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Old 11-29-2012, 01:04 AM   #2
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Red face Re: Ambien and Xanax

Hi Grammar

Welcome aboard. :-)

Well, Buddy, looks like you are wanting off this drug train and I want you to know it is really and truly something that can be done. I am assuming you are doing this on a regular (daily) basis? It will take, at the minimum, months to get off of them safely and successfully. Both drugs need to be tapered off of slowly. We need to learn to measure in progress and not time. Our progress needs to be slow, and steady, if we want to reach the finish line.

Personally, I would wean off the Ambien and then the Xanax. To try and come off two different addictive drugs that are not in the same class will cause chaos galore in the body and brain. Also, stop taking them simutaneously. Take one, and then a few hours later, the other.

I have tapered from opiates and Xanax... the opiates first and when I was done with that, the Xanax. My doctor initially tried to cut me down simutaneously and I almos went out of my mind...seizures, horrible, horrible withdrawal symptums, the whole gamut. My psychiatrist stepped in and put the kibash on that and said one at a time, one at a time. After that, that was the path I followed.

The rule of thumb here is to make a cut of 10% each time you decrease. Then wait 10-14 days for the body and brain to level off and make another 10% cut from the last amount taken. Sometimes pills will have to be crushed and the dose measured out. Eyeballing it is about the only way to do that. Save any crumbs towards the next dose. Keep moving the Ambien dose farther and farther away from bedtime so the brain and body stop depending on it for sleep. Move it by about 15 minutes with every cut.

Once the Ambien is out of the picture, give everything a break for a week or two and then start on the Xanax. Same procedure. It is slow and steady that wins the race with these two drugs. Unlike opiates, seizures are a real possibility when cutting these two drugs out.

It would be best if you would do it under a doctor's care. They have heard it all before so shake off any embarrassment.

Also, you wrote something majorly important in all this:

I know that I feel numb after taking them; I don't know what I'm trying to numb out though. I feel at a loss.

In every addict, behind every addiction, there lies a fear, a grief, a loss, an emotional something that we do not face head on and deal with in better ways. We have allowed addictions to be our coping skill. We have to unlearn that and discover better ways to deal with life. This, my friend, truly needs professional intervention. Unless we discover what it is we can not face, we will revert right back into addiction. Truth. We can not wish our way out of it or use brute strength to get rid of it. There is no true recovery or restoration of ourselves until we fix the broken parts. The addiction is but a symptom of a deep rooted problem.

I am not suggesting that as addicts we are crazy. :-) What I am saying is that we lack the coping skills to deal with something we are trying not to allow to come into our everyday,conscious thinking. For me, I found I worked best with a clinical social worker.

So, enough for now!! I am hoping that we can help you on your journey back into a life of happiness and joy again, with both body and brain and soul restored. It's waiting for you.

With all hope
reach