about 5 months ago I was placed on 3mgs of Klonopin a day to control very severe neuroleptic induced akathisia by a neurologist. During that time, I became quickly tolerant to the effects and ashamed to tell my neurologist since he had already increased the dose so heavily. So I went to my primary care doctor to describe the same symptoms. A clear wrong choice, but I felt cognitively foggy and above all so desperate. While I had signed releases so all my physicians could talk, he didn't ask any questions and I didn't mention the klonopin. I was desperate for help. He gave me 1mg of ativan per day with 1 refill. My neurologist, months later did find out and completely kicked me out of his clinic, not even giving me a chance to explain but yet not cancelling my refills.
So here I am, completely physically dependent on klonopin. I lost my health insurance and cant afford to pay cash to see my PCP. I went to the emergency room to be turned away and told no detox would accept me because I did not have insurance. This month I filled my refill, only to black out after taking ambien (another med I have a legitimate script for but only take sometimes) and wake up the next day to find my pills missing, my car parked in a place I don't remember and my apartment trashed. I know I did all of it, I just don't remember. Akathisia is a complete hell on earth but addiction is an entirely new hell I did not see hitting me like a ton of bricks. My life is out of control and I'd never imagined it would begin with a doctor and not a street drug. I am certainly humbled.
I will be facing withdrawal and I am scared to death, knowing I could have a seizure and die alone in my apartment. I have gone into withdrawal before and it causes me to shake uncontrollably, panic, hallucinate, and vomit. I have read this can last for up to a year or more. I am a slave to pill bottles and I'd rather go through anything but this as I see no concrete end in sight. I know this site is not for medical advice, but I thought if anyone who has been through something similar could relate their story, it might help me. I'm 21 with no family, no doctor, feeling as if I have no place to turn. Especially for something that could threaten my life but I won't know it until it I am actually in real danger. Please help. Any kind words... similar experiences... anything.... please
HI well you got yourself in a jam ,your not supose to go off benzo abruptly you need to taper off them
we cant provide taper plans in the forum it is ageist the rule best bet is to see a doctor and come clean with them if you choose to do this yourself go as slow as possible if you have no pills left your going to have to see a doctor this is nothing to mess around with both my wife and myself have tapered off clonipine and its not ez doing it the right way you get plenty of withdrawal symptoms doing it right it is not a fun drug to detox off of please seek out medical help keep posting for support.........Gnarly
I agree. You must get medical help for this one! Depending on where you live will depend on what kind of programs and help their might be. I'm surprised the ER turned you away. You may need to go to the psych ward specifically. I'm not sure, but if you're on here I assume you have internet access so start web searching for places that can help, but make sure to type in your location (city, state, etc). Then start calling!!!! Do it asap, before you get in a worse situtation.
Thank you so much for your compassion. Because of no money or insurance, I have made a last ditch effort to call my primary care doc, let the nurse know what's going on and have her pass it along to the doc. I was told the doctor was seeing patients all day but that my message had been put through to him for approval to write me another prescription or not. I should hear back by 6pm or tomorrow at the latest they said. If not, I will try the ER again. It is not fair, I am not less than anybody else because I have fallen on hard times and that's how the ER treats me. I did not choose to start myself on these medications, a doctor decided they were the best choice and physical dependence is a natural effect. Thanks for your support.
Is your Dr potentially refilling only to help you out until you see him? Otherwise all he is doing is setting you up to relapse and go through withdraws again! That scares me. Yes, the Dr. prescribed them. Yes, we took the meds. Yes we self medicated and took more than we should have. Yes, we lost control over our usage. However, keeping it a secret is what is/ was keeping us sick. You MUST share with your Dr or the ER what is going on with you so they can properly supervise your tapering.
Please give feedback to this comment if you have the time and energy and strength:
I went to the ER and got a short term script to get me through until I could borrow enough money to see my primary care doctor today.
For the first time in my life I told a doctor the truth (I'm 21), that I had no medication left because I had abused it and did not try to give any excuses. I felt a great weight lift off me, even knowing he may send me straight to detox or deny help. He was very upset and worried but gave me another month's worth of klonopin in the hopes that it would get me through until my insurance kicked in and I could seek further longer term help, since tapering without suffering takes a long time, much longer than I would want to spend inpatient.
Now I am afraid, having filled a regular script, a small ER script, and going to fill this new one tomorrow, all in the same month that I will be red flagged. Once when my meds were stolen, even though the doctor was willing to authorize an early refill, the pharmacy said NO WAY. At that point, the doctor could do nothing. It was up to the pharmacist who did not want to risk his license for some worthless junkie. I am hoping that since my prescription will be from the same doctor, for the same dose, at the same pharmacy, and on time, that I will not have any issues. I'm so afraid they will tell me to "go fend for yourself you dirty drug seeking addict.". At which point it is back to the ER. If I was addicted to something that would not cause me to seizure or become suicidal, I would just rough it out but I know benzos are not like that. you absolutely NEED a doctors help.
It is just not fair to me and I am angry. I was put on these meds by a doctor! any person would become physically dependent after 6 months of 3mgs of klonopin a day. It is not as though I took to the streets seeking relief, I suffered through months of ineffective meds and tried to do the medically right thing. yet I see opiate addicts being put on suboxone left and right because somehow there is this realization they cant do it alone or cold turkey. I see criminals guilty of robbery and rape addicted to heroin being treated with more seriousness than I am. When the reality is, I could DIE from stopping these meds abruptly. Heroin withdrawal does not last as long (physical it does not last for years like benzo w/d can) and much less rarely KILLS you. I am ranting and most likely ignorant but sometimes I feel as if I should fake opiate addiction just to get real help (my logical brain tells me that is a horrible idea) and not another prescription for the same poison that has ruined my life.
Before narcotics, I was so close to finishing my degree in social work. I was a volunteer, a figure skater, employed and in a healthy relationship. Now I hardly feel like washing my hair. I want that girl back more than anything. I am ranting and sounding ignorant but I just needed to get it off my chest.
AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF, my mother (father killed in the war) who hasn't been sober 5 minutes and lost custody of me at 11, thinks she can give me all this wisdom about sobriety when she has wet brain and hardly remembers how old I am.
I pace the floors 24/7. It is all I can do. Akathisia makes it impossible to sit still. and I pray all the time. Let me know if you would like me to pray for you.
Thanks everyone. I can't choose a best answer, you have all been so helpful in getting motivated to go to a doctor and be honest instead of my drug seeking behavior. Thank you.
Hi honey! I'm sorry. It seems like you're trying to do the right thing, and they just won't take you for medical detox, the professional kind, which is what you need. REALLY need!
If you go to the same pharmacy or even a different one and use your insurance, you will almost definitely be told no by the pharmacist. The same pharmacy that you just went to will obviously have a record, but if you go to a different one and use your insurance, it will be tracked that way too. It won't be good to do it either one of those ways.
Are you completely out of your klonopin now? I am just a little confused on it. Or, did you get another script today and yesterday? Just trying to stay straight?
I too am a bit confused. What are all the scripts you have, what are they for, and where did you get them? Yes, you need to be careful you're not red flagged. If your PCP gave you enough to taper for a month, you should only need to fill that script right? That's what I would recommend..i wouldn't even fill the others.
How much were you ACTUALLY taking of both meds, and when did you take your last one?
I know you're scared and upset, but hon, you need to be a little more accountable. Yes, it's an unfortunate situation, but YOU abused the prescription, and chose to not be honest about the Ativan. The doctor had every right to cut you off. Yes, you are aware of the dangers of w/d...but typically, once a doc finds out you've been abusing meds...and doctor shopping (which is basically what you did)...they're not willing to risk their license. You can't fault them for that.
"It is just not fair to me and I am angry. I was put on these meds by a doctor! any person would become physically dependent after 6 months of 3mgs of klonopin a day. It is not as though I took to the streets seeking relief, I suffered through months of ineffective meds and tried to do the medically right thing. "
It doesn't matter that you didn't get your meds from a dealer on a street corner...you abused them and you doctor shopped (by not telling the other doc about the new benzo you had been Rx'd). You didn't medically do the "right thing". The right thing would have been to discuss the tolerance with your doctor...not up the dose yourself. I just honestly think you're doing yourself a disservice by pointing your finger everywhere but at yourself. You need to take responsibility and ownership...you and only you caused this situation.
You're VERY lucky your PCP is willing to help you by Rx'ing you what he did. PLEASE do not abuse that script...or you will be out of options. While you're waiting for your insurance, start making calls to find some help for yourself...both to properly detox off the benzos, and to start putting a recovery plan in place.
The scripts I have are 1. an old refill from my old neurologist who kicked me out 2. 6 pills from the ER and 3. the rest from my PCP. All for clonazepam and all of which are completely gone except for the refill I am waiting on. Again, my responsibility even though ambien has been clearly proved to cause people to do things they normally would not. And the ambien, I did not abuse. I take these meds for tardive dyskinesia and akathisia, meaning I have painful, uncomfortable, and embarrassing involuntary movements which have only seemed to respond to clonazepam, as no specialist I have seen (4) was just willing to put me on high doses of a controlled med without exhausting EVERY other option. And they each referred me to the next specialist I saw, all of who confirmed the same diagnoses. So in that respect, I did not go in and demand klonopin, I DID THE MEDICALLY RIGHT THING by making sure no other med would help before I was put on a controlled substance. Then I had no insurance and therefore absolutely no way of discussing with any doctor my tolerance.
I am sorry but anybody in the world would have w/d symptoms given my same situation and despite what you think, they are dangerous to go off of. No one deserves a seizure because they abused a med. I am to blame for one single month of abuse, I could have made a different choice. But directly after, I did try to go to detox even when I had refills, even when I could have kept abusing. I set up a nursing service voluntarily to give my meds daily the second I get my insurance back in 2 weeks. Plus I set up to continue seeing my therapist and a psychiatrist. I am also on a waiting list to see a movement disorder neurologist. Sorry the poor and disabled (I receive SSDI) cannot just pay cash for everything.
It is simply is not my fault that no detox would accept me or that the two free ones in my state had no free care beds. I called daily for weeks. I even tried to kill myself, knowing they would HAVE to admit me to a psych unit and the psychiatrist there agreed with my diagnoses and dosage of klonopin and discharged me on it, citing that I needed to be seen by the best neurologist in the biggest city I live close to in order to control my suffering. I told him, AGAIN, I needed to ween off and he said he was not the doctor who could help me with that. I go to NA and Al-anon. I am doing ALL that is within my power to help myself.
The doctors still need to take responsibility for over prescribing and for not communicating when all 2 of them told me they were sending notes back and forth. Specifically, the neurologist was irresponsible for putting me on such a dangerous med and giving me no where to turn after he turned me out yet and not cancelling any of my 6 refills (the maximum allowed by law), calling me cute, and asking me on dates. DOCTORS ARE SOMETIMES RESPONSIBLE. If he didn't want to lose his license, why did he prescribe the clonazepam AND a barbiturate with UNLIMINTED refills. That is irresponsible. I have spoken with a lawyer and he was cleary out
hit enter before I was finished. He was clearly out of line on multiple fronts, I am not at 100% fault and yet I have taken responsibility. Show some respect to the daughter of a man who died to protect your right to berate me without the full story.
Wow, Your angry at someone who is clearly trying to help. I think you need to relax a bit and try to figure out who the anger needs to realy be directed to. You abused the meds which made you get kicked out from another Dr's office and also made your run out of them. How is that anyone elses fault? you say its the Dr's fault for prescribing them to you but did you research the medication at all before you just blindly took it? I get that your angry, I get that being addicted to something and having Dr's cut you off is a horrible feeling, But at the end of the day Noone forced you to take them and noone forced you to abuse them.
And while I appreciate that Father is a veteran who gave his life for our country, I think throwing that at someone like that is unfair and uncalled for IMO. She wasnt berating you at any level!
I was only kicked out by one doctor and other doctors I have been to since have said they really don't hold him in high regard. He acted inappropriately. I did research the medication and was suffering in excrutiating pain. AGAIN, this was for a neurological movement disorder, not anxiety. I have in no way been cut off. I have received nothing but helpfulness and sympathy from every doctor besides my original neurologist. It is only a matter of beds available and insurance for detox.
No one forced me to take them and I did do research, I knew the risks of taking them long term. HOWEVER, when several specialists told me this was my best bet at feeling better, I decided to take them. I was never told I would be on them this long term. In fact, I was admitted to a hospital against my will last month and at that point I actually was legally forced to take the medication. If you read my posts, they show you I have been and continue to try and get help. Nobody seems to understand my condition anyway. Trust me, if it was anxiety, I'd just hit the gym more. I have a movement disorder. They are extremely difficult to treat with a poor prognosis. Imagine being young and forced to live with this the rest of your life? I chose relief when a doctor I trusted at the time told me it was the best option and it did help. It still helps, but now I am addicted and IF
you read my posts you will see I am doing all I can to get off these medications. It takes immense courage considering I could stay on them as long as I choose and I am facing the hell of my underlying condition when I finally do complete detox. I am responsible for taking medication wrong, but doctors need to share blame and that is my opinion I am entitled to. I dont know how many times I have to hold myself accountable before people stop blaming me for being sick.
I find it incredibly ironic that people are telling me to not point fingers as they wrongfully point the finger at me. If you are perfect, feel free to pass judgment and blame me. Until you become perfect, stop hurting my feelings. I have been through enough.
Noone is blaming you for being sick! But only that you need to take accountability and stop blaming everyone else. You came on here saying that you are being forced to come off the meds because your Dr's are cutting you off but It was your actions that did it. So What is it exactly that you want advice on? How to taper? how to get clean from these meds? I guess Im just not understanding, Im sorry.
Thats what your not understanding. You say people are pointing fingers at you and passing judgement but your 100% wrong in that! I dont believe one person here is doing that. we are all addicts here and most of us have done the same things you are. I blamed EVERYONE for my addiction! It was everyone elses fault but my own and now I know that to not be true. I had control over my own actions and I didnt want to look at myself. It took me a very long time to get to that point. So you see when we are just telling you how we see it, Its because most of us have lived that before.
So you were upfront with your doctor. He was upset and worried but yet gave you a script? So what is your plan now? Doesn't he expect you to wean down now that you have a new script and you ran out from abusing the meds? Do you have a current question? A current goal? A new plan now that you have some pills?
Do you think just because you have a legitimate health issue and got addicted makes you any different than a huge majority on this forum?
I hear lots of bitterness, anger and blamegame going on. It's unfortunate your mother is an alcoholic. Her brain may be "wet" as you say, but her gesture to discuss addiction with you only stems from her own personal misery and not wanting to see you in her shoes. It's also tragic that you lost your dad in the war. But what your Dad has done in this life doesn't have anything to do with your current predicament. And whether you have a valid medical issue or not........you are still addicted and have to look that issue straight in the eye. Others don't have to treat you a certain way because your father served and died for our country. There's this saying "You have to do your own growin up no matter how tall your grandpa was." You sound alone, hurting, grieving, angry and don't have either parent you can turn to. That makes you feel helpless and scared but how bout directing those feelings towards a long term solution for yourself.
With a clean head, off drugs, you will be better able to decide where you want to go from here.
I also hear a lot of "you're better than" because you originally were prescribed benzos for your neurological issues. Opiate addicts, benzo addicts, heroin, street vs. a pharmacy......in the end.......you're still a drug addict. Hope you can see your way clear to wean properly and get more help than just another refill. Your future will depend on it.
the only one I am blaming is a single doctor who I can legally prove was wrong, and myself.
I was taught to trust doctors and look up to them as knowing what is best for me when I am sick. I posted because I wanted someone to tell me it was safe to just lay in bed and wait for the withdrawals to be over and for someone to tell their story about how long it took for them. I posted in hopes of hearing from someone who was able to come out the other side by their own will. and what I was told was the exact opposite; that I needed medical help.
These meds help but they are also addictive, controlling my life, and will stop working, thats why I want to get off. I have no family supports and all my friends are addicts like I am so I was just looking for kindness which I got from everyone until that nurse started pointing her finger. Now I am in crisis even with meds, crying, panicing, cant sleep, and feeling like a piece of **** for getting addicted to a medicine.
I dont think she was meaning to in anyway point her finger at you. Do you think its possible that you are just sensitve because maybe she hit a nerve? Im not being mean or tryng to upset you but think about that question ok?
As far as getting off Benzos it has to be done on a slow taper. You cant do it just laying in bed to wait for the w/d's to end. When you talked to your pcp how honest were you with him? He should help wean you off this medicine if thats what you really want to do. How much do you have left? I know you said you have called rehab centers but did you explain to all of them your situation and that you are going to be forced to come off benzos? They may be able to get you in if you tell them that since it can be dangerous.
I'm terribly sorry you took offense to my post. I was giving you my honest take based on the info you provided. I did not in any way berate you. All of the additional details, of abusive doctors asking you on dates, and you being "forced" against your will to take the meds came later. If the situation was that bad, and you are a helpless victim, that info would have been helpful upfront. Your initial posts described abuse of a controlled substance, with a resulting dismissal of you by your doctor. I gave the most obvious and appropriate advice, based on what you shared.
I have nothing but the utmost respect for our military and am sorry you lost your father. I certainly don't appreciate you somehow throwing that in my face because you didn't like what I had to say. That has absolutely NOTHING to do with the situation at hand and your comments were uncalled for.
You're in an unfortunate situation....I'm very familiar with the conditions for which you were prescribed these meds. I'm sorry you suffer with them. I hope you take the opportunity that your PCP has given you to taper until you get your insurance. You can then get help from there.
I also hope you can take a good hard look at your situation, and realize your directing a lot of displaced anger torward people who were only trying to help you. Sometimes, the advice isn;'t always something a person wants to hear. We're honest with people...and we onny have the info to go on that is provided.
I'm not better than anyone and no one is better than me, I'm just confused as to how I could end up like this. I was addicted before I ever abused the meds. I was addicted when I took them as prescribed. Does that make me a bad person?
My dad, being my only stable parent, actually has a lot to do with my predicament.
I asked my doctor to ween, he said no. I am weening myself, even as I was advised not to do that. The only people on here who seem to be acting "better than" are those who are clean. I say I am trying to get clean, I detail out my plan in the comments, and yet still am told I'm doing things wrong. How many times can I say I am responsible? this is at least my third.
He continued me on my same dose of 3mgs a day and told me to see a neurologist to taper me and find a better med when I get insurance. He didn't want my dyskinesia to come back because I live alone and it is hard to get to the phone when it does to call 911. He just didn't feel comfortable I guess.
So....now you know a lot more than you did before.....you know it is not safe to CT off benzos and just lay in bed until your w/drawals pass.
It is dangerous to do that. You now know that right? You need to wean...you now know that right? You have a script so you DON"T have to go CT and risk seizures, right? The dr who gave you the script could have helped with a weaning plan.....and that's the medical advise so many here were trying to get you to seek. To be able to get off the benzos, but to do it safely. Did you ASK for a weaning schedule/plan? Have you done some research to help yourself? The thing is you saw this dr and you got some more meds and you know you can't ct. That's progress. Your crisis can end now right?. You dont have to be alone. We are here and there are many support groups filled with other drug addicts and many in those walls who have been addicted to benzos too. It doesn't MATTER HOW you got here. You are here NOW and want some help and want to live your life WITHOUT benzos. It really will keep you agitated to be mad at the original dr. Dr's are people, too. They aren't gods who know best in any and all situations. Many dr's tell pain patients Tramadol isn't addictive. Buttttt......they haven't ever tried to quit taking them. All I'm saying is to realize NOW that you were prescribed something that helps/has helped you but your quality of life s*cks and you want off them. Don't waste all the energy you need replaying that anger tape. Use your newfound knowledge in laying out a good weaning/taper for yourself. I thought that's something you were going to ask for when you got this latest script, and you can always call back and ASK for one ya know? If you didn't when you got the script.....you can STILL ask for a medically safe taper.
You may be able to "legally prove" whatever you want about that other dr., but what's the point? You are addicted to benzos.....all your friends are addicts too. You can change whenever you get ready to change. Find some new friends in recovery.......move on now that you have come to all of this about yourself.
I get it that you were raised to trust dr's. That's ok, but you can find just about any kind of dr you want out there to support whatever you want.
It's time to take charge of your life......yourself......use medical information as you are able.....I always read ALL sides to something before I then make my own personal decision about what I'm going to put in my body.
My hubby's dr would have him on at least 4 more Rx's than he is already on if we hadn't researched and made some decisions on our own.
We must be RESPONSIBLE and BE ACCOUNTABLE cause we are all we have.
Don't ct off your benzos........but seek wise counsel. It is so true that this forum cannot give wean/taper advise. It is not possible. But I guarantee you many on this forum have been addicted to benzos. Doesn't matter how they became addicted; only that they did and chose to safely gather info so that they could stop......and stop for good. And I KNOW they have.
You CAN TOO. Don't keep beating yourself up and fueling your resentments. Just go for it......get clean......and be safe.
Blessings to you~
This is so sad to me. I wish a taper had been started when you were in the hospital last month...you would be ahead of the game.
Do you think you could ask the doctor who is providing this rx to put a taper plan together for you? That would be your best bet at this point, I think. Also, there are ways to prevent seizure activity if you're out of the meds; just research it in case you ever get in that situation.
I hope that you can talk to someone about your depression that you have over the loss of your father. Grief is not an easy thing to deal with and having lost someone recently to suicide I cant even continue to comment on your post because of my own triggers!!
I think that you may want to possibly taper a little slower since your not going to have the help of a physician during this (which again I HIGHLY recommend) But the taper you just said may be a bit fast IMO.
Your welcome.....for what I'm not sure, girl Ha! WOW, it's still amazing to me that 5 or 6 posts were going on while I was still trying to type my long "mouthy" one. By the time my reply got on the board, it was history LOL
Many of us are typing and writing at the same time. I probably wouldn't have said all that I did in my last long post to you if I had read your first reply to me and all those that followed while I was busy typing to you.
You have a good plan; you are covering your bases and you are going to NA. Please keep in touch and let us know how it's going OK?
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