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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

* Short Term Benzo Use *

So I have been using benzos (Xanax and Klonopin) for about 1.5 weeks up to an avg of 6-6.5mgs.  This was done to help with sub withdrawal which by the way so far has been NOTHING.  I was only on subs 60 days and tapered down under a Dr.'s orders.  I'm only 24 hours after my last sub but knowing the half life I could be surprised.  The Benzos help calm me during this time but at the same time tired as all get out - almost a drunk feeling.  Am I taking two much?  Second question.  I only plan to use for the next 1.5 weeks which would put be at 3 weeks total.  Let's say I avg 6mg's over 3 weeks what should my "getting off" plan be.  I'm not excited about going into seizure and or dying so I'm willing to taper.  Just wondering if 3 weeks is enough to get physically addicted and pay the piper without tapering?  Loving any thoughts you wonderful people can share!
24 Responses
Avatar universal
I should clarify I was on a pretty rapid taper which is why I started the benzo use before my jump yesterday.  During which I don't really feel I've had any sub wd's other than some restless sleep at times.
1235186 tn?1549261219
COMMUNITY LEADER
6 mgs of xanax is a pretty high dose.
Avatar universal
Hi!  How come you're taking both Xanax and Klonopin?  I would stick with just one of those. The risk of seizure is small when only using a benzo for a brief period but still taper off as best you can.

I do think you're taking too much. You shouldn't be feeling so tired and "drunk" all the time. Were these prescribed for you? If you're taking 6mg of Xanax per day you're taking a lot...
Avatar universal
Actually it's mostly Xanax only about 20 mgs total o Klonopin over the week and a half.  The Dr. Prescribed me the Klonopin to help with sleep and I'm getting the Xanax through other sources.  Yes I believe I'm on too high a dose.  I'm going to cut back to 4 tomorrow and 3 Sunday and see if I can stay awake past 8.  And the just take as needed to take the sub edge off if there is any, hoping for the best! I just want to get the subs out of my system but am desperate to not trade opiated addiction for benzo addiction.  In a strange way it just doesn't feel right taking 1/2 a mg of X when I was up to 300mgs of Percocet a day.  I think part of my addict thinking is causing me to dose the bentos even went not needed.  Yes I have a addiction specialized psychiatrist and am going to counseling and will work on this.  Thank you special folks!
Avatar universal
Okay. The benzo use concerns me. One is short acting and one is long acting. Combining them is dangerous and upping the dose is, as well. A half mg of Xanax is a regular dose. They don't make them stronger than 1mg. And you really can't compare a half mg of Xanax to 300mg of Percocet. Entirely different chemicals per mg. You know this,,I'm sure. I just don't understand why you're taking Klonopin AND Xanax. Maybe it's addict thinking that you need it but you don't. Stick with just one benzo, as I said before. Okay?  I don't want to have to worry about you...

We're here so check in often!
11318065 tn?1462988079
Hi!  I agree with all the above that you are taking way too many benzos!!! Please just stick to the one the Dr gave you!  From what I understand benzo WD can be hell!!!  I am on 2 mg of Ativan and have been for about 2 years now.  Im going to start my taper as soon as I am done with my anti depressant taper.  My Doc says it is going to take quite awhile to get off the benzo even at the amount I am taking.  So please be careful!  And please dont take them any longer than you say you will...that 3 weeks is long enough!  Keep on posting and let us know how you are getting on!
Avatar universal
Thanks for all the feedback guys.  Yes, the last thing I want to do is trade one addiction for another.  So if I get down to the 1-1.5 prescribed dose and continue that over the next week and a 1/2 will I be safe to quit C/T?  Benzo withdrawal scares the living sh1t out of me.  Especially the seizures and death.  Or would it be better to stay on them longer and taper down?  Of course I'll ask my Dr. but would like to hear other peoples experiences.

By the way, day 1 of sub jump and feeling good.  Of course I know the half life and the real deal will be days 3-4.  But as mentioned, I tapered pretty fast, was only on 60 days, so maybe I will be one of the lucky ones........  Fingers crossed so hard they hurt!

Thanks.
Avatar universal
Hey Oxy,

I don't see why you would need to taper off of the benzos.  You shouldn't be addicted physically to them with just three weeks of use.  Tapering is used to get off of things that you're physically addicted to without feeling the full wd symptoms you would get from going ct.  

Also as the others have said in my opinion you're taking a lot more than necessary.  Take the minimum amount that you need to take to be semi comfortable, and take them for the shortest possible length of time.  Benzo's make you sleepy and will help you sleep while withdrawing from the other stuff but once you stop taking them as well you'll probably have a few nights where it's difficult to get a good nights sleep.  
Avatar universal
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. Tapering is necessary to avoid seizures when stopping any benzo; even after only 3 weeks.  People can become physically dependent very quickly so it's better to be cautious.
Avatar universal
Well yesterday I only used 4 total.  I'm sticking with Ativan during the day (up to 3mg) and if I have to .5 Xanax to help sleep at night.  I'm actually on day 2 of sub withdrawal so I plan on keeping this level of use up as long as I have to at least through day 5 unless by some miracle I don't feel any real wd symptoms.  Which I haven't by the way nor did during my taper.  I think to be safe, once I'm through about 10 days of sub freedom I will just taper down the ativan to 2 a day for a couple days then 1 a day for a couple (3 or 4) then 1/2 a pill (3/4) then be done?  Might make it longer than 3 total weeks but at least there is a taper?  Oh and I'll flush the Xanax.  Nasty nasty stuff.  Whatcha all think?
Avatar universal
I also disagree; 3 weeks of daily use of ANY addictive substance is enough to produce withdrawals.

You are correct about the dangers of benzo withdrawal.  We don't give tapering advice here...if you care about your life and your health, please...tell your doctor what you've been taking...the WHOLE truth..and let him/her put you on a proper tapering schedule.  You only get one life on this earth...
Avatar universal
Where did the Ativan come from? That makes three benzos that you're taking and now I'm wondering about all of this...You only "need" to take ONE of those.  What's going on?

Avatar universal
Oxy, you are playing a dangerous game. You seem to be to proud of yourself for taking drugs that your getting off the street. Please think about what your doing.
Avatar universal
One more thought that has me confused. In your posts you talk about taking Xanax and Klonopin and than later on you talk about Ativan?????

I'm sorry to be so blunt but when someone is changing their life trying to win the battle against addiction I don't think its a good idea to be taking prescriptions that your getting from a friend or a dealer. Even worse taking a cocktail of Benzo's is going to end up killing you.
Avatar universal
Hi Everyone,

All of your comments are very thoughtful (some hard hitting - but needed).  The thing that stuck me the most was the comment about an addict trying to beat an opiate addiction by getting illegal benzos off the street.  So here's the deal.  I got 20 klonopins from the dr 4 weeks ago. Those are gone.  I get the 2mg X bars and 1mg Ativan from a "friend"...  I feel very lucky that my stupidity over the last 13 days mixing all of these (some all 3) and at total doses of up to 11mg's a day hasn't ended in the worst way possible.  So all I really want is to get off of these now (since I don't think they will really help with sub withdrawal anyway) and want to do so in a safe way as possible. Eventhough its only been 13 days (ave 4.5mgs last 5) I don't feel safe just stopping.  So I'm going to taper over the next 8 days to keep my usage at 3 weeks.  If I can get to .05x and .5ativan by that time will I be safe to jump off them?
Avatar universal
Why are you taking BOTH Ativan and Xanax? Is it because of availability? If you can't get one you get the other?  Do you mean Xanax .05mg or .5 mg?

I think you need to taper for longer than 8 days. You were up to 11mg. Did you say you're at 4.5 mg now?  That's a large cut and you might feel an increase in anxiety...so taper off by cutting small amounts at a time.

The best way to do this is with the guidance of your physician. He can give you more Klonopin AND a taper schedule. The Klonopin is good to taper with because it's long acting but talk to your doctor about everything. I think that's the way to go from here-
Avatar universal
Well you guys werer right.  The sub withdrawal was nothing!  But like an idiot I traded it for dependence on benzo's.  I tried C/T yesterday and couldn't take it after 24 hours.  I have my Dr. Appt next week and will be completely honest with him.  I'm using just the Xanax now even though I still have Ativan.  Based on these two which one would be easier to wd from?  Should I switch over to the Ativan?  In any event I'm going to take the taper seriously.  I'm guessing he will prescribe a longer acting (Valium) to crossover from the shorter acting benzos then taper from those.  So mad at myself right now!
Avatar universal
Live and learn...to listen to those who went before you...   You'll be okay but DO NOT stop cold turkey again!   Seizures are a very real threat.

Okay. Xanax and Ativan are essentially the same to withdraw from; and they are both short acting.

The doctor will help you and may prescribe a long acting benzo; I don't know. He'll tell you how to taper.

For now, just take what you need to get by until your appt. What ever dose that is, stick to it. Don't increase your dose.

You can do this; especially if you integrate some aftercare!
Avatar universal
Thanks Vicki - I'm doing terribly...  Went back to using high doses - 7 - 8mg's a day.  I'm suffering some debilitating depression that I'm sure is caused by coming off the subs and I think the X's will fix it.  Addict thinking I know.  I know exercise, eating healthy, drinking lots of fluids is key but the fatigue with this depression is amazing so exercising is tough, i have ZERO appitate since I started subs and have lost 15 pounds... I am drinking a ton of water though!  Any suggestions for mental strenghtness.  I realzie the Benzo's don't really help with the depression, in fact, they really don't do anything for me unless I take enough to "zone" out so to speak and escape reality.  I'm just really frustrated.  I quite Opiates C/T last October and made it 38 days.  I wish I had a time machine becasue I now I'd be feeling great by now.  Your insight and support is much appreciated.
Avatar universal
I've been following this discussion and am confused. You are on high doses of Ativan and zanax now?  I know about benzo's and take a low dose of  Klonapin. Get off the short acting Ativan and Zanax. They are already hooking you. Get to doc and taper with Klonapin or Valium to taper off short acting while there still is time. Don't mess with Benson's. You will be worse off then a year ago.
Avatar universal
Of course, stop the Klonopin before that hooks you. I am slowly tapering from Klonopin, slowly, even though dose is low 1.25mg. I am regretting it big time.
Avatar universal
To my understanding 2-3 weeks you can become physically addicted, so you're nearing the threshold. I did take them for a longer period and much higher dosage, and can tell you the seizures and lack of functionality are real. You will probably need to taper for awhile, you're going to feel crappy tapering but not as bad as c/t, and will have less health risks. I do hear Valium is the easiest to taper from, and from experience can tell you klonopin is far from easy to quit. It's a fun ride for awhile (8 years here), but realistically these drugs are poison and only intensify your anxiety and can build dozens of new problems (mentally, physically, and emotionally) when coming off of them. Try to find a taper and stick to the dosage your suppose to before the addiction hooks to deep, it won't be fun or easy but if you truthfully want to live a clean life you gotta push through the crappy parts. Good luck
Avatar universal
I know from experience the w/d from benzos. Sounds like you're taking quite a bit. First, the stomach gets so upset that you vomit very violently. Then the panic starts in. You can't eat, sleep, or keep your panic in check. Among other things, it's the worst to w/d from cause its dangerous. I would recommend using a doc to help. Also, taper! I thought w/d from opiates was bad but benzos are way worse. Please believe me. When I went to detox, they didn't care about the opiates. They were highly concerned about the benzos even though I wasn't on a high dose.
Avatar universal
I will attest to the fact that using Benzos on a daily basis can indeed cause physical dependance. I myself was p prescribed 2mg Ativan every day for 3.5 weeks. Doc said it was safe to just stop and they couldn't have been more wrong. Short acting Benzos like Xanax and Ativan are much more potent than Klonopin and Valium and can lead to dependance much faster.
Never cold turkey a benzo....do your research and if you're unsure reduce your dose slightly and wait a day or two to see if there are any withdrawal effects, if not reduce dose again and wait and see.
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