Discussions that mention xanax

Addiction & Recovery board

Hello Ashamed

Nice to meet you. I am sorry to meet you at such a time of turmoil and angst, but so glad you are taking the initial steps to get out from under the Vicodin's hold on you. It can be done! The symptoms of withdrawal can be tough at times, but you know what? They pale in comparison to what we go through in the feelings of guilt and turmoil when we try to hide a tormenting addiction. I can write that with confidence because I have lived through both the secret, agonizing , fearful hiding and finally through the open and honest withdrawal. Today I am a happy woman, enjoying my grandbaby to the fullest, and participating in life again without all the fear and withdrawal from family and friends. I have found 'me' again and I have found that I really like myself pretty much again. Smiles. Without the drugs, all the best parts of me have been able to surface again.

I tapered first off the opiate Oxycodone and then from the benzo Xanax. Opiates can be tapered from more quickly, but truthfully, I believe all tapers must be done slowly for the best success in staying off of them for good. My own taper from Oxycodone took from October through January. My doctor worked out a plan with me. The first cut was from 12 tabs to 8 a day. He also cut my Xanax at the sme time and it was disastrous! Too big in cuts and not wise at all to taper from two different classes of drugs at the same time! ( which is why I would not advocate stopping smoking at the same time as working off Vicodin). I went into full withdrawal and it was pretty horrible. We reworked the plan and while I stayed at those cut doses, the taper continued more slowly and only the Oxycodone continued to be cut.

I cut by 1/2 a tab at one time from only one of my three doses day. Slowly I moved the first morning dose stretching it out closer and closer to noon in small time increments each day... ( 15 minutes to 20 minutes). "Once a cut is made, never go back up...." was a cardinal rule for me. Some cuts were easier than others.

I would make a cut every 7 -10 days or so. When I felt I had leveled out enough, the next cut was made. As the end of the taper neared, the cuts got smaller and smaller.... 1/4 tabs instead of halves. At the very end, I measured in crumbs. I would smash the tabs, eyeball a portion that was smaller than the previous, divide the crumbs with the edge of a piece of paper and then wet my finger to take the dose of crumbes appropriate for the dose. I probably was taking a 1/8 or less of a tab when I finally walked off for good.

I did have withdrawal symptoms throughout the taper, although the intensity of them lessened as I learned how to work through them. Anxiety was about the worse for me. I sobbed through it in the initial stages. Then I began to work with it with breathing techniques, a lot of physical activity, and mostly by understanding that the anxiety was a symptom of my brain healing from the need for the drug. The brain will go through a restoration process as it eases away from lettting the drugs we ingest work for it into working on its own and producing what we need again.

I think Magpie has offered some wonderful advice for tapering. I really like the intention statement everyday. I used a mantra my doctor gave me... "I am getting stronger and better everyday." It helped me through a lot of rough spots for sure.

Like you, Ashamed, I read and read posts here going back months and months and pages and pages. I did not find the site until I was already well into my own withdrawal. Had I found it earlier, I would have been better prepared and knowledgable about what withdrawal encompassed and how to deal with it. Learn all you can, ask every question that comes into your mind.... the help and advice and support I got here was amazing and many helped me walk through my withdrawals. They helped me walk to my restoration. That is what withdrawal really is... the path to restoration.

Wishing you only the best as you find your own restoration to the woman you really are