity. When I was in a treatment center 10 years ago, someone who was addicted to crack/cocaine said that he was tired of how all of the heroin/methadone addicts would whine and complain for the first few days of withdrawal, because HE didn't whine and complain. He had never done opiates. I have done BOTH so I know the difference -- with coke, you don't really get a physical withdrawal, you just might feel terrible for psychological reasons. This man could not grasp the concept that when someone is opiate dependent and the drug is taken away, the body goes into a true flu-like sickness that can be very severe and take 3-4 days before it lightens up. He kept saying, so what, you get sick when you quit coke, too. I just gave up![/QUOTE]

I read that Stevie Nicks once said, in terms of withdrawal, that cocaine withdrawal was a cake-walk compared to Klonopin(another benzo like Xanax), so that guy really has no idea what he was talking about like you said!

Benzo withdrawals can be one of the worse withdrawal syndromes but since there are different factors one can not know for sure how severe. Benzo Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome is one of the longest known, lasting for several years although the severity of it gets weaker and weaker during that time.

The good news is, most people who taper down to very small amounts and stay there like you did for awhile usually don't have such a tough time. Such a precise taper does not guarentee no withdrawals or minor withdrawals, but odds are you will probably not have a really hard time. I think you were wise to do what you did.

But any "symptoms" you have even months down the line could be withdrawal-related. It's like the brain heals from the benzo use unevenly, so things may stir up just when you think it's ok.....like being on a rollercoaster. You can be just fine then have a day of distress out of the blue.

So many docs assume a new or returning "condition" is to blame for such an event. They feel once the drug is gone out of the body(aka technical definition of "withdrawal") then there should be no problems. They only look at the drugs' exit from the body, not the fact that the brain needs some time to recover normal function without the drug.

Don't worry too much, sounds like you did a good taper off. You may have only slight withdrawals or none at all. You might have something pop up suddenly and leave. Your odds are very good.
Just to make things confusing I'll comment. I was on massive doses of benzos, did 4 days in a psych unit, went to treatment, and was in good shape 3 weeks later. During those 3 weeks I was recovering from the Lithium and Zyprexa they gave me in the nuthouse. I had no bad symptoms....some night sweats and that is about it. From what I understand.....dope addicts(those who've been through the ringer with other dope) have an easier time with benzo withdrawal problems. For me opiates were much, much worse....hell in fact. In comparison benzos were pretty easy. But hey, everybody's different when it comes to withdrawal. Just be glad you are a veteran dope fiend.......never thought you'd hear that, eh?

good luck
[QUOTE=windysan]Just to make things confusing I'll comment. I was on massive doses of benzos, did 4 days in a psych unit, went to treatment, and was in good shape 3 weeks later. During those 3 weeks I was recovering from the Lithium and Zyprexa they gave me in the nuthouse. I had no bad symptoms....some night sweats and that is about it. From what I understand.....dope addicts(those who've been through the ringer with other dope) have an easier time with benzo withdrawal problems. For me opiates were much, much worse....hell in fact. In comparison benzos were pretty easy. But hey, everybody's different when it comes to withdrawal. Just be glad you are a veteran dope fiend.......never thought you'd hear that, eh?

good luck[/QUOTE]

This could be true, what you said about addicts having easier time withdrawing the benzos. I had a horrible time getting off benzos and had the lovely protracted version. I don't drink, smoke, and have never had the experience of even one pot smoke much less do drugs. Yeh, I know, I'm boring- boring -boring. :yawn:
[QUOTE=doggreensector]I think that grey got it right that everyone thinks that their drug of choice is the worst. The wd's from opiates are nothing compared to benzos. Although from what I have read that the wd's from benzos can be more dangerous.

I think if you look hard and long enough you will find some person out there swearing up and down that this drug or that drug is the hardest to get off of and has the worst withdrawals. I have heard this about cigarettes. I have heard that people who are addicted to alcohol and get the dt's have it the worst with the hallucinations and delusions.

Why the need to prove "my drug is worst then yours?" I think they all suck.

Keith[/QUOTE]

"A drug is a drug is a drug." Rehab, lingo, accept all comers with insurance. I`ll challenge that thesis. What people claim is not relevent, what is true is the concern. Yea, an alcoholic may go through hell for 5 days, herion junkie about a week, cocaine, a few days. Benzo addicts, typically around 3 months according to a broad study of 300 patients. And the symptoms wax and wane, come and go, which is particularly annoying. We cannot go to detox and be eating like horses and playing volleyball after 5 days. Not only that, we wasted our money. And this is the tragedy, ignorant doctors put people coming off of street drugs on benzos! As was noted, Stevie Knicks was put on Klonopin to ease her cocaine withdrawal. They kept prescribing, she got hooked. As to withdrawals, cocaine in comparsion was a kitten. She will tell you. And is why I am here, to warn about the benzos that are so quickly prescribed and touted as safe.
[QUOTE=mise ata ann]Howard
Just wanted to encourage you. I took 8 months to come off 2 mg ativan (20 mg valium). I believe Ashton too to be the authorative word on the subject. I understand that Jennita had prolonged symptoms post withdrawal? Well - after I took my final .5mg of valium - I did take a while longer to feel "up and running". The 3 months as stated by Ashton is prob about right I guess. My worst symptoms post taper were insomnia & lethargy -took 3 - 6 months for them to work themselves out. But, Howard, I think you really hit a chord when you talked of benzo withdrawal compared to say drink/opiates. People seem to do withdrawal time and time again with drink and with opiates? But I dont know of anyone (altho there must be some) who ever did more than one benzo taper. It is sooooooooo long and arduous that it would really take some forgetting? I cannot imagine (touch wood!) myself ever again being there. But, in here, time and time again you hear people talking of tapering off opiates again. It doesnt seem to matter how much you try to explain and warn about benzos - people have closed ears. Having talked at length about benzos and taking as prescribed as medication by the doctor and becoming addicted thro no fault of our own and certainly not by abusing - a poster above yet again says that he has never abused benzos! Its like talking to a brick wall!
Jennita and Howard - well done you two. Are we the only 3 in the world to successfully taper benzos?
Rosie - I know you are trying to slowly come off your K - take care and persevere and listen to Howard. (and Jennita) He is living the "hell" I have so often (obviously unsuccessfully) tried to warn of. But Rosie - maybe you are already there. Hope so and look forward to hearing how you are!
Love
Mise[/QUOTE]

Hi! Yeh, I had the protracted version of withdrawal. Even at over 3 years off, I still have some sleep difficulties and those countless vivid dreams(the sign the brain is still healing) still rage on but now I do get enough sleep to feel like a human again, thank goodness but it did take 2 years off pills to finally get to that point.

I think it was mainly because I was a complainer at the doctor's office. I wouldn't just sit and say all is ok when all wasn't ok; so they did alot of drug-switching, although most of them were different benzos. My list of drugs included restorial, ativan, klonopin,Ambien, Sonata, Serzone(around 5 wks) all within 8 months. I'd be on one, them another. I even took Paxil for 2 days but I threw up too much. The Serzone caused the same thing after a few weeks so I had to stop that one. I'm not one to throw up alot even when having a virus, so it was quite unusual. The one I took the longest was Ativan.

So I do attribute the drug switching and then a fairly short taper off the last one, Ativan, to my protracted withdrawals....if only I had even heard of Ashton back then!!! I didn't know; the only thing I did know was I had to take at least a few weeks to avoid seizures from cold turkey. I tapered without telling my doctor, who was all ready to keep me on ATivan for life, despite the fact it had literally stopped working.....I could swallow a 2 mg. Ativan pill and still be bright awake all night. He said I wasn't addicted! Well, tolerance is a sure sign of that....he had to know or really be sucked up into the whole abuse-in-order-to-become-addicted thing....durrrrrr.
[QUOTE=mise ata ann]Jennita
I am so so sorry to hear of your experience and those awful protracted symptoms. Your medical experience is not all that unusual. How often do you hear people in here talking about the most amazing cocktails of drugs that they are on? If one doesnt work - bang in another? Why do doctors do that? Is it negligence? stupidity? or just profit motive? Some people go from xanax to klonopin to ambien and sometimes take 2 out of the 3 ..................... going straight to hell in my books.
Glad to hear that you are getting there. But your post is just what is needed. I really doubt that people really do know that symptoms can last for years........... but I'm so sorry its you that had to put it up! My battle too was with ativan - and like you 2 mg finally did nothing for me - so I stopped - HUGE MISTAKE - anyway - on day 3 off I found Ashton - thank God - and you know the rest.......... I consider myself very very fortunate as I think Howard is too.
Congratulations to you both - it really is a huge thing to get to grips with and to beat?
No patience - yes - you make sure you ask the doc all the relevant questions and when you are ready to come off - ask for his proposals for your taper? Then you will know if you are dealing with a doctor who knows or not.
I am sure Howard and Jennita have both pointed you towards Ashton - but DO READ IT. Print if off and read and read. If you taper as she suggests you won't fail. It isnt easy - but its doable. Wish you all the best.
Mise[/QUOTE]

Yes, I do hesitate to post how long it took me just to get decent sleep and that I still am not back to the way I slept before the drugs, because I don't want to upset or scare anyone into giving up. I remember how at first I was scared when one woman wrote me saying although she started sleeping again after 2 years off, it took her another 3 years for it to return to completely normal. But you know, you are right about it's best to know it can last that long.....I believe that knowledge can keep a person from believing the lie that something is indeed wrong with them and drugs are not to blame. So, I knew that when my sleep was still bad after one year, it wasn't me. Although there were setbacks and irregularities in my withdrawal(the benzo rollercoaster), I notice an upward improvement in my sleep overall. I am still improving, my low days aren't as low as even a few months ago, and I have more and more full nights of sleep!

I think this is also important information to know because it proves the healing does not have a stopping point; it continues. In other words, if I had thought there would be no more healing after a certain point, say 1 year, I might have been convinced I needed some magic bullet drug or something to be able to sleep normal.

But I am living proof that the healing continues past any pre-conceived notions about how long recovery takes! I think this is important for benzo users to know so they don't give up at the time when they or their doctor "think" enough time has passed to see any more improvents.

My husband keeps a sleep log and graph on my sleep progress he started since my getting off the drugs....and it is amazing how the graph has been climbing and evening out! He's got an accurate record of my slow but steady progress. I even amazed me one day when he wanted to show me the difference from even six months ago.

I do think his idea was good concerning keeping a log of my progress on his computer. It shows my sleep increases like a graph would show something like stock prices rising and falling. Only my stock hasn't gone down!......I guess I'm a good investment... :D :D :D :p

Hey, congrats are in order for you too, misa!! :)
Jennita and Mise,

I am grateful for and glad you are interested. Let me fill in some gaps so you can understand better and perhaps offer more suggestions. I already know what they would tell me on the big benzo board, "the only way out is through," "do not take any other meds or herbs, vitamins, etc," "there is no magic wand."

1. I am at 12.5 mgs V, down from 25 mgs 4 months ago. I have not cut in 26 days, have never really felt stable here. Word is that if you wait longer than 4 weeks to cut you`ll get more symptoms. I have 2 mg tabs, feel I need to cut at least .5 mgs asap.

2. I smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, sometime a little more, of course docs suggest not quitting during withdrawal. I do drink soda with sugar in it, but not vast amounts.

3. BP flirts with dangerous levels, 160/100 range. My BP is only what is considered "normal," 120/80 range, after I have taken my larger nightly Valium dose. It really gets better if I take a couple of Benadryl for sleep right after. That is at home. I have no idea how high the BP goes during stressful times on my feet. I have felt dizzy. Heart rates in the range of 100 to 120 have not been uncommon. I am not having states that I would consider "panic."

4. Every time I see my doc he wants to put me on an AD. He says they have helped other patients he has tapered off of benzos. I did fill a script for trazadone. Took only one, bad dry mouth, no sedation to speak of. I have beta blockers, metaphoral. Do not like the side effects, shortness of breathe (common and listed), tight chest, and general wierd feeling. Have taken two. I have slow release that could be taken daily, or instant release that can be taken as needed. They do lower pulse rate and BP, will hand them that.

The tea you speak of, Chamoline, must you go to a heath food store to get it?

Kayleigh, thank you for caring, and I am praying for you.
[QUOTE=howard678]Jennita and Mise,

I am grateful for and glad you are interested. Let me fill in some gaps so you can understand better and perhaps offer more suggestions. I already know what they would tell me on the big benzo board, "the only way out is through," "do not take any other meds or herbs, vitamins, etc," "there is no magic wand."

1. I am at 12.5 mgs V, down from 25 mgs 4 months ago. I have not cut in 26 days, have never really felt stable here. Word is that if you wait longer than 4 weeks to cut you`ll get more symptoms. I have 2 mg tabs, feel I need to cut at least .5 mgs asap.

2. I smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, sometime a little more, of course docs suggest not quitting during withdrawal. I do drink soda with sugar in it, but not vast amounts.

3. BP flirts with dangerous levels, 160/100 range. My BP is only what is considered "normal," 120/80 range, after I have taken my larger nightly Valium dose. It really gets better if I take a couple of Benadryl for sleep right after. That is at home. I have no idea how high the BP goes during stressful times on my feet. I have felt dizzy. Heart rates in the range of 100 to 120 have not been uncommon. I am not having states that I would consider "panic."

4. Every time I see my doc he wants to put me on an AD. He says they have helped other patients he has tapered off of benzos. I did fill a script for trazadone. Took only one, bad dry mouth, no sedation to speak of. I have beta blockers, metaphoral. Do not like the side effects, shortness of breathe (common and listed), tight chest, and general wierd feeling. Have taken two. I have slow release that could be taken daily, or instant release that can be taken as needed. They do lower pulse rate and BP, will hand them that.

The tea you speak of, Chamoline, must you go to a heath food store to get it?

Kayleigh, thank you for caring, and I am praying for you.[/QUOTE]
praying for you to howard kelleigh
[QUOTE=howard678]Jennita,

I think I agree that smoking is making this worse though I know a smoker that is tapering down and saling right through. You suggest smoking one less cigarette a day. That amounts to quitting over about three weeks. Ashton says for smokers not to concern themselves with quitting until off the benzos, but as I have said before, she is not God. I am left to wonder if quitting over 3 weeks would be a plus that would outweigh the minuses. Your opinion would be valued. Meanwhile I will do more research on tapering off of tobacco and the potential withdrawal effects if done in a slow manner.

Kayleigh,

I answered you on the other thread.[/QUOTE]

howard, sorry, I actually meant 1 cigarette at a time, not per day, like for example, smoke one less for a couple of days, then cut back one more. I thought that would be a very slow, easy way to sort of taper without your body noticing (sneeky, huh?)

But, if you think 1 cigarette each day would be feasible for you, you could try it; you could always stop at a certain amount of cigs if you start to have some heavy nicotine withdrawal...you certainly don't need that.

Your packs will start lasting longer too, so you'd save some money as a bonus...think how much money you'll save when you quit completely!

Hey, If I were you, when you totally quit, I'd take that extra money you would have spent on the cigarettes that month and treat yourself to something with it... a sort of "congratulations to me" thing! :cool:

Let me know about that research on nicotine withdrawal...like I said, my hubby didn't have too hard of a time but then again, he didn't smoke as much as you and he didn't have benzo withdrawal to complicate things.

Pluses of quitting could be greater than minuses like you said...I can't really answer that myself, I only know about the ill effects of smoking like everyone else, but am in the dark about how hard it might be to quit.

Let me know what you find and what you decide to do! :)





All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:07 AM.





2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!