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    Old 07-01-2004, 05:12 PM   #1
    canadachik
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    Possible Benzo Addiction?

    I am 21 years old and have been taking ativan/lorazepam every day for over a month. It has helped me to get to sleep which is a very good thing. I was prescribed it initially because I hadn't slept for an entire week. The problem is that now I *must* have it or I can't sleep at night. The other night I thought since I didn't work the next morning, I would not take any (me and my experiments !!! ). It took a long time before I got to sleep. Then, I woke up a few times ..but I was REALLY wide awake! One time that I woke up I nearly jumped out of my skin. I was convinced that someone was screaming at me and my heart was pounding. Am I going psycho or is this a result of being addicted to the lorazepam?

    ~Naomi

     
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    Old 07-01-2004, 09:55 PM   #2
    howard678
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    Re: Possible Benzo Addiction?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by canadachik
    I am 21 years old and have been taking ativan/lorazepam every day for over a month. It has helped me to get to sleep which is a very good thing. I was prescribed it initially because I hadn't slept for an entire week. The problem is that now I *must* have it or I can't sleep at night. The other night I thought since I didn't work the next morning, I would not take any (me and my experiments !!! ). It took a long time before I got to sleep. Then, I woke up a few times ..but I was REALLY wide awake! One time that I woke up I nearly jumped out of my skin. I was convinced that someone was screaming at me and my heart was pounding. Am I going psycho or is this a result of being addicted to the lorazepam?

    ~Naomi
    One month, probably not addicted yet. I suggest putting the the benzo down and try a couple of benadryl tabs for sleep. Exercise, cutting out caffeine, especially at night, and a good friend to talk to also help. If you are benzo addicted it will get much uglier than a return of your pre-existing sleep deprivation, and what may have been just a bad dream. If it gets tough, come back and report. With only a month` use there may be no point and starting a long taper off and maybe getting addicted in the process. What an irony that would be! Please stop playing with that stuff. Too young, got your whole life ahead of you. It is a disgrace doctors so readily prescribe these damnable drugs for sleep! Such is what has messed up 9 months of my life and it`s not over yet. You probably will be okay if you drop it, short term use, young, strong nervous system. If you have trouble come back and report. Are several of us around that know a good bit about this stuff.

    P.S. Windy, Jennita, and Mise, stay on the thread. They are coming out of the woodwork.

    Last edited by howard678; 07-01-2004 at 10:02 PM.

     
    Old 07-02-2004, 02:30 AM   #3
    windysan
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    Re: Possible Benzo Addiction?

    Canada Chick,

    Insomnia will not kill you. Stop taking that crap. Get some exercise. You'll eventually fall asleep. The dope will just addict you and then you are gonna have some problems. Kick the stuff now.....believe me. Howard has had major problems with benzos because he used them for too long. A month is too long. Read Howard's threads to see where you are headed if you keep on the benzos. Quit the stuff and exercise your butt off....you'll sleep at night....and if you don't.....insomnia won't kill you.

    W

     
    Old 07-02-2004, 04:35 AM   #4
    sadsister
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    Re: Possible Benzo Addiction?

    Hi Canada-
    Im on ativan 2 mgs..i have been trying to cut down-cos they make me tired-but i also have insomnia-so ive been taking less during the day-and take 1 mg at nite.
    I have severe panic disorder-that it can still "breakthrough' a small dose-
    At one month-fortunately-you can leave this med behind-talk to your doctor about cutting down-or just stop-i know ill be on this med for along time-but w/o im in a bad place for panic attacks/anxiety.
    But you- haven't been on too long-i believe its up to 4 months-that you can come off safely-but id say 1 month-your all set.
    I want off all my meds-but im not ready-Good Luck...
    Heather

     
    Old 07-02-2004, 10:13 AM   #5
    howard678
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    Re: Possible Benzo Addiction?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by windysan
    Canada Chick,

    Howard has had major problems with benzos because he used them for too long.
    W
    Agreed but would word this differently and say that I was "prescribed" the drugs for too long. I was told that I was at very little risk of addiction at the supposedly "small" dose I was at, .5 mgs of Xanax a day. Was never warned of the nature of the withdrawal symptoms, potential longevity of the same, or the often need to taper the drugs over a long period. No doc ever said the drugs should not be used for over a month. If I had had proper medical care the scenario here would never have occured. I was never out to party or "get high." I have a good life I worked very hard for and would not have knowingly put it at real risk.

    Had I gotten the warning that those on this board are getting, prior to the year it took me to get addicted, I`d have dropped this drugs like a hot potato. If getting a buzz were the motive, I`d chosen alcohol or pain killers, much preferred. Ironically I`d have come out much better if I were out to get high. Would have been on something with a much easier withdrawal syndrome...

    Last edited by howard678; 07-02-2004 at 10:22 AM.

     
    Old 07-03-2004, 06:10 PM   #6
    canadachik
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    Re: Possible Benzo Addiction?

    Quote:
    Insomnia will not kill you. Stop taking that crap. Get some exercise. You'll eventually fall asleep.
    No, insomnia will not kill me. It will, however, make my life very unbearable. The reason I was originally prescribed Ativan was because I could not sleep at night at all. Lack of exercise is not the problem. I have chronic pain due to a shoulder and neck injury from a car accident and it gets worse at night. The doctor told me that ativan was addictive but he also said that there's no way my body could go on with the amount of sleep I'd been getting. I ended up at the ER with the worst migraine of my life so he gave me ativan and tylanol with codeine and wrote me a note to stay off of work for a couple days. So yes, I know it's addictive I just don't know how addictive. I don't know which is worse though: being addicted and getting sleep or taking nothing and suffering from insomnia. When I don't sleep I get migraines, and when I get migraines I end up holding my head hanging over the toilet. I guess there's no easy answer.

     
    Old 07-03-2004, 07:16 PM   #7
    howard678
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    Re: Possible Benzo Addiction?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by canadachik
    No, insomnia will not kill me. It will, however, make my life very unbearable. The reason I was originally prescribed Ativan was because I could not sleep at night at all. Lack of exercise is not the problem. I have chronic pain due to a shoulder and neck injury from a car accident and it gets worse at night. The doctor told me that ativan was addictive but he also said that there's no way my body could go on with the amount of sleep I'd been getting. I ended up at the ER with the worst migraine of my life so he gave me ativan and tylanol with codeine and wrote me a note to stay off of work for a couple days. So yes, I know it's addictive I just don't know how addictive. I don't know which is worse though: being addicted and getting sleep or taking nothing and suffering from insomnia. When I don't sleep I get migraines, and when I get migraines I end up holding my head hanging over the toilet. I guess there's no easy answer.
    That is just very irresponsible giving benzos for sleep. They are not sleep meds! They only work short term, are highly addictive, and produce inferior sleep. You`d be better off with Ambien, a med made for sleep. If that stuff will not knock you out nothing will. But you would not be much better off. It is addictive too. I`d go with the antihistamine.

    Last edited by howard678; 07-03-2004 at 07:18 PM.

     
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