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Hey guys, I am tapering from clonazepam, was on 6mg/day and down to 4mg/day, but i am getting NOWHERE because since starting the taper I have begun drinking more and more.  Right now I am drinking approx 750ml 100proof vodka/day, sometimes a little less.  How can I stop drinking without risk of death and minimal discomfort? I cannot go inpatient because I cant afford to miss work for that long.  I am also on methadone.
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Hey guys, I am tapering from clonazepam, was on 6mg/day and down to 4mg/day, but i am getting NOWHERE because since starting the taper I have begun drinking more and more.  Right now I am drinking approx 750ml 100proof vodka/day, sometimes a little less.  How can I stop drinking without risk of death and minimal discomfort? I cannot go inpatient because I cant afford to miss work for that long.  I am also on methadone.

 

Hello ajs86,

 

I'm going to be straight-forward with you. If it were me, with the high dose of clonazepam and the large amount of alcohol you are consuming, plus the methadone I would go to a hospital and tell the medical professionals there what's going on. I believe you need to be medically detoxed. I don't know how they would do it, perhaps detox you off of the alcohol. At this point I don't believe it's a matter of whether you can afford to do this or not. It it were me, I would seek medical attention immediately. Let us know how you are doing.

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Hello ajs86,

 

I agree with Nicolette, your abuse of alcohol, plus your continued use of the Clonazepam is dangerous, respiratory failure is a real possibility.  Please seek medical attention, this is about more than just missing work, this is life threatening.  Once you're medically detoxed, we'll be able to support you through the withdrawal symptoms you'll likely have afterwards.  Please take care of yourself.

 

Pam

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They probably will do a quick taper, but if you have addiction issues, this is likely the best course of action.  Not everyone can taper, I know I couldn't have, even if I'd known I was supposed to.  Once you're free from the alcohol and off of the Clonazepam, you can just hang on for the ride, not worry about tapering, just healing.
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Im also afraid theyll try and do a super-quick benzo taper, ive been through that before.

 

Hi ajs86,

 

I understand your fear, but a medical hospital will be able to get you out of the danger zone you are in right now. It can be dangerous to cold turkey that

 

much alcohol without medical attention, but combining the three is very dangerous. If it were me, I would go to a hospital now. It's not always easy to

 

think clearly when a person is on high doses of a benzo and alcohol, plus methadone. As Pam has said we will support you through your withdrawal

 

symptoms. Take care of yourself.

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Im also afraid theyll try and do a super-quick benzo taper, ive been through that before.

 

That, I DO understand.

 

How long and at what dose were you on the drug ?

 

If you've been taking a high dose, daily, for a long time they just can't take you off the clonazepam without giving you a substitute. You may want to look up the Valium equivalent ('Ashton manual') and find out if they are willing to help you taper in a responsible way. If you've been taking clonazepam daily, long term and at high doses you need to be very careful. Where I live, some official guidelines state that 1 mg of clonazepam is equal to 1 mg diazepam ...

 

Often, benzodiazepines are used for alcohol detox but there are other drugs as well.

 

It has come to my attention that there is an interaction between clonazepam and alcohol. Not just an acute effect, but frequent consumption of both drugs for a long time will cause problems. Problems that are neither purely 'benzo' or 'alcohol'.

And you're taking a lot of clonazepam with A LOT of alcohol.

 

Then there is methadone. Undoubtedly there are interactions between the clonazepam, alcohol and methadone.

Without wanting to sound judgemental, is this drug abuse/recreational use ?

 

And I might be able to come up with suggestions about dealing with a clonazepam/alcohol habit, but I know almost nothing about methadone except that it's dangerous to mix CNS depressants.

 

Best suggestion: seek medical help.

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I am 2.5 years sober so I feel your pain. 

 

I am now just getting off the Klonopin (actually I did a crossover to Valium). 

 

Please seek professional help.  I don't know what is right for you but a trained professional would.  You are headed for an early grave if you continue, that's for sure.

 

And 1 mg. of clonazepam equals TWENTY mgs. of Valium, not 1!  I went to sober living instead of going to medical detox.  Maybe not the best idea for you but it helped me to stay sober.  I did go for a physical which was required before going to sober living.

 

In any event, as others are saying seek medical help.  Your job doesn't matter if you're not alive.

 

 

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Im also afraid theyll try and do a super-quick benzo taper, ive been through that before.

 

That, I DO understand.

 

How long and at what dose were you on the drug ?

 

If you've been taking a high dose, daily, for a long time they just can't take you off the clonazepam without giving you a substitute. You may want to look up the Valium equivalent ('Ashton manual') and find out if they are willing to help you taper in a responsible way. If you've been taking clonazepam daily, long term and at high doses you need to be very careful. Where I live, some official guidelines state that 1 mg of clonazepam is equal to 1 mg diazepam ...

 

Often, benzodiazepines are used for alcohol detox but there are other drugs as well.

 

It has come to my attention that there is an interaction between clonazepam and alcohol. Not just an acute effect, but frequent consumption of both drugs for a long time will cause problems. Problems that are neither purely 'benzo' or 'alcohol'.

And you're taking a lot of clonazepam with A LOT of alcohol.

 

Then there is methadone. Undoubtedly there are interactions between the clonazepam, alcohol and methadone.

Without wanting to sound judgemental, is this drug abuse/recreational use ?

 

And I might be able to come up with suggestions about dealing with a clonazepam/alcohol habit, but I know almost nothing about methadone except that it's dangerous to mix CNS depressants.

 

Best suggestion: seek medical help.

 

The equivalency tables we use put 10 mgs of Valium to .5 mgs of Klonopin. http://www.benzo.org.uk/bzequiv.htm

 

Professor Ashton has this to say about other addictive drugs and benzo's.

 

Drug interactions. Benzodiazepines have additive effects with other drugs with sedative actions including other hypnotics, some antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline [Elavil], doxepin [Adapin, Sinequan]), major tranquillisers or neuroleptics (e.g. prochlorperazine [Compazine], trifluoperazine [stelazine]), anticonvulsants (e.g. phenobarbital, phenytoin [Dilantin], carbamazepine [Atretol, Tegretol]), sedative antihistamines (e.g. diphenhydramine [benadryl], promethazine [Phenergan]), opiates (heroin, morphine, meperidine), and, importantly, alcohol. Patients taking benzodiazepines should be warned of these interactions. If sedative drugs are taken in overdose, benzodiazepines may add to the risk of fatality.

 

 

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The only thing thats "recreational" is the alcohol but It started more to stave off the withdrawal symptoms from the klonopin taper.  I was at 6mg of klonopin to start, for apprx 10 yrs, now I am at 4mg.  I take it as prescribed as well as the methadone and dont have any addiction issues with these.  I am also afraid I will lose my methadone if i go inpatient, i really do need it for pain or else it is unbearable.  I have been on it since 2002 when I was working on my car and was pinned against my garage leaving me with numerous painful problems.  How can I set this up so they dont force me off my pain meds?
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The only thing thats "recreational" is the alcohol but It started more to stave off the withdrawal symptoms from the klonopin taper.  I was at 6mg of klonopin to start, for apprx 10 yrs, now I am at 4mg.  I take it as prescribed as well as the methadone and dont have any addiction issues with these.  I am also afraid I will lose my methadone if i go inpatient, i really do need it for pain or else it is unbearable.  I have been on it since 2002 when I was working on my car and was pinned against my garage leaving me with numerous painful problems.  How can I set this up so they dont force me off my pain meds?

 

Hi ajs86,

 

I cannot emphasize enough that I believe at this point it would be best to go to a medical hospital, not a detox center. If it were me, I would trust that

 

medical doctors would know how to detox me. I understand that you feel the use of alcohol was started to stave off withdrawal symptoms from the

 

Klonopin taper. A vicious circle can start from doing this, and extremely hard, if not impossible to stop on your own and would require medical

 

intervention. I'm not a doctor, I cannot assess the situation nor could a doctor do this over the internet or even over the phone. A doctor(s) would 

 

want to do this in a hospital. If it were me, I would go to a hospital, preferably a large one where they have experience with this sort of situation and

 

tell them all of my fears about my situation. Please let us know what you decide. We will help you cope with your withdrawal symptoms once you are

 

safely taken off of the drugs a medical doctor feels you should be taken off of. I really hope you go to a hospital, ajs86.

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At least cut the alcohol out man.

 

All three drugs you are taking is not a safe combo.

 

I don't think your alcohol withdrawals will be so bad if you are still taking 4mg of Klonopin.

 

I have addiction issues as well but I've been alright the last week or so and I am down to less than 1mg (.5mg the last four days) of Klonopin per day from 4mg just a little over a year ago.

 

If you can quit drinking you could start a taper or you can go to a medical detox. I have thought about going myself. I am not sure at this point though.

 

Best of luck.

 

 

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