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17yrs of benzos - quitting


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Hello, this is my introduction. Xanax was first prescribed to me 2005 for anxiety, I was up to 2mg Xanax per day for about 7 years, then doc switched me to Clonazepam about 10 years ago (2mg twice a day). About 6 months ago, I told my doc I wanted off of it, and my dose was cut in half to 1mg twice a day. I noticed no withdrawals or change in my mood when the dose was cut in half.

 

Made a big mistake and started drinking again in the evenings, and I would skip days of taking the benzo. Quit drinking since, went back to 2mg Klonopin per day and doc said I need to taper and can't just stop taking it and substitute 2 bottles of wine a night.

 

I am at a point where I think my tolerance was so high, the drug isn't doing much for me.

 

In 2022, I started at 1.75mg per day for a month, then 1.5mg for a month, and this past week I dropped it to 1mg per day. I am not feeling any different yet (4 days at 1mg), I am still able to sleep OK. Only other pill I take is Melatonin at bedtime.

 

I registered here to ask a few basic questions, mainly - why am I not getting any withdrawals and if it's safe to make the jump from 1mg to .5mg to .25mg to 0mg over the next 4 weeks?

 

I am kind of thinking everyone is different, and I might just be either extremely lucky in that I don't experience wds, or they might start kicking in once I go below 1mg? Is it almost a certainty there will be wds after 15+years?

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Hello someoldguy, welcome to BenzoBuddies,

 

Wow, you may be one of those lucky people we hear about, I sure hope so!  I'm glad you learned your lesson about alcohol, it hits the same receptors in the brain so it can mess with our tapers and our recovery. 

 

If your taper is working for you then I say keep doing what you're doing.  We suggest reducing by about 5-10% every couple of weeks but we really stress paying attention to your symptoms, they should guide you.  Most members say they need to slow down when they get lower in dose so pay attention but if you're doing well, I don't see why you can't keep up the pace. 

 

Most who take Clonazepam say the symptoms show up around day 3 and mellow out around day 10 so keep this in mind when you reduce next time.

 

I'll provide some links to help you navigate the forum but feel free to ask questions.

 

Pamster

 

The Ashton Manual

 

Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper)

 

Withdrawal Support (during your taper)

 

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Good thinking coming here for advice before making any drastic changes. I didn't know this place existed when I tapered and I did like you. I went from 2mg daily to 1.5mg then 1mg, .75, .50, .25, and jumped from there. It was extremely fast compared to what most people here do but believe it or not my doctor wanted to me to taper even faster than that. Luckily he gave me a couple months notice before he started cutting back so I was able to start early and stockpile enough to make a somewhat sane final glide.

 

The thing is I, like you, had no symptoms during my taper despite taking massive cuts of 35-50%. My symptoms only began a week after I quit. It would take me several months to even realize that the strange sickness I was feeling was even withdrawal. My doctor thought it was all in my head and sent me to a shrink who thought I had an autoimmune disorder. None of them connected all my symptoms to the fact that I'd just rapidly tapered off a huge dose of benzos. The sad fact is the medical community is woefully unaware of benzo withdrawal. It was only after I found this forum and started reading stories that it all made sense.

 

Some of us can taper quick and dirty as I did, some have to take it very slowly. Everyone is different. If what you're doing is working stick with it. If you need to hold where you are for a bit or slow down the taper that's ok too. Don't be too hard on yourself by setting an arbitrary timeline. Let your body tell you what it needs. If you go too fast it WILL let you know it.

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Thank you Pamster and ThermalChaser. Glad I found this place recently and started lurking and just reading other's experience coming off benzos. Really helpful forum.
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