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how to get off xanax safely
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how to get off xanax safely

I am ashamed to admit that i got hooked on xanax from my anxiety. i kept needing more to help me. so, my doctor was giving me more. i have been taking between 3-10 2 mg. xanax a day, and i know i have to quit, but safely. I dont want to go to rehab. i want to do it myself, but how? can you please help me with some suggestions?
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385668_tn?1301797480
Hi Crystal

You seem to be on alot of xanax.  Do you take that amount everyday, and if so how the heck can you function?  I am also on xanax and if I take .025mg every other day It knocks me out.  Don't beat yourself up sweetie, it is so easily to get "hooked" on the stuff because it "works".  People with anxiety problems look for something to  "work" and that does.  The Dr. that prescribed you all this medicine, does he realize the delimma you face.  You may want to "brave" it out a little, and although very hard for you, start lowering your dose little at a time.  Say for instance instead of taking 3-10 tablets of 2mg xanax daily  you take 1mg in the morning, 2 mg in the afternoon and 1mg at night..  This way you will still have the drug in your system just not as much as the lowest dose you ordinarily take.  ALSO and this is a big one.  You need to find something that will occupy some of your time, something you really like to do even if it is in a coloring book....anything to occupy your time.  Before you know it the time frame to take the xanax will get longer and longer.  Trust me when I tell you, that the least xanax you put in your system, the less you will crave it.  Your brain and body systems are "excited" with the drugs actions.  You need to try to deminish that feeling even if it is hard.  It will probably be rough for the first week and if you can get past that I think you will be just fine, and see a remarkable difference in how you feel.  I would however never take it again since you have a propensity for its effect.  Buspar is another drug for anxiety, much safer and it also works.  Also I would find another DR.  this one appears to be reckless in what they are doing.  If you have any horrible feelings from attempting to let this stuff out of your system you need to see someone, maybe even go to the ER in your area.  I would however tell them what you are on as well as what your intensions are.

Good luck and keep a positive outlook, there is hope at the end of the tunnel.

Nervous15
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Avatar_m_tn
I applaud you for your courage to share your issues with us.  I would NEVER suggest trying to taper off of this alone.  Since you are on such a high dose, PLEASE please consult with your doctor about this right away as you taper off.  There are some serious side effects to coming off of high doses of a benzo, BUT it can be done safely if done properly; of course slower is better, but do not do it on your own.  Consulting with a doctor is not rehab, but I just want to ensure everything is done properly.  

During this time have you sought help by talking with a therapist about your anxiety?  I am a big proponent of medication COMBINED with talk therapy; by learning about the anxiety/panic cycle, it gives you the knowledge to confront it and thus conquer it.  In my opinion, talk therapy is the most important step you can take to dealing with it.  Please continue to ask as many questions as you like and keep us posted.  
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432009_tn?1304753441
The first step is to set up a proper tapering schedule with your treating physician. DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT HIS/HER INPUT...
You are on an extremely high dose, so this needs to be managed closely to minimize any medical complications.

The best results are obtained by the slow taper, and in your case, may want to include a substitution drug to try and minimize side effects. You can discuss this with your physician.

I was taking over 2 mg./day when I began my weaning on Oct. 1, 07. I'm now down to a little over .25/day....and I'm almost finished. In order to be successful, you will need to do it slowly. And, I agree with cj29 that some therapy is in order....it does yield the best results.

The important thing is: Be kind to yourself right now, and be sure to get the support of your loved ones once you get the taper schedule set up. There will be some difficult psychological adjustments as your brain readjusts to less drug, so you need to be prepared. But know that this can be done...so don't despair.

Lastly, read everything that you can on xanax withdrawal, so you're prepared. Good luck in taking this important next step...and, we're here for you....
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Avatar_f_tn
Besides the great advice that you've received, I've read in a lot of places that you should never try to decrease your dosage by more than 20% every week or two.  In fact, some places recommend 10% or lower.  I think you can do this by yourself if you do not decrease it too fast (to be kind to yourself and not risk seizure, I wouldn't go faster than 10%).  I'm sure a doctor's advice is better, but I have heard of some doctors trying to withdraw their patients too fast.  By all means consult your doctor, just be aware that if he/she suggests withdrawing faster than this, go to benzo withdrawal sites like Benzobuddies and print her/him out some info.   Some doctors know how to put you on a med, but are not as well versed in getting you off the same med.  However, there are specialists in that called Addictionologist who probably know the right way to get you off a med.  Good luck.
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370181_tn?1408130715
As with everyone else who has written you regarding your Xanax w/d, I simply cannot urge you strongly enough NOT to even contemplate attempting this on your own! The level you are on is extremely dangerous and a too fast taper could cause you to seizure! The dosage you're on is outrageous and the doc who got you there should have his license yanked! He is a moron!
First suggestion, find another doctor ASAP! You do not have to go the rehab route unless you and your NEW doctor decide, together, that this may be the best option for you. It would be a much faster process, but while there are some folks who claim rehab was not bad, many other say it was hell. But as I said, that will be something you and your doc will discuss.
To w/d from the amount of Xanax you're on is going to take a VERY, VERY long time and most knowledgable doctors will do a "cross-over" transition with another med to ease the process. Just be aware that you are probably going to be spending the next several months and possibly the next YEAR, getting off the dosage you're on. There is no quick fix outside of rehab. It's a fact. Accept it.
My REAL and HONEST recommendation is that you ask your NEW doctor for a referal to a good psychiatrist well versed in these types of meds and let him/her guide you back to yourself in a SAFE and SANE way, and along that journey, you can discuss with him/her the reasons you needed to keep upping your dose of Xanax to control the
anxiety.
To give you some idea of what your w/d might very well entail, at the top of this page,  on the right hand side, is a little box that says "Search MedHelp." In that box, type the word "Xanax." Many posts will appear that have to do with this med and many of them will have been written by a fellow named Ryan. He has outlined some ways to w/d from Xanax, but will tell you that you must NOT do this without being under the guidance and supervision of your MD or psychiatrist! Please take the time to read some of these so you will truly understand WHERE you are, WHAT you are about to go through but best of all, HOW YOU WILL FEEL when you are finally free of the Xanax. Please take the first step on this journey to get you life back. Nobody here will kid you about the difficult road you're embarking on, but so many of us will tell you that the destination is well worth the effort!
Take the jump. Make the call. Become proactive in your own life and healthcare. That old addage of the longest journey begins with the first step is true. It's the hardest one of all, but there will be many of us walking right beside you! Take it! NOW!
You keep us posted, OK? You are going to learn much that you can teach us!
Peace
Greenlydia    
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349780_tn?1309637558
Maybe consult your doctor about giving you another tablet that will be stronger than xanax. This would just to get you off them without the withdrawls. They would have to be benzos as well. Also highly addictive. But once you have made the change over and your doctor is secure in the fact that you are clear of xanax then the doc can begin to lower the dosage of the new tablet. Probably have a sollution which would involve a longer lasting tablet too at some point. This was the odd method used with me. Got me off xanax with no withdrawl (withdrawal) effects at all. Have to be honest and say I didn't eat the tablets like they were sweets though. You are on a high dosage. Not sure how high a dosage of any other sort of benzo a doctor would use. But you never know. Just wish you all the best in getting off the tablet from hell.
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Avatar_m_tn
SWIM has been on a daily self medicated dosage (Mind you, well versed in the area of addiction and the symptoms benzo detox can cause, and most often do.) of 4mg/8mg Alprazolam daily for roughly 6 months. Did Swim think that he was in for what had happened? Certainly not, he had assumed his GaBa receptors (the area within the nervous conduit of your brain that controls the reuptake and distribution of several natural "juices" that need to be within normal ranges for the body to maintain and rest normally) were not exposed to overstimulation for an amount of time to cause severe symptoms with even abrupt cessation (stopping, cold turkey). Well, swim found out just how fast, and how easily even those of us who "think" we can tackle this drug can grab ahold of your mind AND body. Let me add that Swim also, at the time of jumping from his dose of Xanax IR was also on a daily dose of a semi synthetic OPIOID. Suboxone, used to treat the withdrawal and even in some cases the PAWS effects of prolonged OPIATE(naturally derived drugs from the poppy flower, Opiods, now not all, seem to present less danger to those tolerant of both drugs in the aspect of respiratory depression, heart rate reduction, blood pressure reduction, etc. Which can and lead to most cocktail deaths.) abuse and their own withdrawal complex's. 6mg Suboxone, 6mg Xanax IR. One week ago, cut Xanax dosage off. Cold turkey, knew which symptoms could become problematic if unaddressed, PLEASE do not take this route on your own accord. One day after doseage stopped of Xanax, Suboxone dosage dumped to 2mg ONCE daily. After being on one nightly large dose of Xanax, and three 2mg daily dosages of Suboxone. Swim began to panic, heart racing, fear, intense anxiety, more so than the original amount he felt when he began taking this hellish pill. Swim managed to obtain some Klonopin 0.5mg (Clonazepam 0.5mg). Began with 1.5mg Klonopin (Not enough to remove him from Xanax detox, just enough to feel comfortable to the degree of not being in that "doom" state of mind) Physical withdraw felt up to present time, doseage of Klonopin is going to be reduced within two days to 0.75mg. Than Swim is jumping. You can conquer short term mid range benzo dependancy, if you have the mind set, and the tools, PLUS SUPPORT of family, friends, and of course a MD if these meds we're rx'd to you. The physical withdraw is less intense dropping the Suboxone dose as expected, although combined, the two have produced a PHYSICAL syndrome similiar to that of high dose cold turkey Heroin/Oxycodone withdrawal. Which is which in terms of pain and discomfort is now beginning to lack a consistant barrier between the two, almost blending, making this easier on swim. Best luck to all who wish to leave that life behind and live again. For encouragement, look to your MIND after about 3-4 days of this, if forced to do the way described. The mind will open, "waking up" refreshed, even after not sleeping a wink, is the feeling. Getting closer to life again. Peace and Love.
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