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


i don't mean to be an ******* here, since i'm sure those statements by those doctors are true for a lot of people - maybe even most - but that was NEVER the case for me. I have been on benzos - klon, xanax, ambien for months at a time and i have felt very mild withdrawals symptoms as opposed to the ones mentioned above and so often on this board - but that is not to diminish the experiences of those who have felt the opposite. however i have also been oc (crushed, snorted, heated and shot up), as well as hundreds of percocets, and vicodins/lortabs for just as long of a time and the withdrawal symptoms from the opiates - FOR ME - is much worse. stereotypes of all kinds just plain suck, and while there is no doubt this doctor and whoever that ashton guy is, are telling what they have seen, experienced and know; and their opinion should be respected, they also should be taken with a grain of salt (like any doctors opinion, be it on benzo withdrawal or that of other drugs - however that is not to say all doctors shouldn't be listened to - that's why we go to them right? we presume they can help us by having more knowledge on whatever is bothering us than we do - unfortunatey some don't). i believe - especially when [B]blanket[/B] statements are made about the w/d from anything, such as h to valium to methadone to crank/meth to vicodin or percocets - to even alcohol, as being the worst/hardest/mostpainful/awful/etc.... to withdraw from. as i said, i am sure w/d from benzos are terrible, and even the worst, for a lot of people or it wouldn't be written about so much on this board, but i think we can all agree [I]it doesn't matter what is the hardest drug to get off of, all that matters is getting of it. and the hardship in dealing with going through the withdrawls - from whatever chemical - is incredibly tough.[/I]

i just have seen people say this drug or that drug is the most difficult to get of off (from h to klonopin) on this board for so long but the real truth of the matter is, everyone is different, just as everyone's withdrawls experiences are different. and all addicts experiences should be respected because we all have been through hell with whatever drug, at one point or another. again, sorry to be an *** if i am - i sure don't want to piss anyone off or disrespect what they went or are going through - i just hate hearing the often repeated posts here that go something like "...well this is harder to get off of than this", or "this is the absolute hardest drug to withdraw from bar none."

the only blanket statement i agree with is that - for me - is that drugs suck.

i am an addict and i have hurt myself (which i can deal with) and the ones that i love and care for (which i can't) way too much. for me, any addictive drug when not taken exactly as prescribed or only when absolutely needed - in other words not just to get 'high', is like taking an exit off the freeway straight to hell.

those who abuse them and/or are addicted to them (probably most everyone here), have most likely had an incredibly terrible time trying to stop no matter what substance they were on. i just wish that many people could see that various people go through various symptoms when trying to stop different drugs. and again, it doesn't really matter what the hardest is. in the end, it only matters about getting clean and staying clean. sure the withdrawals are awful. but the hardest part isn't getting through them, it's staying off them -even when we all know better.

i've withdrawn from many different drugs and, at least for me, life sucks coming off of any of them. i just hope, at some point, even going to meetings and couseling etc.. like i am now, i won't turn off the freeway onto that exit again.
i'm not the hugest "Matrix" fan, but there is a quote in that movie where that girl says to Neo in the car - and i'm sure i'll screw it up - but it is something like, "don't go down that road Neo, you've been down it before and you know where it ends."
I just want to stop going down that road, because no matter what drug it ends with, they all provide pain, suffering and they all - in one way or another - are hell to get off of.
thanks for reading.

grey
[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:
Yep.......... agreeing 100% with Howard. People put on benzos by thier doctors have not made a choice "to use". They have been prescribed these drugs as "treatment" and take them according to the prescribed instructions. Time and time again in here I see people saying - "it's OK - I have never 'abused' my xanax - the doctor says I need it - so I will not get addicted".............. that's the whole point! You become addicted - not by abusing - but by following doctor's instructions.
Howard is right too about the withdrawal - no detox for benzos - its a long slow taper. Howard is optimistic too about 3 months for withdrawal - yep - some do make it in that time - but short term users perhaps. Anyone who has been prescribed any benzo over a number of years will most likely have to face up to a much longer taper. I was lucky - mine took 8 months. Many take way beyond a year. It is an exceedingly difficult taper too.
Like Howard - I am just warning you - your doctors (for the most part) will prescribe them for you without knowing of the dangers and just how many of you were warned about the addiction and long slow withdrawal before you agreed to take the pills? The medical profession (particularly in the US) is profoundly ignorant about the benzos.
Dont say you havent been warned!
Mise
[QUOTE=mise ata ann]Yep.......... agreeing 100% with Howard. People put on benzos by thier doctors have not made a choice "to use". They have been prescribed these drugs as "treatment" and take them according to the prescribed instructions. Time and time again in here I see people saying - "it's OK - I have never 'abused' my xanax - the doctor says I need it - so I will not get addicted".............. that's the whole point! You become addicted - not by abusing - but by following doctor's instructions.
Howard is right too about the withdrawal - no detox for benzos - its a long slow taper. Howard is optimistic too about 3 months for withdrawal - yep - some do make it in that time - but short term users perhaps. Anyone who has been prescribed any benzo over a number of years will most likely have to face up to a much longer taper. I was lucky - mine took 8 months. Many take way beyond a year. It is an exceedingly difficult taper too.
Like Howard - I am just warning you - your doctors (for the most part) will prescribe them for you without knowing of the dangers and just how many of you were warned about the addiction and long slow withdrawal before you agreed to take the pills? The medical profession (particularly in the US) is profoundly ignorant about the benzos.
Dont say you havent been warned!
Mise[/QUOTE]

Beautiful points about not choosing to use and benzos really are touted as treatment! Also, well put that benzos don't need to be abused for one to be addicted, because the type of addiction is really more of a physical one than a mental or behavioral one. The brain stops producing those sleep and anxiety chemicals at all because the drug literally takes over, and the brain, in it's own defense will gradually create opposite receptors(tolerance) to oppose the chemical intrusions.

So one is left with a brain that doesn't create it's own sleep/anxiety chemicals(inhibitory GABA) and if tolerance has been created, a brain with a lot more excitatory chemicals that it need, thus creating the typical electrical storm in the brain. No wonder withdrawl is tough! The brain is capable of reversing all this, but how long it takes varies drastically. One benzo specialist told my friend it could be 3 months-3 years average and protracted can be 4-5 years. So basically, we've got a range of 3 months to 5 years. Quite a spread! Ashton mentions possibility of incomplete recovery, I hope that's not true but then I doubt she followed progress over the 5 year mark for most people or they would all report in after that long.

But all this physical dependancy and non-abuse of the drug is what separates us benzo patients from addicts, the lack of addictive "behaviors" and yet somehow, someway the patient is still blamed as being an addict when tolerance sets in and the needed dosage to alleviate the tolerance is higher than the accepted amounts. Really aggravating attitudes; ask howard as his old doctor and nurses treated him very rudely in that respect!

Now some people who don't take the drug every single day to develop dependance or haven't developed tolerance yet will surely have it easier. But continued use may surely cause the worst case scenario to finally come about. And unfortuantely, nobody really knows the dosage or amount of use that can create the severe dependancy/tolerance in prescription amounts for each person. So it's a risk indeed.

Anyway, when one is dupped into becoming an accidental addict and finally discovers the truth, this is where the anger factor comes in. Addicts lead themselves into a known pit of despair, and are usually not angry because they knew what they were getting into. Accidental addicts are lead into the pit by someone saying they are smarter and more educated so do not question them even if the journey into the pit becomes hazardeous, because the pit is one of comfort and wellness. When we find out different, it's no wonder we feel angry and a bit disillusioned by the whole thing!
[QUOTE=rosietee]I dunno, my stepdad says he shook for 6 weeks w/d from alcohol.

rosie[/QUOTE]

You are on to something. My post was meant in general terms, not applying to every case. Heavy long term alcohol abuse can cause neurological damage as can cocaine and meth. Plus alcohol will expell from the system slower with those with impaired liver function. Also, when someone takes a pill or drinks to deal with anxiousness their old non-drug methods for dealing with the same are set aside and need to be re-instated. This can take time. And the aftermath of the abuse, wrecked finances, relationships, loss of jobs and self-respect, etc. can cause depression and anxiousness. I speak of the psychological... Nonetheless, benzo withdrawals are typically much longer and often much nastier than those with alcohol or street drugs. If for no other reason than that they linger in the system much longer. And they are more targeted in their action on the brain, creating a withdrawal syndrome unlike that of the rest. As the founder of one site specific to tapering benzos says, "they are a different kettle of fish." Well said.
[QUOTE=greymatter]i don't mean to be an ******* here, since i'm sure those statements by those doctors are true for a lot of people - maybe even most - but that was NEVER the case for me. I have been on benzos - klon, xanax, ambien for months at a time and i have felt very mild withdrawals symptoms as opposed to the ones mentioned above and so often on this board - but that is not to diminish the experiences of those who have felt the opposite. however i have also been oc (crushed, snorted, heated and shot up), as well as hundreds of percocets, and vicodins/lortabs for just as long of a time and the withdrawal symptoms from the opiates - FOR ME - is much worse. stereotypes of all kinds just plain suck, and while there is no doubt this doctor and whoever that ashton guy is, are telling what they have seen, experienced and know; and their opinion should be respected, they also should be taken with a grain of salt (like any doctors opinion, be it on benzo withdrawal or that of other drugs - however that is not to say all doctors shouldn't be listened to - that's why we go to them right? we presume they can help us by having more knowledge on whatever is bothering us than we do - unfortunatey some don't). i believe - especially when [B]blanket[/B] statements are made about the w/d from anything, such as h to valium to methadone to crank/meth to vicodin or percocets - to even alcohol, as being the worst/hardest/mostpainful/awful/etc.... to withdraw from. as i said, i am sure w/d from benzos are terrible, and even the worst, for a lot of people or it wouldn't be written about so much on this board, but i think we can all agree [I]it doesn't matter what is the hardest drug to get off of, all that matters is getting of it. and the hardship in dealing with going through the withdrawls - from whatever chemical - is incredibly tough.[/I]

i just have seen people say this drug or that drug is the most difficult to get of off (from h to klonopin) on this board for so long but the real truth of the matter is, everyone is different, just as everyone's withdrawls experiences are different. and all addicts experiences should be respected because we all have been through hell with whatever drug, at one point or another. again, sorry to be an *** if i am - i sure don't want to piss anyone off or disrespect what they went or are going through - i just hate hearing the often repeated posts here that go something like "...well this is harder to get off of than this", or "this is the absolute hardest drug to withdraw from bar none."

the only blanket statement i agree with is that - for me - is that drugs suck.

i am an addict and i have hurt myself (which i can deal with) and the ones that i love and care for (which i can't) way too much. for me, any addictive drug when not taken exactly as prescribed or only when absolutely needed - in other words not just to get 'high', is like taking an exit off the freeway straight to hell.

those who abuse them and/or are addicted to them (probably most everyone here), have most likely had an incredibly terrible time trying to stop no matter what substance they were on. i just wish that many people could see that various people go through various symptoms when trying to stop different drugs. and again, it doesn't really matter what the hardest is. in the end, it only matters about getting clean and staying clean. sure the withdrawals are awful. but the hardest part isn't getting through them, it's staying off them -even when we all know better.

i've withdrawn from many different drugs and, at least for me, life sucks coming off of any of them. i just hope, at some point, even going to meetings and couseling etc.. like i am now, i won't turn off the freeway onto that exit again.
i'm not the hugest "Matrix" fan, but there is a quote in that movie where that girl says to Neo in the car - and i'm sure i'll screw it up - but it is something like, "don't go down that road Neo, you've been down it before and you know where it ends."
I just want to stop going down that road, because no matter what drug it ends with, they all provide pain, suffering and they all - in one way or another - are hell to get off of.
thanks for reading.

grey[/QUOTE]
i'm not trying to make any waves i'm on klonopin right now tapered myself off nothing severe but my panic attacks came backand back on it i'm not all that experienced in the benzo department only what my friends howard and jennita have told me but i can tell you i have to agree with alot of what you are saying i came off 50 mgs of methadone and now 3 months almost 4 months later i'm still suffering not physically but physchologically i'm not trying to say one is worse then the other because i don't know but let me just say from experience coming off methadone was and still is a nightmare just to explain that coming off opiates is not a walk in the park to those who may think it's over in a week or so it's not i still suffer anxiety and feel like a part of me was taken with it i'm not trying to say that one is worse than the other but i just want people to know opiate w/d especially methadone which in some cases especially in methadone maintenance can take years to wean off of with w/d symptoms throughout it all i'm watching my sister go through that also she is a recovering heroin addict i know we all have are different w/ds and situations but lets be here to support each other i hope i don't upset any one but i just had to tell my story hugs to you all kelleigh :angel:
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=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]
mise i give you howard and jennita so much credit like i said i am not really that experienced in the benzo department but all of what has been written is really frightening i'm on klonopin unfortunatly and i'm really scared i went through the worst methadone w/d and 4 months later still suffering and and i don't need another nightmare in my life methadone was enough i have an appt today with the dr prescribing me klonopin and lets just say i have a lot of questions for her you all must have suffered and still suffering an awful nightmare to be so persistant in trying to stop this madness i never abused my methadone either and still suffered pretty severly and still am i think i'm the same way to methadone that you are to benzos i want to stop people from taking it so they don't live through this horrific experience but i want to thank you for sharing your stories all 3 of you have really opened my eyes the widest they can be i'm so proud of you all for doing away with the evil keep posting ok even if you change one persons mind your doing your job thanks mise kelleigh
[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]

Thanks a lot. I sure could live with lethargy and insomnia for 3 to 6 months. I am an old hat with insomnia, have had it for most of my adult life. Very often sleep has come only at the point of exhaustion. That is why I liked Xanax, it knocked me out with zero side effects. And I was an exception to Ashton`s rule. It worked great for over a year at the same dose, until, you know the rest of the story...
[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.
Hello again Howard,

Thanks for the info. Your tapering down from 25 mg to 12.5 in 4 months is about the same rate at which I tapered. Yep - obviously you know the info at the benzo site and yep - for the most part I think they are right. (Dont care for the politics of the place! Will say no more). Being British I guess I am fairly typical in that I dont really believe in supplements - I have always been fairly cynical about them in general. Altho - to be fair - I do in fact drink camomile tea at night - but I love tea and I do like camomile in the evening. You can buy it anywhere. In US I think it may be called "sleepy time tea" too. It certainly wont do you any harm. But - as for the rest?
Mmmm - your BP situation too? It is very common for BP to spike during taper as I am sure you know all too well. Again - being British - its not something I am very aware of - never took my BP throughout taper - only have it taken once a year at the doc's - it tends to be on the highish side - so I expect I did a few rockets on my way thro taper without ever knowing. But that is certainly something to be discussed seriously with your doctor - it has really to be outwith the realm of this sort of forum? But - if you can find a med (other than a beta blocker?) which helps - then why not? Surely there must be an alternative to beta blockers - they do not suit so many people - never mind those on taper.
I see you mention sugar? Now - I have learnt - and have experienced - that this really does exacerbate withdrawal symptoms. I think it has something again to do with how sugar is converted in the body and how it acts on the "pleasure receptors" in the brain - not unlike other drugs. Time and time again during taper and just after - I was advised to avoid sugar like the plague. Maybe cutting down on your sugar intake might help a bit? Just a thought.
You say you have been at this level of 12.5 mg for 26 days and yet you do not say why? Is it because you are experiencing "strong" withdrawal symptoms? It sounds more as though you have hit one of those "difficult" and "wobbly" doses - as I did at 15 mg and 6 mg. I never settled at 15 (or 6) - but after a month at 15 mg - I decided it could be no worse and continued on down at 1 mg per 10 days until I got to 10 mg - and it worked OK for me. I know that the benzo site always always tried to slow people down........... but I am not sure I agree with that. I felt I really needed to keep pushing on down - or the interminable thing would go on for ever and ever. And really there never did seem to be any real warning about when a particular drop in dosage would "slam you against the wall" for a bit. It is all so arbitrary? And therefore so frustrating?

But at 12.5 mg - you are beginning to see the end of the tunnel? If I were you I would get on with the next cut now - what is the point of waiting longer? Tolerance is going to be setting in anyway - so you are on a hiding to nothing? Go for the cut - even if you are suffering from symptoms at least you are getting lower and achieving something....... working towards that goal? How much are you cutting each time? The 10% rule is quite a good guide and you may feel (as I did) that you could cut 1 mg to 11.5 mg at this point - but this has to be entirely up to you - your decision to make. However - just to let you know - I did manage the 1 mg cuts down to 10 mg ......and then sometimes 1 mg or .5 mg until I got down to 5............. then .5 mg every 10 days.................For me - it really did start to get much better at the 2 mg mark. If you can keep up the impetus then you are going to be free of these awful drugs in just a few months now. But you will make your own judgements about size and timing of these cuts. You have come thro the worst?
Don't lose heart, Howard.......... it really sounds perfectly normal and that you have just hit one of those rocks on the road? Press on.
As for anti-deps. Well - I guess you will know by now what I am likely to say! LOL If you can do without - then do. I think it's another addiction looming to go down that road? It's amazing the number of people (esp in US) who do take anti-deps alongside benzos.............. and after tapering benzos - you then have to face up to tapering off the bloomin anti-deps. No thank you! Not for me. One taper like this is one too many in my book - I am sure I would not want to add another!
I dont know if anything I have said is of any relevance. Maybe you could say more of why you are sticking at this point and how your symptoms are? Tolerable?
But stick with it Howard......... you really are on the homeward stretch and I know how easy it is to be discouraged. I can only imagine too how threatening it must be to affect your working ability. So - that's why I would say - keep going in your taper - the sooner (within reasonable limits) that you are actually off then the sooner you will heal and be able to deal with life again as you once did pre benzos.
Keep talking?
Speak again if I can help in any way.
Mise
[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
Howard
Nothing very specific - but the contribution from one man:


Dear Mise,
Let me first tell you it is very difficult to hold on to a highly stressful job and taper from Benzo ,particularly when you are hypertensive.But,having said that I would also stress that it can be done as I HAVE DONE IT MYSELF.
When I was detected as having B.P,I was prescribed B.P medication along with 1mg Ativan at night .I was on it for long years.When I was desperate to give it up as I was having tolerance withdrawal,I came across Ray's forum and came to know about Ashton schedule etc. Even then,I had terrible time giving up the small dose I was on(1mg Ativan =10mg Valium).
Your friend has done well coming down to 12.5 mg in four months. What I should like to advise is that he should go very slowly but reduce at a constant pace.Otherwise,he will have tolerance withdrawl problem. XXXX's method of measuring scale is excellent as you can reduce very miniscule mgs,by measuring in the scale.
B.P medication,particularly Beta Blocker,produces side effects,but at the same time Beta Blockers are good because they reduce the heart beats,which also helps during tapering as heart beats tend to go up during taper.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is ENCOURAGEMENT,DETERMINATION AND POSITIVE ATTITUDE.You and I know how difficult it is to taper,you have to virtually go through hell .It is even more difficult when you have B.P and a stressful job !But,as I have done it,it can be done!
I have found if you are in a Forum of like minded people ,who are tapering or have tapered,it helps tremendously.You get constant encouragement of friends ,which is very necessary.


Howard
This man does not recommend the benzo forum of which we have recently spoken!!
[QUOTE=mise ata ann]Howard
Nothing very specific - but the contribution from one man:


Dear Mise,
Let me first tell you it is very difficult to hold on to a highly stressful job and taper from Benzo ,particularly when you are hypertensive.But,having said that I would also stress that it can be done as I HAVE DONE IT MYSELF.
When I was detected as having B.P,I was prescribed B.P medication along with 1mg Ativan at night .I was on it for long years.When I was desperate to give it up as I was having tolerance withdrawal,I came across Ray's forum and came to know about Ashton schedule etc. Even then,I had terrible time giving up the small dose I was on(1mg Ativan =10mg Valium).
Your friend has done well coming down to 12.5 mg in four months. What I should like to advise is that he should go very slowly but reduce at a constant pace.Otherwise,he will have tolerance withdrawl problem. XXXX's method of measuring scale is excellent as you can reduce very miniscule mgs,by measuring in the scale.
B.P medication,particularly Beta Blocker,produces side effects,but at the same time Beta Blockers are good because they reduce the heart beats,which also helps during tapering as heart beats tend to go up during taper.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is ENCOURAGEMENT,DETERMINATION AND POSITIVE ATTITUDE.You and I know how difficult it is to taper,you have to virtually go through hell .It is even more difficult when you have B.P and a stressful job !But,as I have done it,it can be done!
I have found if you are in a Forum of like minded people ,who are tapering or have tapered,it helps tremendously.You get constant encouragement of friends ,which is very necessary.


Howard
This man does not recommend the benzo forum of which we have recently spoken!![/QUOTE]

Thank you very much Mise. This all sounds reasonable and encouraging. :)
[QUOTE=mise ata ann]Howard

You and I will never agree on anything perhaps than benzo withdrawal - so for now - let's stay within those boundaries. Was not US bashing - just telling how it is from another perspective.

"The global security agenda promoted by the US Administration is bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle. Violating rights at home, turning a blind eye to abuses abroad and using pre-emptive military force where and when it chooses has damaged justice and freedom, and made the world a more dangerous place."

Amnesty International May 04

Peronally I think the US is on its way down.......... the dollar certainly is and the new young currency set to take over is the yen. There will be a new super power - maybe China? Who knows. Each and every point you make I will take up with you if I may once benzos is out of the way? But not now.

The bloke who I quoted above is a great friend - you have to forgive his sometimes awkward English - he is not from an English speaking country. But if you need any further elaboration from him - just shout? Especially about the BP.

Hope your cut is not too bad? Feeling any effects from it as yet?

Jennita - should you come to Europe - then please do come to Scotland - nice way of life - lots of hills and lochs - friendly people in kilts - the Loch Ness monster - haggis & neeps - whisky............. now how could you turn down an offer like that? LOL[/QUOTE]

Mise,

I`ll let you off the hook here, though the quote I considered American bashing is absent above. I already know what Amnesty Int`l thinks and consider the source. I`d debate you in e-mails but dropping addresses is not allowed here. Lets stick to the purpose of this board.

The cut, do not really notice this one yet. Have had some breatheless feelings here and there, something I am not very fond of. No other symptoms. An easy ride does not appear to be in the cards here, never has been. But am okay, and will be returning to work next week. The support is so much appreciated. I have no one in my personal life that can relate.

P.S. As to us going down any time soon, I would not hold your breathe. Though I know many would love to see it, that is until Chairman Mao`s descendants get a hold of them. :eek:
[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! :)
[QUOTE=Jennita]Well, my husband brings home the bacon, yet I would NEVER tell you it's all in your head! Despite my blessings of no job stress, I was a mell of a hess!!(reversing curse word beginning letters help me elaborate without the vulgarity here). But some people just have easier withdrawals, period, it all depends on the medication situation and their bodies, etc....they are no more better at it than you in the logic and reasoning department! I assure you, if half of them went through what I did, they wouldn't be so calm about it all...

It's like some people can abuse their brains with all sorts of stuff, and somehow recover quickly, others can not....our bodies and brains although simular, are not alike... as in nobody has the same fingerprints yet we all have fingers!!!

I believe what you are saying, howard. It is NOT in your head, no way....


I also think it's great you are trying to cut back on the smoking. This stragedy is certainly a plus where your health is concerned, benzo or no benzo!

Although the symptoms you have are classic benzo, I do believe when in withdrawals, other factors that weren't important before become important, like your smoking. I believe a toxic chemical like a cigarette would even cause more ill effects in withdrawal than things like sugar or caffiene, although it is still wise to limit those things too.

Speaking of that, I remember going through a lengthy period during withdrawals with none of my lifetime favorite drink, Coca-cola. Guess what? Didn't feel any better. After one particular bad, barely slept night, the next day, I was so angry about the whole thing I ran out and got some Coca-cola. I figured if I still couldn't sleep, I'd at least enjoy something besides suffering. I even had some in the evening with dinner, a late dinner at that. I slept great that night....whaaa....unbelievable, huh? I was shocked to say the least.

I think this proves even further that benzo withdrawal is unlike anything else, you can't predict any of it. There are no rules, only guidelines. By the way, I'm not recommending you live it up on the caffiene and sugar, I'm just saying how dumb and confusing the whole thing is sometimes....and different for each person....

So no wonder others do not believe us when we tell them this stuff...it's illogical and nutso.... :confused:[/QUOTE]

Thank you.You speak the truth for many of us. The command to "just calm down" that I heard in the detox center, frankly, was sickening. Here is a very general summary. It sort of has gone like this. For a about a month it was stabbing pains in the neck along with upper back and neck tightness. Went away. Then it was problems in the mid section, pains, cramps, along with nausea. Went away. Then comes anxiousness in social situations, the most troublesome as it affects my ability to make a living. Was about a week when everything went away. Then later comes some major stressors that would have set off the fight/flight reponse in anyone. My system could not handle it. I am then literally in full blown withdrawals, vitals out of control, the Valium I was alloted did zilch against it. Betas had to be taken on two occasions to keep me safe. Was down two weeks and still not back to work. Symptom yesterday, breathlessness, today, anxiety. Tomorrow? We will see. Maybe nothing. Vitals have been fine.

In my case I see this more as a surrender than a fight, but not a surrender that means giving up. Just a surrender that symptoms probably will come and go for some time. And I still will do all I can to perform my duties. Reading Norman Vincient Peale has done little here. Prayer has helped some. It is a bit scary the thought of getting in a really desperate spot, like the guy a saw today picking up pennies in the fast food resturant parking lot, while having no one believe in what is really going on except a few people on the internet. But that I can dispense with, "what if" thinking because I am not there yet. Thank you again. :)
Jennita,

In case you come back, I regret that this turned sour. Sorry for any role I played. Cannot say I can agree with all in your last post but will not venture a rebuttal. As much as I enjoy political debate or debate period, I am not healthy enough to engage at this time. The old comprimised nervous system you know. I need nothing unecessarily excitable, whether it be conflict, anger, toward people, political institutions, corporate entities, or anything. Such is the nature of benzo withdrawal. I strongly suspect that you are good people at heart. And regarding your job prospects and sleep, you will remain in my prayers. I know you will have success.

Mise,

I`ll actually take you up on the political debate once I get better if we can find a way. Could be fun actually, Scotch socialist versus American conservative.

Kayleigh,

Hang in there. We will see victory together.
Ambien is not a benzo but does effect the brain in the same way as benzos. I think it misses one GABA receptor or something, which knocked it out of the benzo class.

I think drugs like this mess up the brain's own abilities to try and sleep. Sometimes the brain can't sleep for one reason or another, but it will always try to right things, whereas when one decides to go the pill route the brain can't do it's job, in fact, it gets lazy in that department. Down the line, it's survival instinct kicks in and it starts setting up all kinds of receptors to oppose the chemical (Ambien, benzos, etc) which leads to an imbalance of sorts but it causes the drug to stop working (aka tolerance). Tolerance can be nasty too, when it produces withdrawal symptoms, yes, you can have withdrawals while still taking a drug if your brain has become hugely tolerant. The term is tolerance withdrawals.

Sometimes this dependancy/tolerance event causes people to get desparate, either taking too much of the drug or adding more drugs or sometimes just drinking with them. This is very dangerous, but alcohol does help boost benzo effects, however, respiratory failure is a real possibility with such a combination.

So when people get into tolerance withdrawals and start taking too much, they get blamed and referred to as "abusers" or "addicts"

But they are accidental addicts.. IMHO, real addicts are those who take drugs to get surreal feelings, to socialize and experience euphoria/drunkness. They abuse to get certain effects/feelings/trips.

So one cannot group a person who takes a drug to sleep into the addict catagory for sure, IMHO.

I don't think at this point they have the sleep thing figured out, as alot of sleep drugs alter the sleep cycles, usually shortening stage 4 and REM and lengthening stage 2, so it's more of an anesthetic sleep than real, natural sleep.

No matter how bad sleep gets, usually it will come back in due time if allowed to. Continued/sporatic use of drugs for sleep only hinders this.... take it from someone who's sleep was completely and totally ruined by pills and finally after several years is just beginning to sleep well again without so much as a cup of tea to drift off.





All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:40 AM.





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