Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Feel free to read or create a new topic about benzodiazepine questions or detox. (*Note - Benzodiazepines are not opiates. They are Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and many more. Additionally, cessation of benzos without medical supervision can be very dangerous.)

Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby krd1212 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:29 pm

I'm just going to come clean with my psychiatrist tomorrow. He might switch me to a different doctor, but I'm in the VA system, and I don't think he can just kick me out of the system. If he did, I'd probably commit suicide out of spite. Did you know that the lifetime rates of suicide attempts with bipolar disorder is 70%? And the strongest predictor of successful suicide is a prior attempt, which I have. I wonder what the odds are that I become depressed enough to successfully commit suicide? Pretty high I'd bet. Anyway, this is just hypothetical in case anyone is worrying. My primary goal is to kick the benzo habit. After that, I have to find a purpose in life other than doing drugs, and that won't be easy I bet. I wonder why other people bother to go on living?

Oxycontin is every bit as addictive as heroin, according to the DEA. But that's the DEA talking, so of course they'd take that point of view. If they had their way, there wouldn't be any medication in the world. And a lot of people would suffer.
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby ratch » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:37 pm

Hey Krd,
Life, careers, future, our relationships is rarely what we imagined they would be as we reach adulthood. Disappointments and despair are sadly commonplace amongst almost everyone. Its how we deal, cope, and accept all the shit, and treasure the good times no matter how rare they can be that keeps us moving forward. looking to put yourself out of misery because of whats going on today, or anticipation of future events is a scary thought. The next winning lottery ticket, perfect mate, or job can be right around the corner.. to deprive yourself of a potential great future with total erasure is illogical. Regardless of what the future holds, the world is a better place with you in the picture, and your family, friends, pets don't deserve the guilt, loss, and deprivation. If I had 100% proof that a "ideal" heaven really existed or reincarnation was a guarantee I may fancy the thought myself..until God or some aliens gives me that visit or phone call, I think I'll stick around and play the game to the end.. and if the Mayan calendar is right.. is 20 more months really a long wait? In all seriousness, if you need to talk shoot me a pm.. junkies are an endangered species and we need to preserve every single one of them.

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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby krd1212 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:01 pm

" junkies are an endangered species and we need to preserve every single one of them"
Amen to that. I don't know the statistics on suicide for patients with comorbid substance abuse disorders and bipolar disorder, and my psychiatrist declined to share that info with me, but I'd bet it's pretty high. And I was definitely suicidal this week. However, he switched the meds up, and I'm already feeling a litte better, and have an appointment with a psychotherapist. I'm so broke I can't afford to go to the AA meetings ($1 contribution expected or they look at you funny) but that's alright. It's gonna be hard giving up drinking AND prescription medicine.

But for me my life has been objectively very good but subjectively experienced with a lot of suffering. So I need more than that possible winning lotto ticket to get me going, though I understand it was metaphorically speaking. I guess I'll stick around a little longer, for now. But who knows? That could change tomorrow, which I hope it doesn't, because I agree with Dr. Jamison that depression is absolutely painful. And pain that needs to end.
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby krd1212 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:29 pm

I know I'm replying to myself, but I wanted to share my experience with others. Tonight is my last night on diazepam, of which I took about 100mg to try and sleep (it didn't work). Today I am on 200mg seroquel for sleep/bipolar type II and to avoid WD's I will take 5mg diazepam and that's it. After that, no more benzos for me. I am going to flush them, or maybe turn them in on the April DEA turn-in day they have planned. Turning them in would be easier than flushing. I read on the carlatpsychiatryreport.com where Dr. Carlat, who is affiliated with Tufts University and a psychiatrist, indicated that it took 3-6 months of benzodiazepine use before dependence could develop. With barely a month, I am not worried at all about my virtual cold turkey quit. By the way, for anyone interested in psychiatry, I recommend Dr. Carlat's new book "Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry A Doctor's Revelations about a profession in crisis".
The new cocktail of drugs they have me on already has me 50% less depressed. The crying spells are gone. The suicidal ideation is gone. I still can't concentrate except to surf the net and write on these damn support forums, but one step at a time I guess, right? And I got to see my brother today for the first time in months. A good day.
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby xenofears » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:28 am

krd, actually dependence can develop in as little as 2 weeks, and you are on massive doses. Please watch out for yourself. Benzo w/d causes suicidal ideation and can lead to suicide. Luckily diazepam will be the easiest to come off of, it so extraordinarily slowly crawls out of your system.
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby krd1212 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:06 pm

@xenofears

Okay, okay, I will be careful. I took a 5mg dose last night, just to be sure I didn't seize. I'm tempted to cut up a 5mg into a 2.5mg dose tonight, just so I don't seize. And I was on really high doses. The 3-6 month rule probably only applies to people who are on low doses and not abusing them, instead of the massive supratherapeutic doses I was taking. It's just that I need to clean out for this internship as soon as possible. It's extremely unlikely that they will drug test, but if they do, it would be a financial disaster for me. So I need to clean out as quickly as possible. Or find a good adulterant this weekend, one proven to work, such as detergent (and undetectable by adulterant dipstick tests) and a little bottle to carry in my pocket with me. I think since I'll still be a student, and not an employee, that they will be very unlikely to drug test me though. I hope. Just thinking about it is making me want to take another valium (AAAAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH).
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby mimiluv » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:38 am

OMG!! Stay the hell away from ambien or lunesta.. they act on the same receptors and benzo's do.. people have benzo like w/d from them as well.

How long have you been using the valium? You are on a shit ton of meds, NOT GOOD!!

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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby krd1212 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:53 pm

Hi mimiluv,

Thanks for the advice. I will stay away from the ambien too if they work on the same receptors. The seroquel has been enough to sleep and remain sedated for the entire day. And I'm resolved to just roll the dice---hopefully I'll be clean if I get tested, but all I'm focused on is stopping the benzos and staying clean off of them. I've been using valium for about a month, at supra-therapeutic doses, to say the least. The most I ever took at one time was 350mg of valium and 3 beers. It knocked me out for five hours only, and then I woke up. This is before I was switched to seroquel though. Really, for someone with back pain, comorbid substance abuse disorder and bipolar disorder type II and panic disorder and is slightly agoraphobic, I'm not on that many meds. Tramadol, zyrtec, a mood stabilizer (quetiapine), an antidepressant (celexa), a beta-blocker for hypertension (atenelol), hydroxyzine for acute anxiety attacks, and I'm augmenting with ephedrine to help wake up with coffee in the morning and, while I still have some left, modafinil to fight the fatigue of the mood stabilizers. Compared to what I used to be taking that's really not that many meds. I'm supposed to discontinue the tramadol anyway cause I've had serotonin syndrome in the past.

I miss the warm pleasant rush that a benzo gives you, making you anxiety free. Ahh, benzo bliss I call it. Guess I'll have another beer. It's been two or three days since I've had a benzo.
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby mimiluv » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:55 am

krd1212 wrote:Hi mimiluv,

Thanks for the advice. I will stay away from the ambien too if they work on the same receptors. The seroquel has been enough to sleep and remain sedated for the entire day. And I'm resolved to just roll the dice---hopefully I'll be clean if I get tested, but all I'm focused on is stopping the benzos and staying clean off of them. I've been using valium for about a month, at supra-therapeutic doses, to say the least. The most I ever took at one time was 350mg of valium and 3 beers. It knocked me out for five hours only, and then I woke up. This is before I was switched to seroquel though. Really, for someone with back pain, comorbid substance abuse disorder and bipolar disorder type II and panic disorder and is slightly agoraphobic, I'm not on that many meds. Tramadol, zyrtec, a mood stabilizer (quetiapine), an antidepressant (celexa), a beta-blocker for hypertension (atenelol), hydroxyzine for acute anxiety attacks, and I'm augmenting with ephedrine to help wake up with coffee in the morning and, while I still have some left, modafinil to fight the fatigue of the mood stabilizers. Compared to what I used to be taking that's really not that many meds. I'm supposed to discontinue the tramadol anyway cause I've had serotonin syndrome in the past.

I miss the warm pleasant rush that a benzo gives you, making you anxiety free. Ahh, benzo bliss I call it. Guess I'll have another beer. It's been two or three days since I've had a benzo.



Okay, yes you are.. Clexexa is a SSRI, Quetiapine works on seritonin too, and so does the tramadol which is an opiate and works on seritonin Watch out for seritonin syndrome.

So what meds do you want to stay on and which ones do you want to get off of? if you've been on the val for a month that's long enough to have w/d from it.. or you might not, everyone is different.. But if you want to get off of it.. I would taper it just the same to be on the safe side and not risk a seizure. Val also has a long half life so it might be a week or so before you even feel any w/d.

You're using all of this stuff and then your using ephdrin to wake up.. your body doesn't know what the fuck is going on..

Okay.. so let me know what you wanna do and I/we will see if we can come up w/ a plan to help you out.
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby krd1212 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:21 am

My doctor prescribed the seroquel and celexa, so that has to stay. I can stop the ephedrine, that's easy and non-addictive. I have diagnosed hypertension so I have to take my beta-blocker, and my allergies require zyrtec. My psychiatrist actually told me to stop the tramadol, I just haven't listened (yet), but I will stop it today. I've stopped tramadol before without any problems. And the modafinil will run out in a couple of days. Hydroxyzine is PRN only so as long as I only take it for panic attacks I don't see any harm in taking since it is prescribed by the same psychiatrist.

Yes, the doctors in the ER once thought I had serotonin syndrome. I was hospitalized. Finally, the diagnosis was "encephelopathy" because the docs couldn't figure out what it was. MRI'd my brain and did an EEG and everything.

That's my tentative plan. Any suggestions/modifications? Suppose I should probably stay away from alcohol too since my doc told me to stop drinking. That''s gonna take AA, though, cause even though I can control my drinking and have only one beer and cut myself off, I enjoy my nightly beer.
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby mimiluv » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:50 am

Okay this sounds like a plan..to begin with, lol.. Yes stop the drinking.. alcohol hits the same receptors as valium does.. Valium is just alcohol in a pill.. so in other words you're taking more val by drinking.. make sense? What is your plan with the valium? Like I said if you're going to quit that then you will want to taper it.. how many mgs of it do you take a night? 30?
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby krd1212 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:01 pm

hi Mimiluv,

I went from 350mg of valium last saturday to 80-90mg on Sunday to 20mg on monday and then to 5 on tuesday I've been clean off the benzos for weds.,, thursday, friday and today. I think I'm well past the having to taper the valium part if I was gonna have a seizure I'd have had it already although admittedly I did it subliminally (whoops, those are lyrics by Eminem) admittedly it was pretty stupid to have that dramatic of a taper. I don't think I would have had the discipline to go from 80 to 70 to 60 to 40 to 30 etc. etc. and that''s just me being honest. But I have had one drink at night, usually every night, and if it is the same as taking valium well then daggone it is there nothing that I can enjoy left??? Being clean AND sober sucks ass (pardon my language).

The hardest part is going to be not dipping into my "stash" again. Which I can't bring myself to flush, it represents too much money, time and effort in acquiring. Besides, even if I took all that's left, there can't be more than 30 of the 5mg pills and I've already proven that my tolerance is well into the hundreds of milligrams, even with three beers in my system.

So that's my plan with the valium. To stay clean off of it. Got any tips? (other than to exercise, and distract myself doing other things)
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby mimiluv » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:44 pm

HOLY SHIT 350MG OF VALIUM IN ONE DAY? how many days did you take that many mg? Valium has the longest half life of any benzo.. so it's going to take awhile before you would even get w/d.. WOW.. I don't even know what to say. Did you really mean 350mg?
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby mimiluv » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:46 pm

You should be VERY worried about having a seizure if you've been taking that much for a few weeks..
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby xenofears » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:13 pm

I really don't know what more to say in here. You've got your plan, not going to listen to me if I had any advice anyway, and this thread is making me dizzy, no offense. Best of luck to you krd.
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby krd1212 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:46 pm

Hi Mimiluv,

It built up to 350mg over the course of 4 weeks. It went from 10mg, to 20, to 60 by the end of week 1, and 80-90mg by week 2, 3, and at the end of week 4 I became suicidally depressed and just needed relief (i.e.-I needed to be sedated) from the hours of crying spells so I drank 3 beers and took one 10mg after another over the course of 3 hours and I knew I had 40 in there and there were 5 left when I stopped. So 350mg. So you're saying I should still be worried about having a seizure? But hasn't the danger passed by now? Would it be smart to re-start the valium on a taper as per xenofears' advice? I don't think you understand though. I need to be clean as soon as possible, because if I get popped at the internship, I owe the VA thousands of dollars, my life is ruined, and I WILL find a way to commit suicide. All I'll do is order a fentanyl patch from my regular vendor, and drunk and pain-free, and sever the femoral artery where it can't be clamped (high up on the leg) and bleed out in a matter of 10 minutes or less, probably less. I don't believe in higher powers, but not having died from that OD on valium it is logical to suggest that there is someone looking out for me.

hi xenofears,
I'm sorry if I disrespected you. I did genuinely intend to follow your advice. But as frequently happens when I try to listen to someone more experienced, I have these crazy ideas of my own that take over. I start playing doctor with myself. It's stupid, I know. But now it's too late to go back and follow your advice, as I should have.
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby mimiluv » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:23 pm

I really don't know what to say.. Do you know when you need to be clean by? I do know it takes Val a long time to get out of your system because of it's long half life.. I am not sure how to advise you on the val.. I guess you could wait and see what happens.. But you really need to stop messing with these meds..

Keep us posted on how things are going and how your feeling in the days weeks to come..
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby krd1212 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:59 pm

I start my internship on Tuesday. It's highly unlikely that they will drug test an intern. And yet, it is impossible to find out if they do in fact test them without blatant self-incrimination, and I don't know any former interns there. I have researched adulterants (tampering) extensively through scholarly literature and journals of chromotography and it turns out the only adulterant which can't be detected on an adulterant dipstick test is dishwashing detergent. So tomorrow I'm off to get some, and a container for it, just in case. But multiple sources have confirmed that benzodiazepines can stay in your system for 1-2 weeks (detectable by urine) at most. So all I have to do is try not to worry about the first week, since a week will have passed, and then I'm in the clear. In the meantime, a toxicologist friend of mine sent me 17 free UA specimen cups to self-test, so I'll know the moment I'm in the clear. Plus, the dilution method is successful in 71% of cases, so there's that too.

Merck.com claims some drugs can be detectable in the urine up to 30 days after ingestion, but it did not specify which metabolites, and my toxicologist friend assured me that by week 2 it will be gone from the urine. Hair samples would screw me over, but those are expensive ($80 minimum compared to $4-$12per specimen cup for urine) and why waste them on interns? Now employees, on the other hand, I could see them testing. I know one guy works in a hospital and he was only tested once in the years he's been there, and he used synthetic urine he carried in his sock with a warming patch, but I'm too broke to buy such commercially available products. He passed anyway. So I'm not too worried. If I worry more, that'll just make me want to use more benzos to ease the anxiety.

I'll definitely keep you apprised of how I'm feeling. Thank you to everyone for your advice, even if I don't always follow it, and for listening, since I have few friends other than family, and they're on vacation.
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby xenofears » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:25 pm

I'm not sure I gave you any advice. Your situation is too complex for me, between your enormous doses and all the other meds you are on, your psych history, and your lack of desire for or likelihood to follow any anyway. So no, you didn't disrespect me, as if you are obligated to follow my advice anyway.

It is entirely possible for Valium to be detected in urine a month later. It has a halflife of 50-200 hours and has active metabolites (including Librium) that have them equally as long. Luckily as such it is the least likely benzo to cause w/d seizures. But no, you are not out of the window.
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Re: Benzos for Sleep - Risk for Dependence/Withdrawals?

Postby krd1212 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:47 pm

You mean I am not out of the window for possible WD's? Should I re-consider a low-dose taper then? (Like 10mg, 5mg, 2.5mg)?
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