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    Old 05-22-2004, 12:22 PM   #31
    Jennita
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 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
    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!

     
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    Old 05-22-2004, 03:30 PM   #32
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    > Mise

    I was not counting the taper part. I have been dealing with that aspect for 7 months now, paid the whole way, and got more tapering to do. Ashton, the best source IMO, does say though that once off the drugs symptoms typically disappear within 3 months, but may reoccur temporarily at times of significant stress. This is based on her experience with 300 patients. It is true that some suffer longer and regularly, but they according to Ashton are well in the minority. And these often seem to be people that used the drugs a very long time, 8 to 20 years or more. Fortunately, that`s not me.

    As to regular posters on the internet, quite long term sufferers may well be the majority. Naturally, the others go away, little or nothing left but a bad memory. But hey, tapering withdrawal over many months then a few more months of junk is bad enough. Have a friend that wants to call me about his alcoholism. I do not mean to sound cold, but honest, can hardly muster up any sympathy. I think one of the reasons they keep getting drunk again is because every time they quit the pain is over in 3 to 5 days and they are happy go lucky again... Had they had to face down benzos, they may think much much harder before picking it up again...

     
    Old 05-22-2004, 09:03 PM   #33
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    I dunno, my stepdad says he shook for 6 weeks w/d from alcohol.

    rosie

     
    Old 05-22-2004, 09:33 PM   #34
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rosietee
    I dunno, my stepdad says he shook for 6 weeks w/d from alcohol.

    rosie
    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.

    Last edited by howard678; 05-22-2004 at 09:35 PM.

     
    Old 05-22-2004, 10:05 PM   #35
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Can't disagree with you on that, Howard. I'm going through hell still. Actually, I know someone coming off of a large amount of oxycontins who is on sub and shook for weeks too.

    thanks for all your input,
    rosie

     
    Old 05-22-2004, 11:48 PM   #36
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Yeh, benzos can be wicked. One guy I know, a bodybuilder, hurt his back. He was given a low dose of Valium for around 2 months while it healed; the Valium was for the muscle spasms caused by the injury. WHen the injury was healed, he taper off the small dose.

    Well guess what, he suffered from insomnia and anxiety for almost a whole year, and it took him a bit over that to completely straighten out!!!! THis was a low-dose, short time on scenario and yet all that trouble!

    He never had prior anxiety-insomnia issues and doesn't now. Benzos are crap-ola in my opinion, it's like you pay your doctor to give you dog-doo treatments and then he wonders why you stink....ughhhhh...!!!!!

    But, that's only my opinion on scripts for the things. THey are still quite useful as anesthetic in hospitals(their original use) for sugical procedure or shock. But ongoing use seems to cause too much woe for most people.

    I certainly don't condemn anyone personally for using them but everyone should be warned of the dangers and signs of dependance/tolerance....that's all really.

    Last edited by Jennita; 05-22-2004 at 11:54 PM.

     
    Old 05-23-2004, 12:18 PM   #37
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rosietee
    Can't disagree with you on that, Howard. I'm going through hell still. Actually, I know someone coming off of a large amount of oxycontins who is on sub and shook for weeks too.

    thanks for all your input,
    rosie
    Does not surprise me at all. Oxycontins are long acting, meaning thet linger in the sysytem a good while. Anyway, there is a real possibility that once I come off the Valium that I will only have it rough for a few weeks, then some quite tolerable symptoms in the aftermath. This because I am coming off slowly. It happens. So I hope for the best while preparing for the worst. No point in getting in "what if" thinking. Counter-productive.

     
    Old 05-23-2004, 12:36 PM   #38
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    > Jennita

    That is a terrible story but let us guard against errors in inductive logic, posing the exception as the typical, even as bad as we want to bash these drugs. Ashton is the best source. She is an Oxford educated physician that ran a benzo withdrawal clinic for 20 years. She states that withdrawal symptoms typically disappear within three months of coming off. She also affirms that long term high dose users are also at higher risk. This is only logical too. She surely had a better representative sampling than is available from regular posters on the net. And unforuntately on the net, psychological and spiritual support is often lacking. Even worse is the opposite, as people are often told that the worse case scenarios are typical, are encourged to stew about doctors, or are told that doing things like eating grilled cheese sandwiches will cause you to shake for 30 days. I do not exaggerate. It gets pretty bizzare. Is tough enough as it is without throwing this sort of fuel on the fire. What is done is done. Question is, what now? For me, hope for the best, prepare to get unlucky. Make use of my doc and the Ashton Manual. Continue with solid psychological and spiritual support.

    Last edited by howard678; 05-23-2004 at 04:04 PM.

     
    Old 05-23-2004, 12:49 PM   #39
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Grey,

    Just wanted to say; very good post.

    I haven't posted for awhile; been very busy going to intensive outpatient treatment after a brief hospitalization.

    But I agree with you; everyone is different, and based upon the horror stories of what I've heard about coming off klonopin (I've been on 1 mg for a long time, no abuse) and my current Dr. thinks I should stay on it for the problems I had. I have lately been given the choice of either taking klonopin OR suboxone whereas, previously, the Dr. had no problem with this combination, until I made a stupid mistake.

    I feared getting off of the klonopin, because I didn't feel I could go through it at the same time as getting off the suboxone I was taking. I'm STILL going through withdrawals from the suboxone (I wasn't weaned off of it) and it's driving me crazy, really. I've tried switching to a Dr. that the staff of the hospital recommends highly in this area as he is also an "addictionologist" who I've spoken to many times at the hospital.

    But my Insurance company is now telling me either the klonopin or the suboxone. I feel that for me, I'd like to get back on the suboxone; I did well on it for 6 months, but don't want to go through any ordeal at this time in getting of the klonopin as well. This particular Dr. has no problem with putting me back on suboxone, just as long as I stay on this low dose of klonopin.

    He has even called my insurance company to get on the panel provider list so that I could be covered, however my Insurance Company denied him saying they had plenty of Drs. that can help me. In fact, they don't. I've tried numerous times to get a decent psychiatrist through them; they know nothing about addiction and other problems I am faced with.

    My Case Manager thinks I'm drug-seeking when in reality I'm seeking a treatment modality that worked very well for me. I've learned by my mistakes.

    I feel a little like John Q, in fighting with the Insurance company; I'd be willing to pay out of pocket for this Dr. if he isn't covered, but unlike previously they refuse to cover the costs of Suboxone treatment unless I get off the Klonopin.

    It's been 1 month now about, I'm I'm still shaking from the inside out. My thoughts are leaning toward relapsing which Im desperately trying not to do, but I can't seem to get over this hump. I've been going to meetings, etc. and have even worked the first step, which is something I didn't enjoy doing, but I followed instructions diligently.

    All of this is adding to my anxiety/depression. It's unfortunate that can block you from receiving appropriate treatment. Out of pocket for both Dr. and the cost of the medication is just too expensive for me which is the bottom line; however relapsing would be just as expensive if not more.

    My Case Manager is a Licensed Family therapist who doesn't seem to know anything about addiction. To say I am drug-seeking for suboxone is just ignorance.

    Sorry, I got off-topic, but it helps to air out my frustrations with beauracracies.

    Murphy

     
    Old 05-23-2004, 04:10 PM   #40
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 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 blanket 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 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 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 **** 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
    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

    Last edited by no patience; 05-23-2004 at 04:13 PM.

     
    Old 05-23-2004, 04:45 PM   #41
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Kayleigh,

    Research on the net about panic disorder and you will get some good tips on controlling it through non drug means. Ironically, the more you fight it the worse it gets. Let it happen. Also try slow deep breathes or distract yourself with a small task like a computer game. Wait it out. Get a blood pressure kit at Wal Mart or the drug store, it will give you a pulse reading also. One is at risk of damaging their heart muscle or stroke if their vitals spike for many hours or days, and this risk is not worth it to stay in tune with anyone`s "take no meds" stance. Beta blockers knock down heart rates and BP. I suggest you ask your doc if you can take these in conjunction with the meds you are taking. I suggest the instant release kind, taken only as needed as a last resort if he or she agrees. The side effects on these stink so is best not to be on them daily unless necessary. But some people have to be. High blood pressure is "the silent killer." I feel for African American males as they are at the highest risk.

    P.S. If you spend $1000 and go to the ER I can already tell you what they will give you, benzos, probably liquid Valium.

     
    Old 05-23-2004, 05:01 PM   #42
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by howard678
    Kayleigh,

    Research on the net about panic disorder and you will get some good tips on controlling it through non drug means. Ironically, the more you fight it the worse it gets. Let it happen. Also try slow deep breathes or distract yourself with a small task like a computer game. Wait it out. Get a blood pressure kit at Wal Mart or the drug store, it will give you a pulse reading also. One is at risk of damaging their heart muscle or stroke if their vitals spike for many hours or days, and this risk is not worth it to stay in tune with anyone`s "take no meds" stance. Beta blockers knock down heart rates and BP. I suggest you ask your doc if you can take these in conjunction with the meds you are taking. I suggest the instant release kind, taken only as needed as a last resort if he or she agrees. The side effects on these stink so is best not to be on them daily unless necessary. But some people have to be. High blood pressure is "the silent killer." I feel for African American males as they are at the highest risk.

    P.S. If you spend $1000 and go to the ER I can already tell you what they will give you, benzos, probably liquid Valium.
    the funny thing is they would'nt give me any form of blood pressure medicine because my blood pressure is so low there is this house i clean that i always use ther blood pressure kit lol and my pulse is usually about 123 everytime i don't know if thats high but now that i'm going through this my blood pressure is high for me but at a normal persons level i'll mention it to the dr though i actually am seeing a new pain specialists tomorrow because my pain dr is not really doing anything but masking my pain right now so i'm getting a second opinion you're right about the emergency room they hand the stuff out like candy thanks howard hope you feeling ok kelleigh

     
    Old 05-23-2004, 07:13 PM   #43
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Kaylleigh,

    I got to concede. Benzos may well have a place in a hospital setting. If sedation is needed, they are the best, safer than barbs which are more risky for overdose. And sometimes someone desperately needs sedaton. But regular use is a no no. A pulse of 123 is high. But if you checked just after you have been busting your butt cleaning a house it would naturally be high. Long periods that high while sitting and something is wrong. You can check it yourself, is easy, on the wrist with a second hand watch. Normal range is considered to be between 60 and 90 bpms, for adults But sitting and resting it should be between 60 and 80. It goes up some after eating, and how good a physical condition someone is in relates to heart rate. People in good shape have slower resting heart rates. A pro basketball player would probably be in the mid to high 50s.

     
    Old 05-24-2004, 05:26 AM   #44
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by howard678
    Kaylleigh,

    I got to concede. Benzos may well have a place in a hospital setting. If sedation is needed, they are the best, safer than barbs which are more risky for overdose. And sometimes someone desperately needs sedaton. But regular use is a no no. A pulse of 123 is high. But if you checked just after you have been busting your butt cleaning a house it would naturally be high. Long periods that high while sitting and something is wrong. You can check it yourself, is easy, on the wrist with a second hand watch. Normal range is considered to be between 60 and 90 bpms, for adults But sitting and resting it should be between 60 and 80. It goes up some after eating, and how good a physical condition someone is in relates to heart rate. People in good shape have slower resting heart rates. A pro basketball player would probably be in the mid to high 50s.
    thanks howard you always help me you're feeling so crappy (to put it mildly) and you're helping me out you're such a great friend i think i'm gonna buy one of those machines you suggested hope your doin well i posted you on when does it end don't know if you read it thanks so much for all your info you must be like a dr or something lol hugs kelleigh

     
    Old 05-24-2004, 08:02 AM   #45
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    Re: Murphy and anyone interested abut benzos

    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

     
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