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2 years to taper 5mg V? Healed by the end?


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Hi all,


I saw a site online somewhere that had a withdrawal chart for 5mgs Valium that was over a 2 year period.


I thought that excessive but not so much now.


My question is this:


IF someone tapered 5mg Valium (or any other Benzo) over such a long period, would that likely increase chances of being pretty much healed by zero?


I am just wondering if ultra slow tapers mean that the CNS heals along the way, any thoughts?


After being on for 20 years, a part of me thinks a looooong taper will help long term...



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Ashton says that slower is better, and that there really isn't such a thing as going to slow.  Her view is that if you have been on benzos for a long time, then why rush off of it, rather than take your time.  Yet, with that in mind, here are some thoughts


1)  No one can tell you for sure whether taking that long to come off will mean that you will be perfectly find at the end or that you will go smoothly.  There is just too much variability in the current evidence.  The idea sounds good-- I'll go so slow that I will not feel a thing--it will just be normal and then I won't even know it.  I expect that some people have had the experience, and maybe some on this board will chime in.  Even if someone says that they went super slow, it will not establish that that you will get the exact same result.  One of the things we need to accept is that as much as hearing from lots of people on here is helpful, the process is so variable that you cannot say with great confidence what you own experience will be.


2)  This depends a lot on how you are feeling now.  So if you are feeling pretty good, you might take the approach of going super slow so long as you feel good.  That would play well into Ashton's notion that if you go slow enough and do not get many symptoms, benzo withdrawal will not be a major portion of your life -- you live your life and you make changes to your meds as you go along and don't think about it much


3)  Now the most negative, partly based on my own experience and what I have read.  I took almost a year to taper from 2 mg of K, which I guess is equivalent to about 10 of valium.  This is not super slow.  Here is what happened.  For the most part I was somewhat symptomatic during this period, but didn't think much about it.  My biggest concern was that we first switched to librium and when we were getting close to the end that we would have to make a big jump because the smallest is a 5 mg caplet.  We eventually switched toi valium.  Even so, I started to have pretty serious symptoms toward the end.  At that point, I didn't even think that it was entirely benzo related --I know that that it was.  And finally we were about to go off, but I had serious symptoms and eventually reinstated and we decided we woudl go slower a second time.  Finally, a process that I had started in August 2008, ended with my last dose in May 2011, and I still have symptoms.


And here is the thing.  And I have read this and have experienced this.  If you drag the process out over a long period of time and you have symptoms, the process will become "a morbid focus" as I have read.  And it did for me.  I was dealing with this for so long, that now it is all I think about, and I think I will continue to think about it for a long time.  I wish that I had accepted that this was going to be hard, once I got symptomatic, put my life on hold, and focus on getting this done in a shorter period, even with more symptoms, than thinking that I could simply go throug the process unscathed.


And what happened was that with all these tiny cuts, I was taking constant notes and records of my levels and wathcing the calendar, but worried what would happen, and continued to for a long time until we got to zeor.


In short:  1)  No one can guarantee that you will or won't have symptoms during or after the proposed taper; 2)  With that in mind, you need to reach a balence -- if you have symptoms, how long to you want to drag it out versus a quicker taper that may be more symptomatic but less drawn out. AND WITH THE LATTER, i DO NOT MEAN, GETTING OFF QUCKLY--I JUST MEAN SOMETHING MORE ALONG THE LINES OF WHAT MANY PEOPLE DO--

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Thanks Pfeff.


Actually, it is Librium that i am on, i just post that it is Valium as i do the comparison in my posts, nobody seems to know about Librium... i am at 10mg which is 4mg Valium.


I am finding this hard at this point, i am not hugely symptomatic yet i am very sensitive to any cuts right now... i can see me taking a year to finish which seems reasonable.


The thing that scares me the most is that there are not that many long timers here... that really makes me worried... i read somewhere that it takes a month to heal for every year on Benzo´s... so i would be looking at 20 months if that were true.


I have NO idea if symptoms are BETTER post a sensible taper or not... i read of others having waves a year out... or longer and think i may end up taking years to get over this AFTER i am done.


I never had issues with Librium really... i am really starting to wonder if i made the right choice to get off.


I was doing AA meetings and am 14 months dry, so i thought it was time to quit the Benzo too, i had NO idea it was going to be like this... it is FAR worse than alcohol but my Doc is retiring and i can´t see another Doc prescribing me for life...


Besides, i want off anyhow but it seems i may have years ahead if i get protracted.


At least the Librium stopped me from drinking myself to a chronic level... yet i was told it was "mild".,, i was NEVER told of the negatives... Librium is NOT recreational, it just took the edge off in the evening, now i am tapering i find i am in this mess.


I wish i had stayed on it in many ways.


Sorry, i just needed to vent... at least most here are not in this for years... my chances look pretty bleak sometimes and all to get "healthy".





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One month for every year is just something that gets thrown out there.  There are short times who have protracted withdrawal, and long-timers who are healed quickly. 


As far as Librium, it is one of the weaker ones.  In a sense they are all the same, but if you were only on 10 mg of Librium you might be OK coming off without too much trouble.  10 of Librium might even be less than 5 mg of valium.


How would you taper that over 2 years?  I thought Librium only comes in 5 mg capsules that cannot be cut.


If you are doing OK on it, it is a tricky question as to whether to come off.  On one hand you are doing fine.  On the other, that may change over time if you stay on.  And many people are much happeir off the drug.


One thing to be aware of if you have a drinkikng history, or even if you don't.  As you lower your dose, you may crave alcohol.  I was nothing more than a social drinker -- not much at that either (like a beer or a scotch once a week or every other week, occassionaly, but rarely, a second drink at a party).  As I reduced my valium, I came home and poured myself a double whisky almost every night. I didn't go beyond that, but I was basically substituting whisky for benzo

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Hey there


I came off 45mg of valium down to 2.5mg in 18 days.  This was quick I know but feel so much better than was on the stuff and although i had very bad periods its only been four weeks since I did this I feel a lot better and its just getting difficult now im down to 2mg and i should have stayed on 2.5 for a little longer.  Point is I was on it for 4months 4mg of xanax that is not for years.  However Im sure damaged by the 4mg use of xanax crossing over to valium felt gentler but I was still very sick.  I would not want to be doing this for years no way I want off and Im taking the last 2mg slowly but not to slow .25 every to the three weeks because I believe that I wont start my recovery process until im off for good.  Just my thoughts and I have a very sensitive nervous system.


good luck



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I was a long term user of Ativan and did a very slow taper.


Round 1


1 mg Ativan water tapered to 0.5 mg in 3 months


Held my dose for a few months


Round 2


Tapered off 0.5mg Ativan in 7 months


Finished and feeling great.


I could have been quicker but I was not in a hurry.



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it took me ~3 months to clear the last 5mg last time, and I was more or less fine all the way down. We're all different, but I'm curious where you saw that chart because Ashton's charts show 5-10 weeks for the last 5mg.
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Hi Oscar.  I started with about 5mg valium, did a c/t, reinstated three weeks later.  I became tolerant within a month or two and updosed to 6mg and 7mg.  A few months later, I started a slow taper of .25 cuts every ten days.  I hit a wall at 2mg and held for a few weeks at which point I started making very small cuts combining part tablet and part liquid valium.  I also had to travel so I started holding for 2 to 3 weeks sometimes.  Total taper time was about 10 months.  I've been off over 2 years.  I think two years might be a little excessive, most can do it in six months to a year.  However, if you have a sensitivity, one can take longer.  There is also a theory that one truly can not heal until one is completely off so I think it's important to find a balance between tapering off slowly but no so slow that you're avoiding getting off completely or fearful of s/x once off.


Also, holding for more than about three weeks is not productive for most, at four weeks or beyond, tolerance withdrawal can build up.  Another option is to titrate daily small amounts every day or every other day.  Every so many weeks, one may have to hold to take a break from the titration too.  One year seems reasonable to me to taper off 5mg of valium though with either method. You might consider a cross over to liquid valium, another option.  Check out my old blog "under 4mg and chipping away" in the buddy blog section on p. 18.  You can't post to it anymore since I closed it last year after writing my success story, but you might find some of the posts helpful.  Many tapered off low doses of valium, some for up to a year.  To answer your question, I do believe the CNS is healing along the way although it may not feel like it between cuts!  Once I stabilized at 2mg, I felt like my body was starting to heal.





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Thanks Vertigo, i am reading that now as it happens.  ;D


I am holding for a 4th day and feeling SO much better, i think it is very easy for a long term user like me to think i am obviously going to have a very hard time, for the rest of my taper and off also, yet feeling how i am today, i can say that i am feeling much better at 4mg than i was at 12mg, so the theory that we heal on the way down must hold true... but you are right, whilst tapering it can feel bad which is why i am glad i am stabilizing, after 7 months titrating, i think it all just caught up with me to be honest. I anticipate being free by the end of the year or shortly after that, i am going to taper by listening to my own body.


I have read a lot on here yet i class myself as different because of duration of use but there are other members that have been long term and got free... i really need to take the "agony" out of this and just move forward with a more positive attitude, if i feel too rough in the future i´ll hold, this has definitely been a sticky patch for me but i am settling now and almost ready to get back at it... albeit slowly, my next goal is 3.5mg... once i reach that i´ll make to next goal 3mg and not look at the long term aspect so much... i´ll get there but sxs sure slammed me the past weeks and i was exhausted... thankfully i have had great support here.


I appreciate you posting Vertigo... i hope you are doing good these days.


On with the reading.  ;)



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Hey Oscar, I had asked myself that same question as I felt, up until a week ago, that my slower taper would never ease up on feeling like crap. Well that day came and I feel normal, minus very slight off feelings. I almost cant believe it and am afraid to jinx myself saying how good I feel. But I started at 4mg and am down to 1.75 and that took me almost 4 months to do. I can say now that going slow is great. Compared to how I felt in the beginning, it almost feels like I am healed, well I can do stuff like a normal person would. Could be just an awesome window, but I will take what I can get.
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I have only been on clonzapan since Aug 2011. But in that short period of time it has its hooks in me. I was on 1 mg. I believe thats 20 mgs of Valium. I started my taper in Jan. I dry cut the first .5 and started milk titration for the 2nd .5. I am going down 1 % per day. I am on day 11 of the titration. The titration had been smoother than cutting the 1st .5. So far any way.


I plan to be off by the end of May. Some would say this is too fast but I am tolerating it fairly well and I want off as soon as I can. I would stop taking it today but I know better.


I got a preview of some serious WDs when my doctor had me reducing .25 every three to five days. They hit me on the 2nd reduction and that was enough for me. I went back and told him I had to go slower and with smaller reductions. he is supporting me in what ever I want to do. What I also don't want to do is drag this out any longer than I have to.


endeavor to persevere

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