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  • OMG!!! This Withdrawal is Scaring Me!!!!!!



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    Old 09-15-2005, 04:29 PM   #16
    Chaswick
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    Re: OMG!!! This Withdrawal is Scaring Me!!!!!!

    Attn; Anxiety


    IS COLD TURKEY (ABRUPT, TOTAL DISCONTINUANCE OF THE DRUG) AN ACCEPTABLE METHOD OF WITHDRAWING FROM A BENZODIAZEPINE?

    No. There is nearly complete uniformity of opinion both in the medical profession and in the benzodiazepine recovery community that cold turkey is a dangerous and unacceptable method of withdrawal. Cold turkey withdrawal may cause seizures, and is also associated with a higher probability of withdrawal psychosis. Seizures are almost non-existent in those employing a taper method, with the limited exception of people who have taken a benzodiazepine for a seizure disorder. Furthermore, psychosis is rare in those who taper their benzodiazepine slowly.

    There is a misconception that cold turkey withdrawal, though it may cause more severe symptoms, will bring about a faster remission of symptoms. This is based on the idea that a slow taper "prolongs the agony of withdrawal." This notion is erroneous. In fact, there is some anecdotal evidence that cold turkey withdrawal may lengthen the course of the withdrawal syndrome, and may even cause the Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome (see below).

    15. OK, IF I AM GOING TO TAPER MY BENZODIAZEPINE, HOW SHOULD I STRUCTURE THE TAPER?

    There are two very general rules, and one exception to the rule that is discussed below. The first rule is, the slower the taper, the milder the withdrawal symptoms. The second rule is, the smaller the cuts you are able to make, the milder the withdrawal symptoms. These are related, though separate, issues.

    For example, you might decide to cut your dose by 1/4mg every month, or alternatively, cut your dose by 1/8mg every two weeks. Either way, you are tapering at the same rate. In this author's opinion, the second option is a far superior method of tapering. Any cut is a shock to your brain and body. Cold turkey is the largest cut of all and the shock caused by such an abrupt withdrawal is so severe that even after resumption of your drug at the previous dose, it may take weeks or months to "stabilise", and in some cases, you may never stabilise from a cold turkey withdrawal until after you have completed your taper.

    This logic further extends to the size of your cuts. The smaller the cuts you make, the less the shock to your system, and the less pronounced the withdrawal symptoms triggered by the cut. It is not recommended that any individual cut represent more than 10% of your total dose at a given time. Thus, it is preferable to make smaller and smaller cuts as you go, though this can be very difficult as you approach the end of your taper.

    Always make the smallest cuts possible. That means taking the smallest dose size available and splitting it into 4 pieces, which can be done easily with or without a razor blade or pill-cutter. For example, with Valium, you can split the smallest (2mg) tablet into 4x0.5 mg pieces. With Klonopin, you can split the smallest (0.5mg) tablet into 4 pieces of 0.125 or 1/8th mg. If you are on a high dose and feel that you are able to taper rapidly at first because you are above your tolerance point (see above), space your cuts close together (no closer than 1 cut every 3 days), but make the smallest cuts possible. If or when you begin to feel withdrawal symptoms, you can start to space your cuts further apart (up to about 4 weeks). Generally, the higher potency benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan force you to make larger cuts (see below), and therefore you must space your cuts at least 3 weeks apart toward the end of your taper. Of course, even where you are able to make very small cuts with lower potency benzodiazepines such as Valium, you can make these small cuts relatively far apart if this is your most comfortable method of withdrawal.

    There is a method of tapering that involves mixing the drug with either water or a dry carrier like sugar to produce a "titration" which allows for very minute reductions, such as 1% every other day. This method has been employed with success by some people. In England, doctors have created a liquid titration kit to assist users in withdrawing comfortably. There is some promise that this method can substantially diminish the withdrawal syndrome. Unfortunately, these titration kits are not available in North America.

    If you are unable to use a titration method, you may wish to consider switching to Valium, assuming, of course, that you are not already using that particular benzodiazepine (see below). This method has been used with success, particularly in England, for many years. Professor Heather Ashton has detailed taper schedules available that are based on switching to Valium (see below).

    There seems to be a limited exception to the slow taper rule where people find that they have a "toxic" reaction to taking the benzodiazepine (see "paradoxical symptoms" above). There is a tricky distinction between toxicity and withdrawal symptoms. The usual way to tell the difference is to try increasing your dose. If the symptoms reduce or stay the same, your symptoms are likely attributable to withdrawal. If your symptoms increase, you may be experiencing toxicity, and should probably consider a faster taper (6 to 8 weeks). However, do not make a hasty decision to taper fast. Make certain that you are experiencing toxicity first. Generally speaking, your symptoms are far more likely to be related to withdrawal than toxicity.

    One cause of toxicity may be the taking of more than one psychoactive drug simultaneously. For example, taking a benzodiazepine with an antidepressant and a narcotic or pain killer.

     
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    Old 09-15-2005, 08:58 PM   #17
    Arememom
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    Re: OMG!!! This Withdrawal is Scaring Me!!!!!!

    Hey anxietysucks,

    Hope today is a better day. I haven't detoxed off xanax. But I have been around when my boyfriend did. He was sick as a dog. Slept for 4 days as much as he could. The things I encouraged you to do are the things that helped him. I was afraid at times that he would seize or something else. I've worked in the medical field for 23 years and have taken care of lots of folks either in DT's or drug withdrawl in the ICU & ER where I worked. I wouldn't want to be alone in the first few days if possible. The fact that you've gone to work everyday sayes what a strong person you are. I hope you felt better today. Tomorrows another day! Soon your 5 days will be over and you will slowly begin to feel human. Have a good day.

    Last edited by Arememom; 09-15-2005 at 09:01 PM.

     
    Old 09-15-2005, 09:37 PM   #18
    KaliSc
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    Re: OMG!!! This Withdrawal is Scaring Me!!!!!!

    Anxiety,

    It is scary when a poster ignores the advice of half the responders. You haven't made any comment on the advice that you should not be doing this C/T. Do you know if you are past the seizure period? Have you read anything about withdrawing from Xanax? It doesn't sound like it.

    Please don't disregard the advice of people here on this. At the minimum make sure you are never alone and that people around you know what to do if you seize. And please read up as much as you can on the many internet sites that give information about benzodiazepine withdrawal. Make sure you know what to expect and where you really are in the withdrawal process. Don't pat yourself on the back until you truly know where you are.

    Take care and be as safe as you can. Even strangers here are worried about you.

     
    Old 09-16-2005, 10:40 AM   #19
    Jennita
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    Re: OMG!!! This Withdrawal is Scaring Me!!!!!!

    I know it seems odd that one can cold turkey off heroin but not a prescription from a doctor, but it is entirely true! Listen to everyone here and do not cold turkey off Xanax, please!!

    Slow tapering will still accomplish your goal of becoming drug free, just be patient, after all, the tortoise won that fabled race...it doesn't matter how fast you get there as long as you get there! Be safe!!!!

     
    Old 09-16-2005, 03:33 PM   #20
    Chaswick
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    Re: OMG!!! This Withdrawal is Scaring Me!!!!!!

    Anxiety, my last post to you is to say that we are all different in how we react to taking drugs and to going off of drugs. Some people withdraw from heroin and have no problems doing it, but not the vast majority.

    I'm not saying that anyone here HASN'T withdrawn and had it over in 5 days, but I am saying that the vast majority of people will face serious consequences if they c/t off of benzo's. I've seen taper programs for some of them that last for 2 years!! You have to go very, very slowly.

    The person that spoke of valium is correct. Eventually you will want/need to switch to Valium to get off the last part of it. Valium has a shorter half life so it is much easier to taper off of.

    Good luck!!//Chaz

     
    Old 09-16-2005, 05:46 PM   #21
    anxietysucks
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    Re: OMG!!! This Withdrawal is Scaring Me!!!!!!

    Chaz-everything you have said is exactly everything that I have been reading (yes I did go to the site you directed me to) and there was a bountiful of information which all said the same that you did.

    I was just wondering, since I can't seem to get two different pharamacists to agree and therefore obviously I don't know what I'm doing until I see a doctor. If I quit c/t on Monday, went without it until today and only took 1/2 of what I have been taking, would you think I would put my body in as much of a shock as the sudden withdrawal? I'm asking, since I have went through these withdrawals and made my body adjust, if I throw it back to where it was Monday, wouldn't that confuse it more?

    I called NA tonight to see if someone there could call me and give me some insight. When they called back, he said that isn't what they do, and he wasn't knowledgeable about benzo withdrawals. So until I see the doctor on Oct. 5th (that was the soonest they had), I will have no other choice but to play it by ear. Thanks Chaz!

     
    Old 09-16-2005, 06:36 PM   #22
    Arememom
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    Re: OMG!!! This Withdrawal is Scaring Me!!!!!!

    If you've been five days without any drugs, you have gone through the worst of the withdrawls. As I've said before in post the first 4-5 days are the worst. I agree with what you're saying about confusing your body. Why start back taking something that you haven't had in your body in 5 days. NA definitely won't give you that kind of info over the phone. On the message boards and in person we can only tell you of our experiences and what we have seen work. Talk to your doctor on Monday and tell him you haven't had any xanax in 7 day (by then). Tell him how you feel that day and then the two of you can decide. I hope you have a good weekend. Try to rest and just be a couch potato. You've Earned It.....Yeah!!!!

     
    Old 09-17-2005, 11:28 PM   #23
    Hope12
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    Re: OMG!!! This Withdrawal is Scaring Me!!!!!!

    Hi There,
    I don't post much anymore,but I've been on these boards for a few years and had just been cruising thru the posts and caught yours.I just want to say, clinically speaking,you should NEVER EVER CT off of benzo's.Especially with the length of time you have been on Xanax,I'm going to tell you even with 5,6,7 days behind you CT,you're more than likely DEFINITELY NOT out of the woods.Although, there are exceptions to every rule,and there's a small chance you might be one of them.Wonderful for you if that's true,but I think you need to be informed and prepared in the event horrible withdrawal comes screaming out of nowhere,you don't want to be blindsided.Yep, SEIZURES are a HUGE possibility,even a couple weeks after stopping xanax,and the risk increases when you CT.CT'ing off of narcotics and CT'ing off of benzo's are two COMPLETELY different shows.I do hope you seek medical intervention even with being off xanax for a week or so,and if the dr. would want to put you back on at a very low dose and go ahead and start a taper(even in the middle of CT'ing) I hope you seriously consider it.I understand that the drug is no longer in your system,however,I really don't think the real withdrawal has even begun to set in.In your case, I hope I'm wrong, anything is possible,and a very small chance says you might be lucky- VERY LUCKY!Just be informed and prepared,and let someone else know what you are doing also,in the off chance something happens.That way,they'd be able to inform medical professionals what you've been doing instead of them having to play a huge guessing game.Benzo withdrawal should be taken VERY seriously, it's a whole different game than opiate withdrawal.Otherwise, if you DO escape the wicked horrible withdrawal (which more often than not can last for WEEKS, if not months),COUNT YOUR LUCKY STARS and thank the angel that HAS to be on your shoulder.So much luck to you, I really do hope you get off easier than most, just be prepared!!Keep the board updated on your progress,it is an inspiration to many to read about someone else's success with this rotten disease,and on the other hand, if you DO need to go back on the xanax,don't be hard on yourself and take everything ONE DAY AT A TIME.I admire your determination and pray for a healthy recovery for you.GOOD LUCK!!!!

    Peace and success,
    Stacie

     
    Old 09-18-2005, 05:01 AM   #24
    goddessgrl65
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    Re: OMG!!! This Withdrawal is Scaring Me!!!!!!

    This post scared me...Anxiety..i hope you are ok..and please DO NOT just stop benzos..c/t..PLEASE!!!
    Its a medical detox..or extremely slow weaning..but extremely dangerous..c/t..
    Thank you../and please be very careful..
    ggrl

     
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