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Is "Take as needed" a bad thing to do?


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I took 2 to 3 mg a day of Lorazepam and I tapered down over 3 months. I haven't taken anything in a little over a month but if things start to go up and down, would it be OK to take a small dosage to get through any really rough moments?
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Please try not to do that.  I tried it, and kept finding excuses for "just this one time", which became "Just through this week", to "just till that thing happens next month".  Can you find something else to calm you?  Perhaps meditation?  Walking?  Anyway to naturally get to your happy place?  I am struggling with learning how to do that also, but I think there is a solution!  Good luck to you!
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Hi Skippy:

 

That would be a really BAD idea.  Unfortunately, that approach turns the healing process upside down.  It's best to stay the course steadfastly.......

 

Draftsman

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I'm trying not to take anything and I have been successfully so far. I've had my moments but nothing too bad where I HAD to take something. It's only been a month but from what I've been reading I think there may be a back last at some point. I'm just wondering how to deal with it IF it happens and if it will go on for a long time.
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Hi again Skippy!  I feel bad for you, thank you for posting, because I have the same thoughts but since I've been through this before I feel like I want to really encourage you to take care of yourself.

 

What are you afraid might happen if you don't take a pill?  Besides feeling really uncomfortable?

 

Maybe it's just me, because I like to be alone when I am having a hard time, maybe you are different.  So sometimes when I am not coping well, I tell people that I have a migraine headache and need to lay down in a dark room.  Then I go in my room and watch tv :).  Or I have been known to tell my boss that I am sick and I just go somewhere like the mall or go hiking.  Could you do something like that?

 

Good luck!

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Draftsman, what do you mean when you said "It's best to stay the course steadfastly"?  Just try to stay off the Benzo?

 

 

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[48...]

Skippy,

 

I would advise you not to "Take it as needed"...

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Only way I can explain this one by using one of my methods.

 

You need to keep your level steady.

Keep the course. Like draftfan said, it will turn your healing upside down if you dose as needed.

 

S#

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Yes, Skippy, stay off the benzos.  It is going to be a rough ride but having a positive attitude and getting support from this site will help immensely.  Taking an "as needed" dose here and there can make your symptoms worse.  What symptoms are you encountering now?

 

Patty  xo

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Skippy, I would probably not be in my position if I had stayed away from benzos and alcohol after I got off of klonopin in October of '09.  The occasional benzo can confuse your system up a lot.  And each time you get addicted again it is harder to get off and the symptoms get worse.  Trust me my friend, do not go the route of thinking you are in the clear and taking a benzo here and there for relief.

 

That being said, there may be times in the future when surgery or some medical procedures require a one time use of a benzo.  Dr. Ashton said not to worry, the occasional one-offs shouldn't send you back into addiction.  When it  comes  to anxiety,  you should do your best to find other coping skills.

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Draftsman, what do you mean when you said "It's best to stay the course steadfastly"?  Just try to stay off the Benzo?

 

Yes, I meant stay off the benzo....

 

Draftsman

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Stoneyco, I have general anxiety and a rapid heart beat from time to time. I haven't taken any Lorazepam in six weeks. I don't want to take it but I'm just concerned that the bad stuff will come back with a vengence at some point in the future. I'm just thinking about how to cope with it if it gets to be too much.
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I think one of the best things you can do is believe in your own innate capacities to deal with your anxiety states.  That means waiting out the withdrawals when things get worse, if they do....

 

Draftsman

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I usually don't advocate meds... since all meds come with their own set of problems.  I was prescribed beta-blockers a few days ago for anxiety... but beta-blockers are really only good for slowing the heart-rate and blood pressure down.  My blood pressure is fine and my heart doesn't beat that fast from anxiety.. so I didn't get the prescription.  

 

I would rather you take no meds and get better... but if you are having adrenaline and heart rate issues... a beta-blocker would be the lesser evil and a better choice instead of benzos.  I know people who use them regularly have to taper off of them too, but it isn't like benzo tapering or withdrawal.  Consult your doctor to see if this would be something viable. 

 

Ultimately I would hope you just try to ride things out more and try self-help and coping techniques.

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I think most of us who have been through benzo withdrawal would agree that the risks of taking these meds far outweigh the benefits.

 

 

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Skippy,

 

Four years ago I was given a prescription for Ativan (lorazepam). The Doctor's instructions were to "take as needed" for insomnia.

 

For awhile it was great..... I slept like a baby..... One morning, soon after waking up, I was freezing cold and had the shakes so bad that I couldn't even get a glass of water up to my mouth. What I was experiencing was tolerance withdrawals.....my brain was telling me to give my body a higher dose of Ativan.

 

At the time, I didn't realize that I was,  in fact having tolerance withdrawals. I continued to take as needed and kept on having all these strange and scary things happen to me.

 

My Doctor never made the connection that I was having withdrawals..... Not been given any information about the dangers involving this drug, I was clueless..... After 2 years of living like this......BINGO..... I made the connection to Ativan..... I was so disgusted that I threw the Ativan and Ambien in the garbage and went cold turkey.

 

So Skippy, "Take as needed" in not a good option.

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Skippy... Forget the med... never put the poison in your mouth again, that's what it is.  Yes, wd's are tough... but you never would be experiencing any of this if you had never been given this poison.  My hubby's is 16 wks off after 10.5 months of taking it... never, never, think of taking it again, you will wrack your system worse, you will go backwords.. the only way, throw them out, work thru the wd's no matter how rough they are and can be... just know in time they will all go away.  I know, I was there in the 80's, been there and done it, so I understand first hand.  The drugs are poison and will ruin your life, even take a little bit now and then... that's what Mr. Benzo wants you to do... and then it will grip and get a hold of you again.  Be proud how and what you have done it getting where you are, that is true courage... you have it, just put one foot in front of another... work through what you need and will experience.. its from the drugs, its not in your head and nothing is mentally wrong with you... its physical all from this wicked drug.  Go forward my dear bb... you have all others on this site to help you keep to the yellow brick road... that will end up golden with the light of a new life.  Best to you, Pattylu
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Thank you all for your opinion. I'm trying not to take it and I haven't. It's only been seven weeks free of Lorazepam and the two weeks prior to that I took 1/8 mg once a week because the w/d symptoms got to be a little too much for me. I know it's important to taper down slow but I pushed it too much in my eagerness to get off of it. At this point I guess I just have to stay away from it. There doesn't seem to be any point to going back to a taper process. I went to a psychatrist who didn't want to switch me over to Diazepam. She told me to take the Lorazepam as needed. I think I would have preffered to do a slow taper off of Diazepam but I'll just take it one day at a time.
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You're going to find that when you heal from this mess, you won't need it.  After experiencing the anxiety that benzo tolerance and benzo withdrawal produced, no natural anxiety is worth taking a pill for.  Since I healed, what I used to think was anxiety is just a case of the butterflies compared to benzo stuff.  Just stay the course, remain benzo free and wait to see how you feel after you heal, I promise you, you'll be glad you did.

 

You might want to practice new and natural methods of coping with anxiety, get away from the programming we all have that we need a pill, this isn't true and the sooner you start a new way of thinking, the better.

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[3c...]

I am on Day 32 of a CT off roughly 30 mg. of Valium (my usage varied from day to day), and I took a "time out" on Day 16 for 3-1/2 days. Initially it wasn't a "time out" but I'd just given up and gone back on Valium. But the whole time I was back on I was quietly beating myself up for what I'd done. I expected to feel better -- instead, I just felt worse and really disappointed and disgusted with myself. At 11:30 a.m. on the fourth day back on, I was going to take a 5 mg. pill and I looked and it and just said, "No more." Fortunately, I don't think 3-1/2 days put that much more Valium into my blood stream and it's been more than 2-1/2 weeks now that I've been back on my CT. I feel like crap and sometimes I can sense my mind trying to rationalize taking "just a little bit to ease me through this rough spot" and I have to jerk myself back to reality and focus on getting through that moment and then the next and so on until I made it through the day.

 

Taking some Valium "as needed" is simply not an option for me. It is simply playing with fire and setting myself up so those "as needed" periods became more and more frequent and ultimately I'd end up using daily again. So, my advice is the same as everyone else: DON'T DO IT!

 

Hang in there. Live in the here and now -- one day at a time.

 

Best wishes,

 

Jac in Tucson

 

This is me on Day 32:  :idiot:

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[3c...]

My earlier comment from Day 32 probably needs some updating. I said back then that taking anything "as needed" simply was not an option. Well, it wasn't until today. For the past couple of days I've really had problems with overwhelming emotions that are so strong they affect my cognitive processes. Today, I was ready to snap. I ended up taking .5 mg of Xanax at noon, followed an hour later by 5 mg of Valium. I just needed to clear the insanity out of my mind for a few hours. It's now been six hours since I took the Valium and it's worn off. The emotions and other crappy withdrawal symptoms have come back but I have to admit that I am stronger now to keep pushing ahead after having just a few hours' relief. I didn't feel "normal" by any means but the crazy out-of-my-mind feeling I had late this morning has gone. I have to take this little "speed bump" relapse into the grand scheme of things. It hasn't derailed me from my CT. Instead, it was a much-needed tiny easing of the pain to keep on pushing ahead. So, I need to adjust what I said earlier and say that in my case a rare "as needed" dose gave me the impetus to keep moving ahead...

 

This is still me on Day 37 of a CT from 30+ mg of Valium daily:  :o

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My earlier comment from Day 32 probably needs some updating. I said back then that taking anything "as needed" simply was not an option. Well, it wasn't until today. For the past couple of days I've really had problems with overwhelming emotions that are so strong they affect my cognitive processes. Today, I was ready to snap. I ended up taking .5 mg of Xanax at noon, followed an hour later by 5 mg of Valium. I just needed to clear the insanity out of my mind for a few hours. It's now been six hours since I took the Valium and it's worn off. The emotions and other crappy withdrawal symptoms have come back but I have to admit that I am stronger now to keep pushing ahead after having just a few hours' relief. I didn't feel "normal" by any means but the crazy out-of-my-mind feeling I had late this morning has gone. I have to take this little "speed bump" relapse into the grand scheme of things. It hasn't derailed me from my CT. Instead, it was a much-needed tiny easing of the pain to keep on pushing ahead. So, I need to adjust what I said earlier and say that in my case a rare "as needed" dose gave me the impetus to keep moving ahead...

This is still me on Day 37 of a CT from 30+ mg of Valium daily:  :o

 

??? 

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[3c...]

Pamster, it's the day after and I'm still doing fine.  Not great but no need today for an "as needed" dose to keep me from going crazy...

 

Thanks for your concern.

 

Jac in Tucson

 

Me on Day 38:   :o

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Pamster, it's the day after and I'm still doing fine.  Not great but no need today for an "as needed" dose to keep me from going crazy...

 

Thanks for your concern.

 

Jac in Tucson

 

Me on Day 38:   :o

 

I just remembered I needed to find out how you were doing, I hope you're still on the right track.  ;)

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[3c...]

Pamster:

 

It's three days later (Day 41) and I'm doing fine. I slept good last night. The insane emotions and dreams that kept me up have abated over the past few days and I've had a good day, a so-so day, another so-so day, and today is good, except I steam cleaned my son's bedroom, my office, and our master bedroom, so now I'm tired, and when I am tired my anxiety increases a bit. I can deal with it, though, so after this I'm off to a nice shower (although it felt good to work up a sweat doing some physical labor!) and then I'll vegetate in front of the TV and hopefully relax a bit.

 

I'm hanging in there! Thank you for your ongoing concern and support!

 

Jac in Tucson

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Thanks for the feed back everybody! I don't visit BB too often because I get freaked out at some of the stuff I read. I have to block it out and try to stay positive. As most people know, it's the state of mind that I'm in going through this WD process. (Being sensitive & scared) I haven't taken any Lorazepam in 10 weeks. It's been 5 months since I started a rapid taper. (3mo.) It's been a rough ride but still I feel like it hasn't been as bad as many other people on here. When I said "Take as needed" I meant for a complete melt down where I felt that I was in danger. I've had many bad moments but I continue to fight my way through them one at a time. I have moments where the symptoms let up and I enjoy it but I try to stay prepared for further battles one moment or day at a time. BTW... The doctors are dying to put me on Lexapro. I don't want to take it because I don't want to trade one problem for anther. They keep saying Lexapro isn't addictive. That's not what I've been reading. I would have preferred to follow a slow taper as per the Ashton Manual but getting a doctor to go along with that has been a problem for me. Trying to find anybody who knows anything about Benzo withdrawl around here has been a problem. I've been on my own trying to fight my way through this. I've managed to hang in there so far.
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