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3 months into taper, how long to go?


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Happy May Day! Quitting Brotizolam was something I never planned to do until retirement (5 years to go). I’d take .25-.375 at bedtime and it was lights out and I was good to go at my high stress job the next day. Always felt normal and all was good. I had been following this course for almost nine years. I would visit my doctor in Japan a few times a year and get my prescription refilled. Well in February I RAN OUT and given the changes in the world and my personal circumstances, I was unable to get to Japan. Fortunately, I had a reserve of prescription Etizolam and Zolpidem (Ambien) docs gave me for sleep that I kept, just in case, that I never used. I thought they would be basically the same but I was VERY wrong. First day of switching (.5 mg Etizolam and 10 mg. of Zolpidem) I got whacked! All the classic benzo withdrawal horrible symptoms members describe on this forum. The following evening, I increased the Etizolam does to 1.5 mg of Etizolam along with 10 mg, Zolpidem at bedtime. That made mornings better but I would get hit in the afternoon. I could survive until evening when a couple beers would hold me over until my bedtime dose. Today marks three months of my transition from Brotizolam to my Etizolam/Zolpidem combo. I have since reduced my Etizolam dose to .625 mg. (plan to reduce to .5 mg tonight) and 6.25 mg. Zolpidem. My plan is to get to 5 mg. of Zolpidem, hold there, and reduce the Etizolam by .125 mg. every two weeks and jump at .125 mg. (still on the 5 mg. Zolpidem). Couple questions. Does this sound reasonable? Will I be benzo free once off Etizolam but still on 5 mg. of Zolpidem? To be honest, this has been a rough ride but things seem to be getting better. The bright side of the pandemic is I have been teleworking and work stress has been reduced.
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