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please help me STOP !
  1. #1
    sissylala2827 is offline New Member
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    Default please help me STOP !

    I have been taking xanax since my grandmother passed away in 2000. So, for 16 years I have been a prisoner of this medication. I am now taking 6 to 8 mg daily and just recently decided to come clean with my husband who knew that it was getting to be a problem but I never let him know just how bad it had gotten. I was prescribed this medication , 1mg three times a day and up until one year ago, when my PCP retired, I was fine with that, although if I ran out early, the withdrawal was so bad and I have had numerous seizures through the years. When my PCP retired I started seeing a psychiatrist who only makes me feel like I am hopeless and helpless. I have gotten them off the street too many times to count and the last time I went to the "badlands", i nearly was killed along with my best friend who was there only to help me. That was when I knew that I hit rock bottom. I have been trying to "wean" but the withdrawal is scary and dangerous, i once had a seizure within 24 hours without a pill. I am here for help, advice, someone to point me in the right direction. I want to be free of this addiction. I have two small chilldren and my condition has compromised their safety. I thank God everyday for my husband because without him, i am sure that I would be strung out and probably would have lost my kids by now. With my husband by my side, i come here to this forum for advice from people who have suffered the same fate and conquered it and also am looking for help on how to escape the prison that is my xanax addiction

  2. #2
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sissylala2827 View Post
    I have been trying to "wean" but the withdrawal is scary and dangerous, i once had a seizure within 24 hours without a pill. I am here for help, advice, someone to point me in the right direction.
    Since you have already had seizures from withdrawal, you know you should never, ever quit cold turkey. You should not reduce by large amounts either. I urge you to look into the Ashton method of very slow reduction. It really would be best if you could switch to Valium for a very slow and very gradual taper. Reduce by no more than 5-10% per cut and stay on each new dose for several days and get stable before reducing again.

    Right now starting today I'd stabilize on one dose. (I mean one amount, not one dose per day nor one mg). Don't bounce around between 6 and 8. If you have been taking 6 most days, then stay at 6. If 7 is average, stabilize at 7 but remain on one dose daily for at least a week. That will be your starting point and will allow you to calculate the conversion to Valium should you decide to go that way, or calculate your reductions using either drug. (Ashton suggests a gradual transfer from Xanax to Valium by replacing one or more of three daily doses at a time, you can look it up online.)

    You are under the care of a psychiatrist. No matter that he makes you feel helpless and hopeless, right now if he can provide a switch to Valium it would be great. If he won't do that then yes you can taper entirely with Xanax but you will have to divide doses more during the day. If your use is above what he is prescribing you're in a pickle. Without a stable and reliable legal supply it's hard to taper properly. If you find yourself without, you need to go to the ER because of your history of seizure.

    There are a couple of good benzo forums where you can get a lot of very focused support. There are only a few people on this forum who post on the subject of benzos, the other which I won't name but you can easily find it, is only benzos so might give you more consistent help.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 05-21-2016 at 12:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sissylala2827 View Post
    I have been taking xanax since my grandmother passed away in 2000. So, for 16 years I have been a prisoner of this medication. I am now taking 6 to 8 mg daily and just recently decided to come clean with my husband who knew that it was getting to be a problem but I never let him know just how bad it had gotten. I was prescribed this medication , 1mg three times a day and up until one year ago, when my PCP retired, I was fine with that, although if I ran out early, the withdrawal was so bad and I have had numerous seizures through the years. When my PCP retired I started seeing a psychiatrist who only makes me feel like I am hopeless and helpless. I have gotten them off the street too many times to count and the last time I went to the "badlands", i nearly was killed along with my best friend who was there only to help me. That was when I knew that I hit rock bottom. I have been trying to "wean" but the withdrawal is scary and dangerous, i once had a seizure within 24 hours without a pill. I am here for help, advice, someone to point me in the right direction. I want to be free of this addiction. I have two small chilldren and my condition has compromised their safety. I thank God everyday for my husband because without him, i am sure that I would be strung out and probably would have lost my kids by now. With my husband by my side, i come here to this forum for advice from people who have suffered the same fate and conquered it and also am looking for help on how to escape the prison that is my xanax addiction
    I'm glad you moved your thread in this forum, you're in the right spot now so stay with this one thread. I agree with Thisweekforsure, look up the Ashton Manual online, this is the authority on all benzodiazepines! If you are unable to switch to valium for any reason then yes you can do this with just the xanax. I don't know if your doctor will be on board with you wanting to quit or if he/she is, they may try to taper you too fast, it might be better not to tell your doctor and do this by yourself? This will be a long process, since you have been on them so long and at a high dosage you may even have to go slower than average? 5-10% reduction in dosage every 5-7 days, probably closer to the 5% range? You can increase your reduction % and dosage according to how you feel? As Thisweekforsure mentioned, get stable on a dose for the next week or so, don't fluctuate the dose day to day! After 5-7 days begin your reduction, stay there for another 5-7 days and reduce again, so on and so forth? Keep us updated and take it slow! This is not a race, slow and steady is the key to success! Best wishes! Take care... God bless us all!

  4. #4
    Anonymous Guest

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    I too was once addicted to Xanax. I want to share my story so you know you are not alone and about how I got off Xanax. I was prescribed them when I was 17, I never had a chance to learn about anxiety or coping skills. I was on them until I was 30 minus 9 months when I was pregnant and was a complete basket case and barely left my house (that was at 19 yrs old so the real scary dependence and abuse didn't start til I was 20 and used them for 10 years) I was prescribed 1mg 3x's a day or as needed. I began taking 3-4 at a time and always running out until I started drinking as a way to space them out or prevent withdrawal- it made things worse and my life was an uncontrollable mess, I was an absent mother, I was in the room but not really there and after a night of drinking and Xanax (a cry for help) I was taken to the ER where I was threatened with having my child taken away- my rock bottom. I didn't have insurance so full on rehab wasn't an option, I did find a detox center that worked out a payment plan after, where I spent 3 days and got a new doctor through that hospital. I had gone through many withdrawals over the 10 years and I know how it is hell on earth. No one could truely understand unless they have been there. You are already dealing with anxiety and it become 100 times worse and I remember thinking my brain was broken and paranoia had me thinking I had permanent brain damage and I could barely put sentences together. I agree with reading up on the Ashton manual through a Google search. Reading about benzo addiction and withdrawal was all I could do to keep a focus on something other than the craziness going on in my head and it gave me hope. There is a way out! My doctor did something I have never heard of in my years of trying to get away from those evil pills....I was put on lamictal which is a mild anti seizure medication and the off label use includes it as a mood stabilizer. Both aspects helped the taper, mostly the mood stabilizing effect because without Xanax I was left very unstable. I was also put on 1mg of klonopin a day because it is a longer acting benzo ( needed only one in the morning instead of Xanax where you need one every few hours). I found that easier to taper off. It was a huge jump but under the supervision of a doctor the combination of lamictal and klonopin I was stabilized and put in a situation where I was able to learn coping skills and further my taper. I was in such a fog during my 3 day inpatient detox that I believe they immediately switched me to klonopin, added the lamictal and gave me an antidepressant drug that started with a T that I took at night because it knocked me out. Once I got out I was weaned off the drug that helped me sleep, had my parents control the klonopin- I had to go their house to get my daily dose and then cut down to .5 mg eventually and raised my dose of lamictal over the course of 6 weeks up to 150mg. I attended therapy and started exercising for 45 min every morning- I had to be diligent because I noticed it was vital in my recovery after 2 weeks of sticking to my workouts I started to feel the benefits of it lasting through out the day. I stuck to a very predictable routine, even down to eating the same breakfast every morning. I got through it and my life was really good for the first time in forever. I found myself facing my fears and it was exhilarating instead of scary. Be your own advocate, find a different doctor, my original one didn't see the problem with me taking Xanax long term, he didn't know I was abusing it but just the fact alone of him allowing me to take it long term was a sign I need a new doc! I keep the small dose of klonopin but it is very closely monitored and I know my tolerance has changed but that small dose gives me the placebo effect and when I'm ready emotionally I can just stop. Somedays I forget and don't notice a difference until I remember I forgot so it really is acting as a security blanket for now and my life was manageable compared to what it was when I was a zombie and making bad choices all the time.

    My only mistake is that this was all in 2011 and did great for 5 years, finally lived life but I quit therapy after 3 months because my life was so much better by then and I felt healed and invincible from ever being an addict again so Im on these forum with a new different addiction Just the thought of Xanax makes me cringe to this day though!

    Life is a lot of trial and error and I now know therapy is priceless for long term recovery.

  5. #5
    Anonymous Guest

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    Realized my message was really long so I wanted to sum it up- switch to a benzo with the longest half life, ask about and research lamictal, give someone else (your husband) the meds to keep control of and keep you accountable. During your taper find a new routine, include exercise because it will help as the dose gets lower. Find a therapist that can teach you coping skills. Don't wait until your taper has reached a low level.

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