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Hi guys,

I'm in a rather difficult position. Currently, I'm prescribed 30mg daily of diazepam, in the form of 10mg tablets. Increasingly, I'm finding that I require 30mg of diazepam just to leave the house.

To make things worse, I'm a Pharmacy student. I am due to begin my second year in September/October, but what with Covid-19, I'm unsure if I'll be on campus or not!

The reason I've joined this site is I believe I have become dependent on diazepam, which I've been taking since 2017.

Before I took diazepam, I also took (on prescription) lorazepam and clonazepam.

I don't wish to stop taking benzodiazepines, I just wish to stay on the prescribed course.

Please give me your advice or tips.

Many thanks.

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Hello,  jrc1984 - Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

As you probably know, this forum is dedicated to people coming off of benzodiazepines.  I believe you are correct, you probably have become dependent on diazepam.  You can ask questions on the forum and I'm sure you will find others who became dependent too, though most people do come here for help stopping their benzos.

 

I'm so glad you decided to join the forum - you'll find plenty of information and support here. Our members have gone through all aspects of benzodiazepine use and withdrawal, so you'll be able to connect with others who understand what you're going through and can tell you what has worked for them.

 

Please feel free to post to any of the specialized boards, which can all be accessed from the BenzoBuddies Community Forum homepage. Based on the information provided in your introduction, the following links may be a good starting place for you:

 

 

General Taper Plans

 

 

Withdrawal Support During Your Taper

 

 

 

When you have a chance, I highly recommend that you take a look at The Ashton Manual, which is an authoritative source on what to expect during withdrawal and recovery, authored by Dr. C. Heather Ashton, who is an expert in the field. It provides a great deal of information that can be very reassuring during any stage of this process, including a list of common symptoms with helpful explanations on the reasons for their existence.

 

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. 

 

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

 

Again, welcome and good luck!

Greencup  :smitten:

 

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May I?! You are in a very influential position to keep this from happening to others and prevent tons of people from suffering what you are going through now. Learn from it! Moderators/Admin will direct you to the Ashton manual and offer you support. I won’t.  None of us had the background or the ability to do something about this awful medication - you do.  Please join us rather than trying to find a way around, over or under Benzo Hell.  The only way is THROuGH. Good luck with your proper taper and know that while you will be uncomfortable- you will make it to the other side.    :thumbsup:
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MaryJ,

The problem is I suffer from panic disorder with agoraphobia.

Being on a university campus without medication will be VERY difficult.

John

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I didn't suffer from agoraphobia or panic when I started taking a benzodiazepine, I sought it out for sleep but as soon as I became dependent on the drug, those two symptoms came roaring at me and stayed with me until I got off of it and recovered.  I hope the Valium isn't exacerbating your condition.

 

I'm sorry to hear you're having so much difficulty, how can we help?  You say you need the whole 30 mg to leave the house, does that mean you've increased your total dose each day or that you use it to bolster you for when you do leave the house?

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Hi Pamster,

 

I guess what I’m really looking for is a substitution for the diazepam. For example, lorazepam and clonazepam, both benzodiazepines I know, have a much shorter half life than diazepam.

If I can convince my Psychiatrist or Physician to prescribe, say three 1mg lorazepam tablets per day, so I can face lectures, where the class size can easily be 100+, I think I can reduce my diazepam dosage gradually, and then only take lorazepam as required.

 

JRC1984

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It sounds like your body has reached tolerance, which I'm sure you've learned means that in order to achieve the same effect from the Valium, or any benzodiazepine, you're going to need to increase your dose.  You can certainly make the switch to a shorter acting benzo but the only thing this will accomplish is you'll have to dose more often in ever increasing amounts due to tolerance.

 

I'm sorry to tell you that the only way out of your situation is to taper off of the Valium and reclaim your life from benzodiazepines.  The gift of choice has been taken from you by your body's dependence on this drug, it doesn't happen to everyone who takes them, but it happens to people like me and our other members.  Some can take this drug for years with no problem, others can stop taking it with no problem, this is why it's so difficult to get the medical and yes the pharmaceutical industry to acknowledge us.

 

As LeslieJ mentioned, you're in a unique position to shine a light on our and yes your plight, but I realize you can't right now because of the pain and suffering you're enduring.  We would like to help you if you decide you want to come off of the Valium but we can't make suggestions for substitutions when we know this will only add to your suffering.

 

I wish you well and feel your pain and confusion and if your Dr does decide to switch out your Valium for another benzo, I hope it works long enough for you to complete your studies.  We'll be here for you whatever you decide, we're a support forum for those suffering from benzodiazepines, and you certainly qualify.

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Hi jrc,

 

This is a link to a coalition of people trying to bring awareness to providers of benzodiazepines, it would be wonderful if you would read what it has to offer and someday provide it to those you interact with in your pursuit of your degree.  I know you don't want this responsibility especially feeling as you do, but if we can educate just one professional to the dangers of over prescribing of benzodiazepines, we would consider that a success.  https://benzoreform.org/

 

Pamster

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[af...]

Oh boy, there are some good replies here.  Thanks everyone!  I also feel your pain, jrc!  The agoraphobia and panic have been part of my life, too but like Pamster, as I've tapered down those issues are actually better!

 

I'll add to that and confess that I was in denial for a very long time about my dependence on and tolerance to Klonopin.  I've said this on BB before but my PCP told me last December that she wanted me to taper off Klonopin because the hospital system she works for wants docs to get out of the benzo prescribing business.  I thought about it and decided I wanted to taper off before the rug was pulled out from under me ... in other words, it be my choice and I could taper instead of being cut off!

 

As I've gone through this process, I decided to get honest with myself that I had an addiction issue but once I did that, paradoxically, things got easier and lighter.  I certainly didn't set out to become dependent on benzos, no one does (!), but that is where I ended up.  And yes, as the others have said, the only way out is through.

 

Best to you ... healing can happen,

 

Kate  :smitten:

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Well, I’m well aware of the concept of tolerance.

I’ve contacted my GP today, and because of the Coronavirus, they can only offer me a telephone consultation.

I’m going to request the Diazepam is changed to Lorazepam. I currently take 10mg Diazepam three times daily. I’m going to ask if that can be changed to ‘ONE tablet to be taken THREE times daily as required. Use sparingly’. I think that’s reasonable.

Such a regimen will allow me the anti-anxiety effects I require for lectures and laboratories at university.

The thought of tapering off at the moment is just too much.

Jrc1984

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Hi guys,

I'm in a rather difficult position. Currently, I'm prescribed 30mg daily of diazepam, in the form of 10mg tablets. Increasingly, I'm finding that I require 30mg of diazepam just to leave the house.

To make things worse, I'm a Pharmacy student. I am due to begin my second year in September/October, but what with Covid-19, I'm unsure if I'll be on campus or not!

The reason I've joined this site is I believe I have become dependent on diazepam, which I've been taking since 2017.

Before I took diazepam, I also took (on prescription) lorazepam and clonazepam.

I don't wish to stop taking benzodiazepines, I just wish to stay on the prescribed course.

Please give me your advice or tips.

Many thanks.

Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

I used to be like you, then I developed tolerance and did not even know about it, just felt horribly ill. Vertigo, panic attacks (I thought it was due to the vertigo), lost 15 pounds in three weeks due to nausea... I won't go into more details. Clonazepam used to be my friend helped me to be able to apply for a job without facial twitching or passing out from fear, I have learned to drive had good jobs, I did well until it turned on me hard and unforgiving. I have been sick since September of 2019, mostly housebound due to symptoms.

I am not trying to convince you to leave your medication behind. I am glad you joined BenzoBuddies because you can learn about benzodiazepines through our experiences, of course The Ashton Manual a must read, to prepare yourself and know how benzodiazepines effect our central nervous system. You may never have an issue, but knowledge is power.

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Well, guys,

Good news, I hope!

The GP agreed to switch my medication to 1mg Lorazepam three times daily as required. This is just what I wanted, and now I can continue university, without (hopefully) becoming dependent on a medication!  :D

The GP was slightly hesitant, as the Diazepam had been prescribed by a Psychiatrist, but he listened and said ‘well, we’ll give it a try’.

Jrc1984

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The GP agreed to switch my medication to 1mg Lorazepam three times daily as required. This is just what I wanted, and now I can continue university, without (hopefully) becoming dependent on a medication!

 

Hello, Jrc1984.  According to the Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices (ABBP), physiologic dependence on benzodiazepines can develop in as little as 2 - 4 weeks. (To my knowledge, this applies to the entire drug class and, as you know, lorazepam is a benzodiazepine.) To learn more, visit ABBP’s website at https://benzoreform.org/. 

 

As a pharmacy student, you might be particularly interested in viewing ABBP’s September 2019 symposium on benzodiazepine withdrawal at https://benzoreform.org/reform-initiatives/#uaz_symposium.

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