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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Xanax

I have been on Xanax - 2mgs a day for 9 years.  In July of this year I started coming off this drug.  Today I am down to .5mgs a day.  But my problem is I can't seem to get any lower. I try to reduce (.37mgs a day) but the withdraw is so bad I go back to .5mgs. Any suggestions on how I can continue reducing the dose without the withdraw?
92 Responses
Avatar universal
I went through withdrawals from Vicoden ES 4 weeks ago with the help of Xanax.  Now, I am still taking 2mgs at night and maybe one more, if things get bad during the day.  What are the withdrawals like?  After withdrawals from codiene, I dread anymore withdrawals.  My therapist seems to think that I can stay on Xanax for ever, but I don't like taking pills anymore.  I want off of everything.  What should I expect when cutting down?  Neena
Avatar universal
You cannot escape the withdrawal of benzodiazepine drugs. A very slow detox will keep withdrawal symptoms to a minimum. A long acting benzodiazepine reduced slowly over a period of time has proven to be  the safest and produce the least amount of withdrawals.
Sincerely,
Dan...
Avatar universal
So Dan, what happens when you simply stop the benzos? I just take  one half of a blue each night because I can't sleep without it, but don't take them during the day. Am I going to have to pay the price, the dreaded insomnia??? I am still trying to taper off the percs, but thats a whole other story.
Avatar universal
Abrupt withdrawal from benzos can result in seizures. Withdrawing from percs or any other narc is miserable, but not life-threatening. However, withdrawing from xanax, klonipin, valium and the like can be life-threatening.
Check this forum for other postings on benzos. You can read about people who have experienced seizures. This is not something to be taken lightly. Good luck.
Avatar universal
You are simply going to HAVE to stop, since you can't taper any longer.  The longer you wait, the worse the withdrawal will be.  Unfortunately, you just have to ride out the withdrawal.  You may find some relief by using Kava or Valerian, both available at GNC or another health food place.  DON'T start taking Kava or Valerian UNTIL you stop the Xanax or it will potentiate the effects of the xanax.
Avatar universal
The above post is causing some confusion. Anyone that is trying to taper off xanax should at least, advise their doctor when deciding to taper xanax.  Xanax comes in three different strengths . White 0.25,Red.05,Blue 1.0.  Use red then white wholes and halves to taper from one mgm's with the help from your physician.  This person above is advising without using they're name,do not do this. It causes confusion!
Sincerely,
Dan...
Avatar universal
Is Xanax basically the same thing as Ativan?
Avatar universal
Both are short acting benzodiazepines. Both produce equal dependence and addictions if taken daily over a period of time.
Avatar universal
But why would they allow me to continue to take them even just at night knowing that I became addicted to codiene?  Now that I have gotten over the codiene withdrawals, I have no shaking, etc.  The Xanax does allow me to sleep.  I was sleep deprived for a long while and even Ambien did not work.  Will I need to ask my doctor to ween me off the Xanax?  As far as I know Ativan is the same as Xanax, Julie.  I was given that also for panic attacks during a family emergency.  I am tired of PILLS.  I want my life back.  I don't want to depend on anything, not even for sleep.  But, the docs don't seem to think that it's bad for sleep for long periods of time.  Maybe they have plans to help taper me in the future.  I refuse to relive the Hell that I suffered with Vicoden ES withdrawals.  Neena
Avatar universal
listen to Dan regarding the dangers of abruptly discontinuing benzos like ativan, xanax, valium, klonopin, librium. Prior to back surgery in 1993, my orthopedic surgeon had me on ativan for a year. After a successful surgery that eliminated the need for the ativan, I let myself run out of the stuff during the Christmas holidays. Not wanting to disturb my doctor over Christmas, I reasoned this was as good a time as any to quit. Four days later, Christmas night to be exact, sometime in the night I went into a seizure, causing my chest and stomach muscles to contract violently. Of course, I was unconscious during the whole thing and don't know how long I was in seizure. The following morning, my wife got up and headed toward the kitchen to make some coffee. She thought she'd close the bedroom door and let me sleep in. As she was about to close the door, something told her to look back at me in the bed. As the paramedics loaded me into the ambulance, they told my wife that, had she closed the bedroom door without glancing back at me, it would have been a sleep I would not have woken from.

The chest and stomach muscle contractions from the benzo seizure were powerful enough to leave me with two compressed vertebra in my upper back. The muscle and nerve damage in my chest was so extensive that I could not walk upright for two weeks and had to literally crawl to the bathroom on my hands and knees.

It took more than a year to recover from this experience. And, as I said, I still have two compressed vertebra which will never heal.

If that doesn't convince you, how about the nurse I know who bit her own tongue off during a benzo-inspired seizure? True story.


Avatar universal
Just out of curiousity, anyone know how much oxycontin 40mg goes for on the street?  Doc just gave me script for 200!!  Bet you're all drooling right now. :-)
Avatar universal
To sick and scared
You came to the right place. Everyone here has, is, and will be going through the same thing you are and that is what this is all about.
Vicky, you said you were sorry yet you keep this going by making comments in your last post that NOBODY else seems to want to answer "sicks" question. Maybe because you are the only one sitting here checking on the posts, waiting to attack someone else. My god you are sick in the head woman. GROW THE HELL UP!
You are not worth this. I hope nobody else responds to your posts and argues back with you. You have a serious attitude problem!!!!!
Avatar universal
pal...take your game somewhere else. 200 oxys my arse. there are sick people on here.what's your game? it's people like you who will make this drug unavailable for those who need it.street value...get help sicko
Avatar universal
pal...take your game somewhere else. 200 oxys my arse. there are sick people on here.what's your game? it's people like you who will make this drug unavailable for those who need it.street value...get help sicko
Avatar universal
Ditto, no one here is drooling for any more fucken pills. We are all here to help each other get off these mothers. If you put 200 oxys in front of me right now I'd probably throw up, I'm so sick of looking at pills and am going to get off them or die trying.
Avatar universal
In your previous post, you advised "listen to Dan" regarding benzos and the dangers of seizures. Just to let you know, Dan did not mention the threat of seizures with abrupt withdrawal from benzos. I did. Dan gave a detailed post about the color of xanax and corresponding dosage, along with some other rambling information. I wrote the short post about seizures. And I stand by my guns, as proved by your anecdote. To the person(s) withdrawing from xanax (or any benzo)--get help and be informed about the serious dangers that accompany this withdrawal.
(I'm just clarifying this because there are other folks out there who have professional and academic experience with addiction and/or medical concerns. Not just so-called-"Doc"-Dan)
Avatar universal
Whats the problem no name? Why are you threatened by my posts? I try to give creditable information. Now that I removed my nickname after many complaints. You still have some sort of problem. Would you please stop being so petty. For heavens sake, Tom is just agreeing with what I am saying. There is room for everyones' comments and remarks. Also, small doses of benzo's DO NOT produce seizures. For example I have helped several people with the help of the treatment centers physician to detox small doses of valium,xanax and ativan without any seizures. LARGE DOSES of these drugs generally will cause seizures upon withdrawals. A doctor should always help with all detoxes with benzodiazepine derivatives! Above poster quit being so petty and let people comment with being such a whiner!!
Dan...
Avatar universal
I look forward to dan's,toms and all comments. So quit complaining and make you own contributions. Like dan said quit being such a whiner! If you have something important to say just make your comment.  We can all get along here. So please!!
Peace Everyone
Avatar universal
Got a free minute from baby.  Are you OK?  Have you done the withdrawal thing yet?  Are you still using?  I've steered clear so far, but have been having a beer or two at night.  Still taking Xanax at night.  I wish these people would not fight on this board.  We are here to share, not fight.  Imagine if we were sitting in one big room.  I have no cravings for codiene, per say, but I do have nervous moments.  My head is soooo much clearer now, but I am still trying to get my life back.  Things had gone downhill around the house, etc...while I was using, so I am seeing how neglectful I had become.  Do you need some help?  Some encouragement?  Remember, Nothing, Absolutely Nothing, Happens in Gods' World By Mistake.  He is allowing you to suffer, while giving you choices.  I'm here to help you make the correct choices if you want.  Neena
Avatar universal
Ugh, I feel like I got smashed with baseball bat. I'm so tired, no energy, and YES still using, only 3 in the morning and a xanax at night. But the drugs are still in my system and I can't detox.  I can't, I really need help. Were you tired, and is your energy slowly returning?
To the person who told me about Dr. Lance Gooberman,(sorry, the threads are so long to scroll through) I called his office, its a 3 hour drive from my home, and the nurse said they were only there in the morning. Have you actually been there? How long did it take from where you live and have you relapsed?
I have to get up and do something every day, whether its work, or  take care of my animals, or go places, so I can't be zonked out on clonodine. There is no easy answer for me, is there?
Avatar universal
Damn it, get down to Gooberman's office!!  So they're there in the morning, THEY ARE ALSO THERE SATURDAY mornings!  I drove nearly 3 hrs. to get there.  I too have animals, responsibilities and the like.  I got up at 6 am, got my ass there and got home.  Sorry to be rough here, but YOU NEED HELP! Let them help you.  Clonididne isn't worth **** in my view.  It helps, a little, but not much.  Also zonks the hell out of you.  Buprenorphine works FAR better.  PLEASE make an appointment with them!  It can save your life.  No, I haven't relpased since getting off the narcotics with help from the buprenorphine.  Go there, get off the narcotics & start living again!  Please!  Phil
Avatar universal
Hi guys.  I'm back from the dead (almost dead!).  Got back recently from a treatment program out in the beautiful desert Southwest.  It really was nice having the cash to shell out for a $500/day "addiction resort."  Met some interesting people and a few celebrities (which, of course, I'm bound by anonymity not to reveal).  I learned a hell of a lot there.  As I posted before I left for treatment, I relpased primarily because I wasn't working any sort of program.  I have never been big on NA, not because I didn't fit in, but because I'm just stubborn and a few things bothered me (the whole higher power thing).  I reached some new realizations while away, and believe I've tapped into a new spiritual part of me that I didn't know existed.  I also learned that I was using this board as a substitute for a program.  By helping others I thought I was also helping myself.  Instead, I was neglecting myself.  My "treatment team" was torn on whether I should still come back here.  Eventually they agreed that, with limitations, I could.  In fact, I befriended one of the docs who I had met at a conference once, and he even let me use his computer a few times to get on the internet (against the rules).  I checked in here but didn't post.  You guys have had some really interesting stuff going on lately!  And Tom, must say I love your posts.  You've given great advice.  Dan too.  Nice to see different perspectives, etc.  I'm going to try to step back some and not "dominate" any discussions here, though I like to step in now and again.  And to all of you who wished me well, thanks from the bottom of my heart.  It made me feel sooo good while I was so down to read those posts during treatment.  Finally, please learn a lesson from my relapse.  This board is fantastic, BUT, it isn't a substitute for working a program.  I know that term is cliche, but the reality is, you have to do something consistent to keep fighting this addiction, or it will come back and bite you in the ass when you least expect it.  My best to you all.  Brian
Avatar universal
Please look in the post way down this board, from Patrice to you.  She is on buprenorphine and lives in Calif.  SHe has info. for you.  Take a look.  Phil
Avatar universal
It's called tough love, baby. Thanks.
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