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Six Months Into My Recover from Benzos Part 1


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Hi my name is Kevin, and I am now in the process of recovery. I'll start with that I am lucky to be alive and amazed to be alive looking back at all the prescription drugs or "medication" use and abuse I have used in the past seven to ten years. I just turned thirty, I call 29 my waking up age-the journey to the healing process--its not easy, nonetheless its here and it requires, if not demands patience, acceptance, humility, love, willpower, fortitude, temperance and the other many virtues that are found along that way.

    I call myself an "accidental addict": the different psychiatrists I have seen handed out prescriptions to me like candy over the years which lead me to believe in the safety of these synthetic chemicals. I was first diagnosed with ADD/ADHD then perscribed Adderall in my sophomore/junior year of University when I was around 21 or 22. This slowly followed with a crackpot doctor/physician who worked for a psychologist that gave me a prescription for Xanax and Ambien. These three drugs were the three that continued to grow in mg size and use and abuse. The Adderall would produce the calm at first then with the higher doses produced the anxiety and panic attacks. I used the Xanax to settle the anxiety starting at 0.25mg reaching up to 4.0mg a day. I had no correct leadership or help with these drug usage.

  At University, I used Adderall to study or help my ADD, the Xanax to calm and help my anxiety, and the Ambien to sleep. I went into a vicious cycle that lead me to be diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder according to the MMPI and psychological review. I tried getting the Xanax levels down from 4.0mgs to 2.0mgs with CBT therapy--but due to several psychosis of the Adderall use and abuse(which were now up to between 60 mgs a day(prescribed) to 150mgs of abuse) and having several major withdrawals from the benzo Xanax--the cycles of ups and downs, withdrawal, panic attacks, suppression of any type of emotion or anxiety lead me to be on the long acting benzo Klonopin along with Xanax. So by the time I left University I was on 2.0 mgs of Xanax and 2.0mgs of Klonopin and 60 mgs of Adderall plus 10mgs of Ambien.

 

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Hello Kevin,

 

Welcome to BenzoBuddies.

 

Are you in the planning stages, or have you already started to taper your benzodiazepines (Xanax and Ambien). Although not technically a benzodiazepine, Ambien (and other 'z-drugs') operate in a manner almost identical to benzodiazepines. In terms of dependency and quitting, there's no great distinction between the two classes of drugs.

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That was my University experience. Seven years of ups and downs, withdrawals and abuses, panic attacks, suppression of emotions, chemical dependence, and being a slave to the experience of these drugs--I thought I was doing something that was somewhat normal. I know look back at see how convoluted and diluted that all was.

   When I left and returned home I continued on the prescription drugs path and found a crackpot doctor whom I will call my legal drug dealer. Looking back on it now he cared nothing for me, nothing for my existence, my health, my way of being--only to have fake conversation and dispense me my "medication". I did not even have to give him any references or medical papers to explain my "disorders", all I had to do was walk in there. My first visit was 2mgs of Xanax, 2mgs of Klonopin, 60mgs of Adderall, 20mgs of Ambien. Again after a breakdown I eventually decided to get off one of the drugs and that was Xanax. To drop this drug from years of use and abuse with the range of benzos going from 6mg to 10mg to sometimes 20mgs a day I got to the level of Klonopin alone to 6mgs was an amazing thing to do; cutting Xanax out of the mix completely without tapering.

  In December 2010 I had my final crash. I used Adderall to a ridiculous degree to help me to do research and study, and the Klonopin soon became like menthol candy as I chewed them to calm down. The Ambien was joined with wine to sleep. I got myself locked up involuntarily hell like psychiatric ward for 13 days. I was not given any type of benzo to help with the withdrawals but put on Depakote, Risparadol, Visceral which didn't do anything except put me further into agony. I was at 135lbs from 175lbs and in the worst experience of my life. No one in the ward cared about the patients, the place was horrid, the experience was torture and my body and mind were failing. My family.....

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My family was my saving grace and why I am alive to day. After the hell ward I decided to get off all "medications" all together. A new psychiatrist tried Lithium along with these but after a month or so I discontinued all the medications prescribed from the lunatic doctor in the psychiatric ward and the new doctor found afterwards, now only leaving me to slowly taper off of the Klonopin. My mother is the one who is helping me and she literally saved my life. I am here six months later slowly doing a taper from 6.0mgs of Klonopin now down to 2.0mgs. I am starting the liquid titration soon. A new doctor recently just put me on Seroquil to help with the extreme agitation and Lunesta at times to help me sleep--but my goal is to GET OFF OF ALL PSYCHATRIC MEDICATIONS. It has not been easy, I will not lie it has been extremely tough. But this journey is showing me that it WILL get better and it IS getting better. My CNS and my body and mind all need to find a healthy balance and heal--the distortion I put myself through is taking time to repair. This takes patience. PATIENCE I have learned is the key factor is this healing process along with ACCEPTANCE.

  I am now here at 30 years old, along with my mother's aid, tapering off of Klonopin and in this transmutation like period of my life. I am learning to feel again, understand my emotions, understand my mind, and see BEAUTY in the world, know LOVE, and grasp GRATITUDE.  It is work each day and each day can be different from the next, but as one philosophy goes "Take Baby Steps", and "Take One Day at A Time". Learning to be in the NOW and the PRESENT is key. Meditation, prayers, and affirmations are key tools to getting me through this. This is it in a nutshell. Again I am happy to be alive, amazed to be alive, and excited about my future. I am learning to fall back in love with life which is in the childlike sense, not the childish sense, childlike in finding happiness, beauty, love, and enjoyment in simple things. HOPE is key and FAITH is key. I know I will get though this, I know I can and I am. I am waking up.

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I have been tapering yes, doing a dry taper.  I was at 3.0 mg in March and now I am on 2.0.  My mother has done quite a bit of research and found through this support group --the liquid taper with milk.

 

She has gotten the schedules from the other benzo board (Professor Ashton's website with a link) -- not sure of the name but they have excel spreadsheets which she put in 500 ml liquid for 2 mgs of Klonopin which is the daily dose.  We discussed doing the 2 mgs in 500 ml liquid (milk) and want to divide into 4-6 doses in baby jars after liquefying the 2 mgs in a mason jar because she liked what she learned on this site about less equipment, passing from one container to the other etc., to keep it simple.  What we would like to know is how to get on the split dosages throughout the day for example: I take 1 mg of Klonopin in the am (dry) and 1 mg of Klonopin in the afternoon.  We are concerned about going to  a split schedule with the liquid doses and causing even more wd symptoms.  I think I have been in a protracted withdrawal since December so not sure what is going on.  We are keeping to the no more than 10% cut--  with the 500 ml liquid (2 cups) and using the micro -taper of 1 ml daily.  We noticed that if we did the schedule at 250 ml liq, once down to 1.0 the cut goes over 10%.

 

I think the waves of wd symptoms, insomnia, anxiety and the panic attacks are because of the protracted withdrawal I have been in since December along with the combination of the Adderall and antipsychotics, my mother keeps reminding me that it has only been 7 months(down from 6-20 mgs K)

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Hello metatron59, Welcome!

 

It sounds like you've done a good amount of research and have made some good progress thus far.  Congratulations on your decision to take back control of your life from drugs, a very good move. 

 

Please ask questions, we're here to help.

 

Pam

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