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scared of Lorazepam .. should I?
  1. #1
    eyakha is offline New Member
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    Default scared of Lorazepam .. should I?

    Hi everyone,


    I am 22 years old who had his first panic attack about three weeks ago. Ever since I have been suffering anxiety disorder. The ER doctor prescribed 15 tablets of 1mg Lorazepam. I can't lie, it does miracles with anxiety and it puts me to sleep right away, but I have searched the internet and read many horror stories with people getting addicted to this drug or suffering from withdrawal symptoms. So I decided not to take it unless I REALLY need it. I have taken 15 tablets so far in the past 3 weeks (no more than 1mg per day). So an average of 5 mg per week.

    Anyhow, I also saw a psychiatrist who prescribed Citalopram, and he gave me more Lorzepam to use until Citalopram's effect starts kicking in.

    So my question is: how long should someone keep using Lorazepam untill he gets addicted to it? Have I taken it for long enough that I can't suddenly stop taking it? Overall, what do you guys recommend? should I keep taking it for a little more? or should I just stop taking it?


    I really appreciate your help

    Eyad,
    Last edited by Anonymous; 09-30-2011 at 07:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Denny_D is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyakha View Post
    Hi everyone,


    I am 22 years old who had his first panic attack about three weeks ago. Ever since I have been suffering anxiety disorder. The ER doctor prescribed 15 tablets of 1mg Lorazepam. I can't lie, it does miracles with anxiety and it puts me to sleep right away, but I have searched the internet and read many horror stories with people getting addicted to this drug or suffering from withdrawal symptoms. So I decided not to take it unless I REALLY need it. I have taken 15 tablets so far in the past 3 weeks (no more than 1mg per day). So an average of 5 mg per week.

    Anyhow, I also saw a psychiatrist who prescribed Citalopram, and he gave me more Lorzepam to use until Citalopram's effect starts kicking in.

    So my question is: how long should someone keep using Lorazepam untill he gets addicted to it? Have I taken it for long enough that I can't suddenly stop taking it? Overall, what do you guys recommend? should I keep taking it for a little more? or should I just stop taking it?


    I really appreciate your help

    Eyad,
    Eyad .... You have asked a very vague question. The answer is I don't know. No one can answer that with any degree of accuracy. Everyone is so different. What may take me a week to get addicted, may take you 3 weeks and vice versa.

    Not trying to advoid the question, but that's a fact. But one thing is surely a fact. The longer you take it the bigger the chance to be addicted. And you should not stop it abruptly. You should perform a slow taper down to safely be able to stop the Ativan.

    Maybe reduce your dose by 1/4 to 1/2 pill every 3 to 4 days or so. This will lesson your chance for withdrawls. Just don't get in the habit of taking more per day than prescribed. That's how abuse starts and is very difficult to stop. Hope this helps. God bless....Denny
    Last edited by Anonymous; 09-30-2011 at 11:10 PM.

  3. #3
    eyakha is offline New Member
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    Hi Denny,

    Thanks for your reply

    You said: the longer I take it, the bigger the chance to be addicted. Did you mean it only matters how long a medicine is taken regardless of the dose amount? For example, taking 8 mg of a certain medicine in 8 weeks will make the body more addicted to it than taking 10 mg in a single week?

    Sorry about asking too much, I would just like to understand more about drug

    Eyad,

  4. #4
    Denny_D is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyakha View Post
    Hi Denny,

    Thanks for your reply

    You said: the longer I take it, the bigger the chance to be addicted. Did you mean it only matters how long a medicine is taken regardless of the dose amount? For example, taking 8 mg of a certain medicine in 8 weeks will make the body more addicted to it than taking 10 mg in a single week?

    Sorry about asking too much, I would just like to understand more about drug

    Eyad,
    Not necessarilly. It depends on the person. How their metabolism, physical activity, and generall overall fitness processes the medication. Time taken and dose amount both make a difference.

    But in the end if you take any dose mg's for a longer period of time will make MORE of a difference.

  5. #5
    bebeharv is offline New Member
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    I am just giving my view on the xanax that everybody seems so concerned about regarding addiction. I have taken it off and on on for years, but never on a regular basis. After having a light stroke a year ago, I have taken more often than I have normally taken in the past years beause stess is not my friend.However 1/2 of my 0.5mg pill is adequate. My advice is: Have confidence in your doctor. The control is his.... not yours. Second is: "define addiction." Is a diabetic addicted to insulin? Is a person who has hypertension addicted to the medication that keeps their BP down? AND one more thing. Get rid of the guilt, never take more than you need, and get on with your life. If you need it, take it. If you don't need it, leave it off.
    Jacktwist and Grouchy Goose like this.

  6. #6
    MaisieC is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Eyad,

    There's a difference between addiction and dependency. Addiction is when you start abusing the drug--taking it to get high rather than to treat a condition, taking more than you're instructed to, etc. Dependency is a physical condition, where the body builds a tolerance to the drug and you get withdrawal symptoms if you stop it abruptly.

    Drugs like lorazepam are widely abused, but they're also extremely helpful to people, and it sounds like the lorazepam has been a blessing to you. You're wise to be careful with it. If you're not taking it every day, your body will not develop a dependence on it. So I think you'll be fine. Most people who use those drugs do not become addicted to them. As long as you're on such a small dose, I think you should keep using them as needed until the other med kicks in.

    Take care,
    Maisie
    Melissa B likes this.

  7. #7
    ARTIST658 is offline Advanced Member
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    Dear Eyad,

    I'm a bit more cautious about benzos than the other posters, so I just wanted to add my 2 cents here. I work in a long-term treatment center for drug addiction, so I witness the outcome of a lot of well-meaning doctors and well-meaning medications. I have also been through benzo dependency and withdrawal, myself. As a result, when I think of an benzo drug (xanax, klonopin, valium, ativan, etc.) - I have come to visualize a skull and crossbones. Personally, a doctor couldn't pay me enough to take a single benzo pill ever again.

    The benzo drugs (including lorazepam) quickly lend themselves to drug dependency, even when taken exactly as prescribed. Drug dependency occurs when our bodies become physically acclimated to a drug to operate "normally." Thus, as Maisie said, when we stop, we experience withdrawal symptoms.

    But, with the benzo drugs, I have noticed in ciients that there is such a fine line between dependency and addiction, more so than with opiates and other drugs of addiction. Our bodies bring on anxious symptoms/feelings for any number of reasons, and if we're thinking that anxiety means we can take a pill safely, without becoming addicted, then we're fooling ourselves. Over time, our bodies will naturally produce more anxious symptoms to subconciously justify more benzo use. It's not something we can easily detect, as it truly is a subconcious reaction.

    You see, addiction occurs when the "mental" piece kicks in. Addiction is characterized by the mental preoccupation with the drug. It is not something we can pinpoint exactly. When we've crossed that invisible line that separates dependency and addiction, we don't see it happening. It's a very subtle shift. Gradually, we've come to need or want the drug more than is physically called for. Our minds have set up a "justification" process that requires the drug.

    Since the symptoms of anxiety are largely characterized by the thoughts and feelings you have (and the physical symptoms those thoughts and feelings bring on) - it'll make it that much harder for you to ever discern if your use of the lorazepam is for an actual "clinical" anxiety - or the anxiety of requiring the drug. Does that make sense? (It's hard to put into words on a screen!)

    So, in essence, as our dependency develops - and perhaps crosses into addiction - our bodies have subconsciously developed more anxiety, which justifies more drug use. We get caught it a nasty "catch 22."

    That's why I won't touch the stuff. My detox off benzos was a 3-week ordeal of epic proportions, no exaggeration. It was a full 21 days of continual anxiety attacks, that I feared would never end. I can tell you this - I never, ever abused the drug. I never, ever took more than was prescribed. And yet, I went through the most horrific 3 weeks of my life stopping it.

    Your anxiety symptoms have been quite short term. The last thing you want to do is to take a short-term problem and allow it to overtake your life, which is not uncommon with benzo use for anxiety symptoms. The citalopram should kick in within about 4 weeks, so I would suggest you take the lorazepam as rarely as possible until then, and then stop. If you are not taking it daily, and not taking it longer than the 4 weeks for the new drug to work, a taper probably won't be necessary - but couldn't hurt.

    God bless,
    Ruth

    You will know the truth - and only the truth can set you free.

  8. #8
    Youmustbekidding is offline New Member
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    Default Wise use of the benzodiazepams is possible, Ruth

    That is, if you can get them. Panic/anxiety attacks are best dealt with through other means than drugs, but for generalized anxiety that is usually manageable, the Valley of the Dolls fears can keep valuable, inexpensive, effective medication from people who need them, and who will not become addicted or dependent upon them. The problem seems to be that no one knows how to make that distinction. If one's history proves lack of dependency/addition, and the medication is needed, then it should be offered. It is easily monitored.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-17-2013 at 01:28 PM.

  9. #9
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    I agree with you to a point. Panic/anxiety attacks can be dealt with through very SHORT TERM benzo use. And I mean no more than a few weeks until the person can calm down enough to seek other means of coping with anxiety. Most people have some form of anxiety, we wouldn't be human if we didn't, however if you take a benzo drug such as ativan for more than a few weeks you body WILL become dependent on them. You absolutely have no choice in the matter and you are wrong: It is NOT easily monitored. Benzo withdrawal is hell on earth. You can become dependent in a matter of a few weeks. I've know people who have anxiety and go on a benzo for a few weeks at a time. They ALWAYS taper off, even after a few week's time. I think the docs prescribing these first need to know that some people really DO need a short term course of a benzo (a few weeks or even a few days and an order for counseling) I can give you a case in point here so I agree on this, testing to see if the anxiety is cause by some other medical condition, such as thyroid, and counseling and therapy for longer term methods of dealing with anxiety. John Zabat-Zinn has a great book out on the practice of meditation/counseling for patients. Panic attacks are no joke either, but long term benzo use is downright dangerous for MOST people.

    Peace,

    Iloerse
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-17-2013 at 01:15 PM.

  10. #10
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    I can tell you right now that I know someone who was having a panic attack. That person would have been fine had the emergency room workers given that person 10 1mg. xanax. As I know this person, that would have been enough to get through a very trying time. Instead they sent a guard to sit by him and read him his rights. He had no drugs or alcohol in his blood at the time, nor is he in anyway a drug/alcohol abuser. Just a "tightly wound" person who happens to know and understand the dangers of benzos and therefore is respectful of there strength. However, when you get to the point where you can't walk up the ramp from work to your car, that's another matter. I actually talked him into the hospital, I thought he was going to kill himself and the hospital workers did nothing but degrade him with their behavior. This condition actually runs in the family. I am in no way an advocate for benzo use, I know the hell of w/d from benzos.

    I have also seen a man lying on his face after eating 10 xanax bars and drinking close to 24 beers. He couldn't even get his own face out of the dirt. My neighbors begged me not to call the cops, that his dad was on the way, luckily someone else had called the cops. When the policeman tapped him on the shoulder he lifted his head enough to say F********** and boom down went his face into the dirt. Actually he almost had a dirt nap. There goes the taxpayers money on an ambulance.

    So I've seen all side of this issue. I agree with Ruth, I will never, never, never come near a benzo if I can help it at all. Saying that you can't become dependent if you know what you're doing with a benzo drug is insane and untrue.

  11. #11
    270Winmag is offline New Member
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    Hi I have been on lorazepam for a month 0.5 mg two times a day at 8 am , noon, 4 pm and maybe 1 at night total 2mg by doctor, but I have tinnitus and it gives me anxiety what else can I do , I hate this pills .
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-05-2016 at 05:23 PM.

  12. #12
    7fourteen is offline Member
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    I was taking 3 mg Clonopin for,8 yrs. tapered down too fast and had the worst WD ever. Much worse than opiates. My advise is to ONLY take them when absolutely needed. This was 10/17/14 and I will not take any Benzo's.

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