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Over 32 years of Xanax and Klonopin


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I did not realize what I in 1984, I went from Dr. to Dr. there was no diagnosis for my panic attacks, finally a Dr. gave me a new drug Xanax that finally worked. He prescribed 10mg a day. At that time they thought it was not habit forming. They had no name for what I had. Since then all 32 years I thought I had continued panic attacks. I did not realize I was withdrawing for the real panic attacks stopped. I went through all the horror of going to same Dr. who prescribed as directed 4 or 3 mg a day. Never mentioned addiction. In fact when I told him I wanted to taper he said wrongly I could do it in 4 days. I quickly left him after 15 years. Now I have chronic insomnia , I feel the only way to get my real sleep cycle back is to taper or quit cold turkey. the insomnia is keeping me from getting and keeping a job which I need badly. I went for sleep study they only test for apnea, which I do not have. I tried to explain benzo withdrawal insomnia without empathy. they acted like they knew nothing of it. I have quit cold turkey for 10 days and experienced the worst, then 20 days with less side effects I need off to be able not only to sleep but work. I hope to get advice and encouragement. I realized the only real treatment is mostly on my own, there are no places in the US that know how to properly taper or treat benzo withdrawal. with that many years of this drug in my system I often wonder what permanent damage it has done to me and what disorders like Alzeimers or Dementia might be headed my way if I do not stop. The life of a benzo sufferer is lonely and unknown to the outside world. The fight is mine to endure I know. I am on 1mg Klonopin and hoping to taper to none and hopefully get a normal sleep pattern back. I need support to endure and hope no permanent damage surfaces after I stop this horrible ordeal. I wish there were a support group in St Louis Missouri us. it would be invaluable.
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Hello, and welcome to the forum! We have several other members who've been on benzos 20 years or more and have recovered from their symptoms.  Time is the healer

 

You'll find plenty of information and support here.  Our members have gone through all aspects of withdrawal, and you're likely to see  people who understand what you're going through and can tell you what has worked for them.  For those who are currently tapering, we suggest reducing no faster than 5-10% every 10-14 days, and some taper even slower than that. One exception: very short-term users of a few weeks or less may be able to taper faster than that.  Having some withdrawal symptoms is normal, especially near the end of a taper and for a month or so after discontinuing the medication.  The most common symptoms are anxiety and insomnia, but these are temporary and will go away in time.

 

Here are a few links you may find useful:

 

Withdrawal Support Board

 

The Ashton Manual is an authoritative source on what to expect in withdrawal and recovery.  Dr. Ashton is an expert in the field.  She describes and explains withdrawal symptoms in Chapter III, and there is also a section with withdrawal/taper schedules.

 

Please take the time to Create a Signature.  This will allow others to see where you are in the process so they can better support you.

 

Again, welcome!

 

:smitten:

 

 

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Hi buddy, first of all, you're not permanently damaged! So stop thinking about that right away. And second, don't quit cold turkey. It's not safe and you might even have a seizure. Get in touch with a hospital and ask if they know of a clinic for addicts. Or at least get a new GP that understands what a benzo really is. If you find that person they will help you taper.

It's a long long process, even for those that only have used benzo's for one month. I'm sure you will recover 100% but you need to give it time. Your body need to learn how to handle life all over again. Also, ask your GP for some oldschool anti allergy medication, they could help you sleep. They work for me and are 100% non-addictive.

 

Good luck!!!

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welcome! I was on xanax for thirty years and recently tapered off it completely. I am still healing right now but I do not believe I am permanently damaged after all those years- I can feel the healing happening- slowly at times- but I believe I will be whole at some point- hopefully soon.  It was the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life to get off the xanax but It was so worth it to be free. Good luck to you!
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Hi I was on benzos for over 20 years. I ended up in rehab and cold turkey ..I'm not recommending ct, but my physical wd symptoms have now healed. I'm 14 mos free now. Do not give up, and go by your instincts. Being positive helped me recover.
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I have even more of a problem, yes I have quit for 10 days and went through the rl, the muscle spasms, the extreme anxiety , and panic. I then made it through 20 days. I have not been able to sleep for months. My GP said I was delusional, said I really sleep but don't know it. They also said I would be dead if I did not sleep for that long a time. I am not dead and they have no idea what Benzo induced insomnia is like. I do. They think it is either in my head, or they were going to hook me up to some apnea machine. They said if I did not have apnea than I need to go back to psychiatrist. I wonder for what? Most do not know the horrors of Benzo withdrawal , i gave mine the Ashton Manual to learn just have awful it is. I believe he will work with me. My main problem is I have to work, I have to function, no sleep really makes work nearly impossible. I am not independently wealthy where I can wait for the GABA to come back from Tahiti and make everything normal. I try for weeks to quit the benzos only to be frustrated that the lack of sleep makes everything worse with no end in sight. If I had all the time in the World I could beat this but when your playing the waiting game and need to make house payments and insomnia negates working, you are at wits end. I do not know if I have enough money stashed away to devote two months to withdrawal. Then it is not assured I will still be able to sleep. And no sleep means no work and no work means bills will not be paid. This is a disability of the first kind with no one interested in research, only alcoholics get research and that is turning them from alcoholics to Benzo addicts. I see no point there. It is much more acceptable to be a drunk than to be prescribed the worst drugs to withdrawal from with no empathy whatsoever and not enough Dr.s to stick their necks out to actually see about ending the addiction to Benzo's. So now we suffer on our own and use the Ashton Method because she is the only one who know how awful these are. There is no free treatment and rehab centers charge a fortune, most know nothing of the scope of Benzo Withdrawal and most give you 28 days tops and benzo's withdrawal takes months. Easy money for these places, send you home still dependent, and wish you good luck and thanks for the money for rehab, then they say Next step right up. We do not know anything about Benzo withdrawal but we will mirror alchohol rehab Oh and make you two kinds of dependent. There should be laws against any doctor who fills these scrips for more than 4 weeks and also who do not warn the patient of the dire consequences of trying to quit. Basically none really care, just another patient in the door, the revolving door.
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Hello!

First of all, welcome to the forum.

I'm only a short-term user (I was put on Klonopin in April 2016 and started tapering in July) but I can definitely relate to what you say, since I developed a tolerance extremely fast. These drugs are nasty to anyone. I started from 1 mg as well: good luck for your tapering, here you'll find a lot of experienced people and useful information! And please remember to go slowly, you've been on benzos for a very long amount of time, and being prudent is the key to your success!

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Hey benzo buddy-if u truly want to kick this addiction u need to make time to do so. When u say "i know its a 2 or 4 month withdrawal but i need to pay my bills" etc. u are mistaken. Their is no set withdrawal period. I advise u to first make up your mind if this is even doable for you and make it your lifes number one priority if you can because if you dont then you surely wont succeed. U say u quit for 20 days so u already know how difficult it is. Set up a common sense taper from the ashton manual and at least start the taper and see how long you can function and do the things u must do thruout ur taper. You need to start ur taper to give urself an idea of what its gonna be like and how work goes while tapering. Come up with a game plan and give it a shot. Everybody who kicks benzos say it is the hardest thing theyve ever done. But yet we really dont have a choice once we are in tolerance wd because withdrawal is withdrawal so u may as well be withdrawing during a taper instead of wd-ing in tolerance wd. I truly wish you well bud and hope u come up with a game plan. I know how miserable life is in tolerance withdrawal. Take care and good luck!
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  • 1 year later...
::) I posted before about INSOMNIA and having gone 6 weeks through all the withdrawal from one to the other. Now the remaining one that seems to never leave insomnia is my biggest challenge. I was given Seraquel as the sure thing to finally quell my insomnia and it worked. Plus I had no use for the diazapam I had so I thought I had some sort of secret medication. Well after about 12 days of being able to sleep, morning, afternoon, as long as i had my Seraquel I had it made. Well then came the side effects. I had gained 30 pounds on my own and was watching my weight. Well this medication which Astra Zeneca already settled a lawsuit with, started in with this hunger I would be hungry every hour and I think in one week I put on ten more pounds. When I read the full black box warning this drug is just plain bad for anything and everything. I saw at least 20 side effects in three categories and decided I would rather no sleep than be overweight by at least 100 pounds in 6 months as well as the normal dry mouth, confusion, sleepiness, and lack of motivation the drug gave me. I was happy I had no craving for the Benzo but if I did stay on this the insomnia when I tapered off of this drug would and could be worse than the benzos plus there were so many side effects one of which was sudden death. I decided to use the manual. I found nothing that could help with the insomnia before this but I never want to get dependent on this medication after Xanax, Klonopin, and now 3 10Mg's diazapam. So does anyone know if complete silence and CBT could help get a little as 2 hours sleep. I have to work. The sleep center told me if I did not sleep for that long I would die and I told them well you do not understand withdrawal at all from Benzos.  I every once in a while dream a little bit so I must get a few minutes sleep but in the morning I feel no relief. Bed has become sort of a scary place because I have no idea how long I will lay there wondering.I just wish there was some little light at the end of this insomnia tunnel. The benzo withdrawal was bad enough. The insomnia is the slow terrible one that does not seem to go away.
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