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How do I stop taking Valium
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How do I stop taking Valium

Hello everyone, after almost 30 years, I have finally realized or accected that I let myself get addicted to Valium without really realizing the danger I was putting myself into.
I have always heard, been told by friends and doctors to stop talking Valium because it was so addicting.  
I have a serious spine condition that gives me much pain and discomfort and it is at times if not always unbearable.  About 30 years ago,  thr was a time I was unable to sleep or even yean for that matter, for months until I had a Valium which allowed to sIeep after so long.   Since then I have not stopped.
my excuse or reason was that it helps me with my physical problems wish it does. Without it, I have anxiety attacks, my vision is blurred, even my blood pressure goes up, and as soon I take a couple of 10mg Valiums I feel beeter, calmed.  I can take more if neccerssary.
But I just realized it's because my body has become completely dependent on this medication.
As much as I feel I can't stop taking it, I seriously need and seek help to get off it.
Can anyone please help me with any advise, procedures, etc.
Any information will be greatfully appreciated.
Thank you, Bel
Tags: quitting valium, quiting valium, valium, quit, stop valium, Pain, Anxiety, dependent
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19 Comments Post a Comment
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199177_tn?1332183097
trying to get off benzos is a bit harder then other meds .You are going to have to discuss this with your doctor tell him you want to go off it ...there is a risk of seizure or death if you don't do it carefully...It can be done ...Just don't try to do it without your doctor he will advise you as to whether he can taper you off or whether you would need a inpatient setting to do so ..PLZ don't try to do it yourself.. Plz continue to post and let us know how you are ...
Avis
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Avatar_m_tn
I too have been on Benzos for ten years. The first 8 were 1.5 milligrams of Alprazolam for severe GAD and panick attacks, The last year or so, On Valium. I wanted to switch from The stronger xanax, which has such a short half life to a lower potency Benzo with a longer half life. After all the research and talking to the DR, everyone wanted me to slowly crossover to the Valium. I switched in one day, Now also I never had to increase my dose of Xanax and never got high off of it. It has helped my GAD tremendoulsly. Well they put me on 20 milligrams of Valium, which they said was the equivalent of 1,5 milligrams Xanax. For the first few weeks I was a little tired. I always take my dose at around 7 in the evening because of my panick attacks happening, 70 percent of the time while I am sleeping. Well Valium has five times the half life of Xanax, Just like Methadone, compared to Vicoden etc., and it has active Metabolites. I have slowly got my self down to 7.5 milligrams of Valium and will go down to 5 and just hold there. I have no plan at this time to get off of it as it is a preventive Med for me. You can do this if you reduce your amount by very little each month. You are not in a race to come off of this. If it takes a year, so be it, but it can be done and has been done succesfully by many, many people. As youve been told and already know you just dont want to stop taking them. Look at all the women from the 60s who were put on Diazepam, as it was the new wonder pill back then and they were on it for 20 years and then thought, how do I get off of this.  Again, my opinion,  You cannot go into a rehab for a few weeks and get off of long term Benzo use. The brain needs much more time to heal than opiate addiction. But you can get off of them by slowy tapering, even if you went down 1 milligram a month. Again its not a race, you have been on them for decades so what is a year to heal yourself. I have actually missed nights of taking them, and had no problem, because of the long half life.  Go on the Internet and look up DR. Heather Ashton, she has a very informative website of how she spent 20 years in the UK helping people get off of Benzos. She has pages of every Benzo and amount and how to exactly taper off of each one in explicit detail.  How much on Average do you take, and how often. YOU CAN DO THIS. Make sure you go to the website. I wish you all the best and keep posting, or email me.           Jay Dean
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199177_tn?1332183097
that is some really good information but this is something she REALLY needs to talk to her doctor about as well .... Have a great day
avis
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279300_tn?1326750278
i had a benzo dependency for 25 years. with a panic and anxiety disorder it is a very difficult medication to taper from. i totally agree with avis. you must discuss with a physician. the risk of seizure activity is quite high and they may want to prescribe you medication to prevent this and monitor it closely. the scariest withdrawal i ever witnessed was a benzo withdrawal in rehab with a full blown grand mal seizure, please be careful.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have to say I am quite amazed and surprised to have received responses.  It's very comforting to know that there are people out there who do listen and seem to care.  I am so grateful for all your responses.
Avis pointed out something that I had heard and that was what triggered my fear. Death!  Someone told me that if I stopped taking Valium, I would die.
That was pretty scary to hear but I also know that I can't stop taking them because I am dependent.  When I don't take any, I don't know if my symptoms come from the depency or from my physical problems, which are real and do affect me. I only know  I must find a way out.
I don't think I can stop withouth having some type of substitute.
Avis, I really don't intend to do this without the help of a doctor but I first wanted to know if it was something that was possible.  I happen not to always trust doctors too much.  I speak from experience.  I feel sometimes they don't do enough are not interested enough to do what would benefit the patient.  They are always ready to take on a ginea pig.  I am affraid of that.
Also it's difficult to talk to a doctor who has made up his mind that all your symptoms are psychosomatic.
Can any doctor do this or is there a specialist I must see. Again, thank you all for your responses.
And don't worry I will keep you posted. I only hope I will find a doctor who will be able to help me.
Thanks, Bel
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Avatar_n_tn
By the way, what are Benzos?
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271792_tn?1334983257
Benzos is short for benzodiazepine. Meaning, valium, xanax, etc.
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Avatar_n_tn
I didn't want to sound stupid or uninformed but when you don't know something, ask, right?
Thanks for the response, Bel
You guys are great help. Really!
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Avatar_m_tn
Linzbel, Yes you should talk to your DR.  But as with many DRs. I am telling you they dont know squat about tapering off of Benzos.  You have to do your homework and research this topic, Not from Opiate users, or Alcoholics, etc, But people who have been on Benzos and wanted help coming off of them. You wouldnt go to a Cardiac Surgeon for a toothache, right,  It is very overdramatized about people dying from benzo detox. Has it happened, Yes. But that is so few and far in between. DO not let that scare you. Who ever said you would die from stopping Valium is an idiot. How many of us know someone who died from getting off of Benzos. Find a Dr. who is knolwedgeable in Benzodiazepenes. Dont make this any harder on your mind than it actually is. If you taper properly, it can and has been done very succesfully. Yes a siezure is possible if you stop abruptly. But also seizures are rare also in that only a small percentage will get them. Alcoholics have a much higher risk of going into a seizure going CT.  So Please do me a favor and go to the DR. Heather Ashton website, it is full of information and I can guarantee you she is one of the most Knowledgable people on this earth, about the WDs and tapering of Benzodiazepenes.  She has dedicated her life to helping people on these Meds, and she also has people that have been on them for 40 plus years who have succesfully tapered off of the Medication. This is one subject that I feel very comfortable discussing. Her site will also lead you to a forum of Benzo users who are in the same situation as you, and there are Moderators(A number of them) who will help you in anyway they can. And they have been in worse situations than you and are now free. Plus unlike this site, that forum has People who have been on it for years, helping people out. If you want real information, go to this site, I beg of you.  Why do people come here, its mostly for opiate abuse, Go to a site that is dedicated to your specific problem, you wont be sorry. People here are great, but there is actually only a few who have issues with Benzos.   By the way, Heather Ashton was in the United States last year, at the White House and a few Ivy Leauge schools addressing the situation on how to help people with Benzodiazepene issues, as the Drs. here are very knieve about it. Remember,  YOU CAN DO THIS, and dont think for one minute that everyone who quits benzos is going to die.       Jay Dean
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199177_tn?1332183097
with all due respect there are many here that have had addictions to bezos or have quit taking them .
I am sure your web site is chalk full of great info ,but SHE does need to be followed by her doctor .The web site here or anywhere else for that matter does not know her medical history and what problems might arise for quiting benzos.... have a great day
avis
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199177_tn?1332183097
linz , I know all about the feeling like a genia pig ..... How long has your doctor that has been prescribing them been seeing you ...Is this a psychiatrist or your family doctor....... I am not very fond of psychiatrist myself... Back in 2000 I had been taking benzos for three years daliy  like three times a day ,we moved to a different state .I started seeing a new pysc,he pulled me off the benzos cold turkey no taper plan, I had NO idea that it was dangerous ...I was very lucky i came off of them without any problems ....  So yes you do have to becareful with doctors, but some are very trust worthy
I have also learned now to be very informed about my doctors and my health..
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318890_tn?1297968920
Hi hun i have been addicted to vallium for the last 6 years i got clean 4 years ago when i was pregnant with my second son. i had to go into a detox unit to come of them then as soon as i had my son i supidly when't straight back on tham but i was useing them to get a buzz. the doctor only gave me them for a short time then made me come of them fast. my fella had to do it cold turkey & i really felt for him. still use them now alot so i'm not the best person to ask how to come of them the lengh of time you have been on them your doctor cannot just stop your script. he will have to do a reduciton course for you as 30 yeaqrs is a long time but you have made the first steap buy coming on a sight like this i have only been chatting for 3 days as i'm coming of heroin & trying to get stable on my methadone and that's abit of a cop out as it's not making me withdraw just mentaly. it is still really hard thats why i need the meth & i think thats why you need to talk to your doctor about been reduced really slowly withthe lenght of time you've been useingn them. i'am at the piont with them now that i can take 6 to 10 blues 10mg a day & not even feel them. well i think i cannot feel them but i do have a high tolorance to them. so sorry for this post coz i havent helped you atall all i've done is gone on about me me me sorry. but if you do really want to you WILL be drug free& you will feel like a new person because you are so used to them the feelimg they give you will just feel like normal every day. you will feel like a cattipillar relised from a coccon all the best natalie ;)
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Avatar_n_tn
Actually, Avis, the doctor is an orthopedic surgeon who I went to see for manual manipulation for my back disorders.  He believes I am addicted an does not really like giving them to me. But since I convinced him I was under control, which I am sure he does not believe, he gives them to me, like once a month.
This is also a reason why I don't know if I can find a doctor willing to help me.  Maybe this doctor prescribing them to me can help me.
I, like Natalie can take 6 (or more) 10mg a day. It's no problem. I don't take them for a buzz, never have. It doesn't give me a buzz. It calms my anxieties from all my physical problems and a suspect my addiction.
Don't worry Nathalie, it's okay to hear about you, you , you :)   It helps me to see me and realize that I really need to get off the Valium, or at least try. I know this is somethig that will not be easy for me. I have no support in my life. I am alone to do this.  I hope I will be able to do it.
But I do admit I am affraid of the sounds of, detox, withdrawal, in-patient, clinics, psychiatrists, seizures, death, and so on.  This all scares me tremendously.
I realize I have a serious problem and I must try to find a solution as soon as possible.
Every day I fight with life to survive the days of pain. I wonder if I can, one day, just live it again.

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Avatar_m_tn
YOU HAVE REPLIED TO EVERYONE ELSE, AND STILL YOU SAID IN YOUR LAST STATEMENT THAT YOU MUST FIND A SOLUTION. ARE YOU READING THE POSTS I PUT FOR YOU. I AM TRYING TO HELP YOU. I DONT CARE IF YOU REPLY TO ME OR NOT, BUT FOR YOUR SAKE, IM GOING TO SAY THIS ONE LAST TIME, WHETHER ITS ON DEAF EARS OR NOT.    GO TO HEATHER ASHTON, ON THE INTERNET AND SEE WHAT SHE HAS TO SAY.  SHE HAS MULTIPLE BOOKS OUT AND EVERYTHING YOU WOULD EVER NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PROBLEM AND HOW TO HELP IT.  OTHER PEOPLE ON HERE SWEAR ABOUT ALL THESE OTHER ADDICTION BOOKS AND THEY ALL AGREE. SO WHY NOT TRY AND LOOK WHAT I HAVE OFFERED TO HELP YOU WITH.  IF NOT, GOOD LUCK.
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279300_tn?1326750278
wow
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Avatar_f_tn
I just went to the Heather Ashton site and there is a wealth of info there.  Benzos are not a problem for me but I did take Halcion (didn't know that was a Benzo until I read Ashtons site).  I seldom take a Halcion and in fact have most of a bottle left filled more than a year ago.  The encouraging thing I read was that once detoxed from Valium there is no a high reoccurance.  Great news.
But linzbel, please read Ashtons site.  She has many articles on it.  
Also know we are here for you
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Avatar_n_tn
Please forgive if I did not make reference to you, but I did want to thank youf or guiding me to Dr. Heather Ashton.  It was the first thing I did after reading your measage.  I looked her up on Yahoo and and fiound lots of stuff on her.  It seems you are right.  She has loads of information and it seems she knows what she is talking about. I have watched parts of her speeches on the videos on the internet.  I have to say it was scary to hear her words.  I am now reading all I can about my problem on her website.
If I did not say it before, I say it now. Thank you for your advice, guidance and help.  I am sure after reading more on the site I will learn much more about how to deal with my problem.  
But they don't make it sound easy. And I think I am affraid since I am alone.  But it seems that this is the place of refference on Valium addiction.
Jay, I do hope I hear from you again.
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Avatar_f_tn
i just bookmarked Dr. Ashtons website...your right about the information, very valuable tool to be used...some people who are addicted to benzos are not this way because of valid, legal prescriptions...they buy them of the street, its unfortunate...but it happens...so even though i firmly believe in talking to your doctor about this, not everyone has a doctor to go to...again..unfortunate., but maybe this will help them and alot of others on the way...can never have TOO much information...thanks...
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Avatar_m_tn
My computer crashed and I have a very high tech one. I had to change my name on this forum. I was Jay Dean,,,,,  But Linzbel, i didnt mean to sound mean, I just wanted to get you the information to help you, so I typed it in bold letters and It might have sounded a little harsh. SORRY, but it got your attention to go to the site and I am so happy for you. As everyone else has said, talk to your DR. but also use Heathers site for invaluable info. Even if you have to print off a couple of her pages to go and take to your DR.   Benzos is her specialty, and I think she is untouched in this world with her knowledge about it. and she is so caring and wanting people to know she is there to help them. Did you see the page on the exact taper schedule for your dose of Valium. All of her info is based on actual tests over and over and as you can see, she has schedules and info on every benzo, And she explains in detail about them, what they do to you and how to succesfully get off of them, with the most minimal of discomfort.  To everyone else, I apologize if I sounded rude, I just wanted to help Linzbel.    Linzbel, you can and will do this. We are here for you.      
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi KRC9159,
I was not offended at all. You were not being mean, you just wanted to know what I did with the information you provided.  Information which I find amazing.
But you must remember you are talking to a person who is very scared of her dilema.  Very scared indeed!
At first I could not find anywhere what you mentioned, "...exact taper scheduled for your dose of Valium, nor the schedules and info on every benzo, etc..."
I continued to search and finally found her online manual: http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/index.htm , which I am going to read.
I also found her on other websites such as www.benzo.org.uk, www.benzosupport.org, www.geocities.com/benzobusters/manual.htm , and some videos of conferences.
As amazing as it all is, I still find it horribly frightning. For example, the hardest information I found was from this site: http://www.benzo.org.uk/hoc711.htm, where she mentions "...The management of withdrawal requires skill, patience, psychological support, frequent contact and time from the doctor – assets and expertise which most doctors do not have."
That's not surprising to me but it's very alarming. So, my question: "What are my chances of finding a doctor who can help me with my specific problems?"
What I find more frightening is the part where she mentions that after her leaving the clinic where she practiced for 12 years, there has not been any reliable clinics or doctors out there anymore doing her work.
These are the things I find frightful!
But it does seem that there might be some chance for me so I will definetely try to find a way and the time for this for it seems it does take time.
And KRC, when you say I can do this and will do this, it brings tears to my eyes and hope to heart.
I wish I could be as hopeful as you are for me.
Most of the people whos profiles I've read with similar problems whether on this website or others, were addicted for 2 to 3 years, 8 to 12 years, but not 28 years !
But I will continue my research.
I have visited this website and I must say I am happy to have found it. It's great.  You people are real.  Real people with real problems trying to help other real people with real problems too.
You all have a big heart and you care about people you don't even know. That's greater!
Even if I have not started any kind of treatment,  I feel lots of support already from you guys.
I especially thank KRC1959 for waking me up, and I thank you all in general for sharing your problems and fears and making me see I am not the only one.
I hope I will be Valium-free one day.








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Avatar_f_tn
I've been on valium or xanax since I was 13 years old and I am now 48.
This all started due to a car accident and skull fracture and comma for 6weeks. It changed my whole life. I was a happy go lucky kid hit by a drunk driver and this is what happened about 9 months ago the doctor that I'd only seen a few times due to a move from my orginal doctor lowered my dose and said I'd be fine after a few months I was and ajusted. Then he abruptly took me off cold turkey with no way of knowing he was going to do this. I nearly died. My blood pressure was 179/140, I nearly had a seizer, and passed out at walgreens and thank god they knew my situation. I woke up at the hospital and still after all this they did not help me. This went on for 7 weeks and passing out, nausia, vomitting, and high bloodpressure was unreal. Now here is what he done after being threatened by the pharmachist that knew me he put me back on the valium. But since have went back to my regular doctor and told him what happened and he could not believe it. Due to my current condition of Generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and OCD, due to the accident I'll never be able to quit taking them. Mine is a rare case as well as some of you I suppose. I also take lexapro 5mg QD. This is my story and hope it helps someone. You can't stop taking this medication abruptly. There is no way. Tapering with a doctors assistance is my suggestion. Please listen, I know.
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