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Old 10-31-2007, 06:50 PM   #1
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I am addicted to Ativan

I've been taking 3mg a day for the past few months. I was given it originally to releive my alcohol withdrawals. I was told that it was extremely addictive, but I took it anyways. What's worse is that I've been getting it without a prescription. Im down to my last 7 pills and I'm so scared. I want to detox by myself but the horror stories I've read about DTs make it sound worse than alcohol.

I have no medical insurance, so seeing a Dr. isn't really a great option for me at the moment. Im starting to get panic attacks again, and the last thing I want to do is go back to drinking.

I'm so frightened. I was thinking about going to the county hospital out here to talk to a Dr to see what I should do. What do you think the Dr. will say? I can't afford rehabilitation and can't afford to lose my job.

Can anyone advise? I appreciate it.

 
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:58 PM   #2
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

I was so freaked out last night that I went to the ER and talked to a Phsyc Dr, who told me that I have addiction problems that stem from some sort of cognitive disability.

He did, however, inform me that Ativan withdrawals will be a little less abrasive than Alcohol DTs, mainly because of the amount of b00ze I was drinking at the time. He said he wouldn't give me anything and that i should be ok.

While I am still scared, I feel a little better knowing this. I read the home detox info. Does anyone have stories for me about their past Ativan addictions?

Finally, I realized that its time to go back to my meetings. I do NOT want to replace these pills with alcohol or weed. I want to get rid of this the right way.

 
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:17 PM   #3
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

Hey Noane,
I think the dr is right. If you've only been taking the ativan for 2 months, the physical withdrawal will probably not be too bad. It's the mental crutch part that's hard to deal with. I've taken Ativan on & off for yrs. I don't recall taking it every day straight for a month or anything, but sometimes everyday for a week or better. When I ran out, I was out and it was the "how am I going to deal with this or that now" without the ativan. I dealt with things without it and realized that while if made me feel good when I took it, it also took away from me. Have you found your memory lacking? I'd watch something on tv while on ativan and the next day not be able to remember what it was or about - little things, but enough to make me wonder. My advise would be to try and prepare for the mental withdrawal. Try and stay busy. Hang out with friends or farmily that don't use anything. Don't leave alot of free time where you have nothing to do think about how you won't be about to function without something. AA or NA would be good for you.
Best wishes!
JB

 
Old 11-01-2007, 07:38 PM   #4
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

Yes! A reply! I've actually been taking it more than that, about 5 months. Lately I've just been going more and more off the richter scale. I was planning on quitting CT but after all I've read, I think I'll take one a night.

I hope this is ok. Does anyone know how long the DTs last?

 
Old 11-02-2007, 12:36 PM   #5
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

Man, this is terrible. I feel like a nervous mess. I can't breathe (i have asthma) and it feels like someone is sitting on my chest. I keep hearing about tapering. I think I'm going to go back to the ER. This is just awful.

 
Old 11-02-2007, 01:03 PM   #6
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

Hey Noane, calm down!
You are probably having an anxiety attack. Do you have an inhaler? If so, get it and inhale. Try to take slow relaxing breathes. If you don't catch your breathe you better go to ER but I doubt they will give you drugs for anything other than the asthma.

 
Old 11-02-2007, 01:25 PM   #7
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

I am addicted to Lorazapam, the generic version of Ativan. I have been on it for years. Before that it was valium. I am epileptic and I have had a downward spiral since my dad died. I've been put on meds that increase anxiety (I have anxiety to begin w/ as a result of the epilepsy) so my neuro put me on Lorazapam. I take 5 mgs a night right now. I'm living w/ my mom who has cancer and isn't doing well. If it wasn't for the lorazapam, I think I'd die. I can't breathe sometimes, the physical symptoms are so severe.

In all honesty, I can't fathom ever not taking it.

My brother was on lorazapam a few years ago after my dad died and he was told by a doctor that you need to wean off it. You can't stop cold turkey. He switched to valium (which his doctor told him was less addictive than ativan) and weaned.

 
Old 11-03-2007, 08:37 PM   #8
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

OK. I went to the ER again last night. After 7 hours of waiting, I was given a generic version of Librium, and was told that it would help me with the withdrawal symptoms. 20 5 mg pills and 10 25 mg pills.

Im supposed to take 2 5mg pills a day for 3 days and then 1 pill a day for 2 days; the 25mg pills are to be used as needed for major symptoms.

I've noticed that my anxiety has decreased substantially, but Im still getting the chest pains and twitches in my legs. Im assuming this just comes with the territory.

Anyone experience Librium in Ativan withdrawal. Has it been helpful to you?

 
Old 11-03-2007, 09:47 PM   #9
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

Hello Noaone

I tapered off Xanax... a benzo like Ativan, but stronger. I tapered long and slow which is the way to come off a benzo. It is dangerous, very dangerous, to not go slow coming off a benzo. Too fast and hard can easily lead to seizures. I took months.. at least six.. coming off three .5 mg tabs per day.

In my truest opinion, insurance or not, I would get to a doctor and spill my guts totally and honstly. Flat out, the withdrawal is one of the longest roads I have ever traveled. twitching, stomach tightening in anxiety and panic attacks to cope with. I am not trying to scare you , but to let you understand this can not be a do-it-yourself project. You need to be under a doctor's supervision. We get to the point of abusing because we self medicate and don't know what we are doing. trying to taper on our own is not brave or strong.. it is simply a continuation of self-medicating. It does not work coming or going.

Even on a very slow taper, the progress is slow and trying, very trying. Tapering from a benzo is very different than tapering from an opiate like Vicodin or Ocycontin or Oxycodone.

Please, I am so glad that you want to end the merry-go-round. Just make the full committment and do it with professional help and counseling of some form. It can be done, you can beat this. It takes a solid plan of withdrawal and aftercare to do it. Make that plan with a doctor. Switching to another benzo work for some. I didn't happen to take that route, but that doesn't matter at all.... the route just needs to be a planned course of travel with medical guidance along the way.

I am no where near as tough as I am probably sounding to you right now. Smiles. I just think you need to put in more time preparing yourself. Like a basic rule in coming down from a benzo is no more than 5% or so in a cut each time and then time to level-off before the next cut. Check out the ASHTON MANUAL on a search. It gives some factual stuff to help understand. Research Ativan withdrawal and then go to a doctor and talk it out until a plan can be constructed that seems workable for you. with a plan in place, much of the fear will dissapate and your mind will be freer to fight the withdrawals.

Please come back and post again. We all want you to make it!

With best wishes
reach

 
Old 11-04-2007, 09:36 AM   #10
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

I feel your pain. Try to keep your mind busy with fun things. Whatever floats your boat. Do your best to avoid stressful situations. Good luck

 
Old 11-04-2007, 03:24 PM   #11
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

I went to the Psych today and spoke to a woman who informed me that the Librium is the right way to taper. She's directing me to another Psych and then I am scheduling an appointment with my Primary Care Dr. to see what I can do about this.

I can't help my nerves sometimes. They get the best of me. I didn't get much sleep last night, but I got some.

This is the right route. I feel like I can do this, and more importantly i WANT to do this.

Regardless, I was informed that there is no "comfortable" way to do this. The Librium will help my nerves and my withdrawal if I do it the right way, which is what I want to do.

 
Old 11-04-2007, 05:55 PM   #12
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

Hello Noaone

I am so glad that you are becoming proactive in dealing with this. Those trips to the ER are leading you to work with a primary care doctor and, in my opinion, this is such a great way to go. My primary care doctor was in charge of my tapers ( first Oxycodone and then Xanax).

I liked working with a primary care doctor as he was so much more available than psychiatrists and such. I also worked with a licensed clinical social worker.. who was actually recommended by the psychiatrist. She worked with cognative issues with me and gave me really helpful, practical tolls to work with during the horrendous anxiety. Before I met her, it honestly would never have crossed my mind that she was a person who could help. I had a great deal to learn about addiction and part of my need was to discover what kind of professionals could help with what. In my experience, the psychiatrist was actually the least help... actually no help except for steering me to the licensed clinical social worker.The psychiatrist just kept wanting to change meds and add meds. I just wanted off what I was on. I know I was strong-headed with him, but I also knew in my gut what felt right to me. So I never gave up medical guidance, I just styaed with my primary care physician as we were more in sync. It is such an individual thing coming up with a plan workable for us as an individual.

I think you have chosen a good path here in getting together with your Primary Care. Stay honest at all times even when it feels embarrassing to do so. Do you have someone close to you in your life to help you with this? A spouse or friend or relative. I had Hubby hold all my pills as I tapered as a safeguard. Matter of fact, all scripts were handed to him only by the doctor. And the doctor also included the DATE the scripts could be refilled (no 70% and a refill for them... they were to the day). It helped to have every immaginable safeguard possible in place. Also, I had to be honest when I thought I was too shaky to manage a cut at any given time. My doctor was okay with that as long as I kept making progress and didn't fall into slipping backwards. Times betweeen cuts could vary from 10 days to three weeks. The reactions, well the severity of the reactions, can not be predicted and the time to level out was never exactly the same. Some that I thought would be easy, weren't and some I anticipated to be hard, weren't. learn to just go with the flow of your body and brain. The two need to be in sync as much as possible to be successful. The biggest issue at times is that we get impatient for it all to be over and done with. However, it is slow and steady that wins the race in a benzo taper.

I am happy that you are off to a good start. get a solid plan in plcae with that doctor and keep the communications flowing.

All the best
reach

Last edited by reachout; 11-04-2007 at 05:55 PM. Reason: sp

 
Old 11-10-2007, 11:38 PM   #13
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

Quote:
Originally Posted by noaone View Post
OK. I went to the ER again last night. After 7 hours of waiting, I was given a generic version of Librium, and was told that it would help me with the withdrawal symptoms. 20 5 mg pills and 10 25 mg pills.

Im supposed to take 2 5mg pills a day for 3 days and then 1 pill a day for 2 days; the 25mg pills are to be used as needed for major symptoms.

I've noticed that my anxiety has decreased substantially, but Im still getting the chest pains and twitches in my legs. Im assuming this just comes with the territory.

Anyone experience Librium in Ativan withdrawal. Has it been helpful to you?
With all this advice nobody ever mentions A.A. Iknow it helps.It's not just for alcoholics.There are people there who have been through it and will help.Thats my opinion.

Last edited by jojo49; 11-10-2007 at 11:40 PM.

 
Old 11-13-2007, 12:09 PM   #14
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

Do not worry too much! I was in the same boat with Klonopin and had very little trouble other than some sleep issues(poor sleeper anyway) and the "fear"f trouble.My Doctor says it is really those who are doing fistfuls that get the big mess.You sound like a self-mediacator,but unless you were taking more than 4 mg's daily,do NOT believe some of this boards horror stories.Remember,most people do not post their successes!!
Best,Mickey

 
Old 11-13-2007, 12:12 PM   #15
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Re: I am addicted to Ativan

Just know this.The Ashton Manual(considered by many as a Bible) states that as much as 50% of people can just get right off!! Now,I would use librium as directed..it is very much like valium.Stay positive.You will be fine,albeit with the same issues.Those you can take care of.

 
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