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Time to get off Lorazepam. I can't believe I have thought this ok for 30 years
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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    Default Time to get off Lorazepam. I can't believe I have thought this ok for 30 years

    Hi, I am 60 years old and have been taking lorazepam for 30 years. Currently I take .5 in the morning, .5 at lunch, and 1.0 at bedtime. I have just recently come to terms with the fact that this stuff can't possibly be doing me any good after this many years. It is prescribed by my doctor and for that reason I always thought my behavior was ok, I could not possibly be addicted because I am only doing what the label says I can do. Recently my fiancé' left me because of this abuse. I started reading about it and realized she is correct, it is not good for me. My daughter is a nurse and she has been after me about it for years but again my excuse is that I am only doing what the doctor ordered. My doctor is also my friend after 30 years of knowing him. He doesn't realize he has done anything wrong, he thinks he is helping me. I am done with this drug. I want to start tapering today. I am asking for advice that will help me be successful and will not result in me struggling too badly with this. After reading a lot of literature I truly believe it is a cause of many problems I have had for the last three decades. Thank you for you help.

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    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Congratulations, you now have your own thread! Like I said in the other post, do an online search for the Ashton Manual, this is the authority on all benzodiazepines and it illustrates how to successfully taper off the Ativan. Print out the plan and bring it to your doctor, make sure he/she is on board with you. You'll need your doctor's help because you'll need a prescription for a longer acting benzo like valium. It's a long, slow process but it is the only way to safely get off the benzos for good! Hang in there, you've made the right choice! Take care... God bless us all!

    P.S.
    Keep us updated!

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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky71 View Post
    Congratulations, you now have your own thread! Like I said in the other post, do an online search for the Ashton Manual, this is the authority on all benzodiazepines and it illustrates how to successfully taper off the Ativan. Print out the plan and bring it to your doctor, make sure he/she is on board with you. You'll need your doctor's help because you'll need a prescription for a longer acting benzo like valium. It's a long, slow process but it is the only way to safely get off the benzos for good! Hang in there, you've made the right choice! Take care... God bless us all!

    P.S.
    Keep us updated!
    I will take your advice but I have to say I am reluctant to start taking another medication even if it is under strict control. I would prefer just to do this on my own. What am I risking by just tapering. By the way I decreased the 1.0 at bedtime to 0.5 last night. I am not going to make any further reductions on my own until this is thought through very well. I do value and thank you for your advice.

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    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshadow View Post
    I will take your advice but I have to say I am reluctant to start taking another medication even if it is under strict control. I would prefer just to do this on my own. What am I risking by just tapering. By the way I decreased the 1.0 at bedtime to 0.5 last night. I am not going to make any further reductions on my own until this is thought through very well. I do value and thank you for your advice.
    I understand your concerns. Quitting benzos is extremely hard and can be dangerous! This is a very slow process and must be done correctly as to avoid serious issues! The reason for the recommended switch from your current benzodiazepine (Ativan) to a different benzodiazepine (Valium) is the half-life of the medications! Ativan is short acting >>. Valium which is long acting, it will be easier in the end to taper off a longer acting benzo. Again this is all illustrated in the Ashton Manual that you can find by doing an online search? Remember, you have been on benzos for thirty years, you have to be extremely safe and do this right or you can be in for a very difficult ride! Maybe Randy will stop by your thread, he has a lot of insight and knowledge regarding benzodiazepines? I'll see if I can leave him a message on his thread to stop in here and offer his recommendations? Take care... God bless us all!

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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you Ricky!

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshadow View Post
    It is prescribed by my doctor and for that reason I always thought my behavior was ok, I could not possibly be addicted because I am only doing what the label says I can do. Recently my fiancé' left me because of this abuse. I started reading about it and realized she is correct, it is not good for me. My daughter is a nurse and she has been after me about it for years but again my excuse is that I am only doing what the doctor ordered.
    Hi and welcome. Ricky is correct, the Ashton method is where to start educating yourself and to switch to Valium is preferred however you can taper directly from Ativan pretty easily also, as I did. I am sad everyone is treating you as if you are choosing to commit an immoral act by continuing to take this drug as your doctor orders. You are not increasing the dose above what your doctor prescribed? You are not running out early and having to steal or buy off the street? You are an ACCIDENTAL addict, not a true addict. If you have been on this path for years and years and never disobeyed doctors orders, you are actually only dependent, not an addict in the psychological definition of the word, unless you have other issues you are not disclosing (such as a relationship with alcohol, etc.)

    The reason I would hesitate to tell your doctor to help you taper off is that too many doctors will then put you on a fast taper plan and that can be disastrous. What you want to do is taper extremely slowly whether with Valium or directly from Ativan. Ativan is shorter acting so the only difference is that tapering with Ativan might involve more dosing during a day, that's all.

    What I did was to make a plan. Ideally you want to cut by no more than 10% each time, or not much more, stay at that dose for several days or a week. Because you've been on them so long I'd go a whole week at least at first between cuts. Keep a chart and a diary of how you feel. Expect to take a long time to get completely off, maybe six months. Here is how I handled my doctor. You don't want to do things without his permission but as I said, it might backfire if you say I want off these pills. What I did was simply ask my doctor if it is alright if I occasionally take a little LESS than the bottle says, and he will likely say if you don't need the full dose, that's fine. Then as you taper, you will start going longer between filling the prescription.

    You will have to get good at cutting up the pills and as your doses get lower and lower eventually just smashing into powder to divide into the tiny dose you need. Are your pills 1 mg each and do you cut in half for your .5 dose or do you have .5mg pills? If you have .5 mg pills you can start by cutting them in half possibly for your first cut, just take 3/4 mg at bedtime, or you can cut 1/4 out for each of your two daytime doses. Play with it and see what works best.

    You want to always cut percent of dose. So say you get down to 1 mg per day. Maybe you take .25 morning, .25 midday and .5 at bedtime. Now you want to cut 10% of that which is only .1 mg cut or round it up to .15 which is an eighth of a pill if you have .5 pills if that makes sense. 15% MIGHT work or might be too high. If if it too much of a cut you can always go to liquid, which means you mix up the powder in water or milk, keep it refrigerated and use a baby syringe to measure a dose. That involves math and converting mg to ml but there is info online how to do that following Ashton method links. Or search some of my previous posts.

    The beauty of liquid titration is that makes it very easy to dose multiple times if you choose to stay with Ativan but I don't think I needed to dose more than 3, 4 at the most, times per day.

    The important thing is that you stay at a level until you are STABLE. You will quickly learn what that means. You reduce, then you have a few days of symptoms. Symptoms will be anxiety, poor sleep, brain zaps, weird thoughts to name a few. You want to experience MILD symptoms. You want to avoid moderate or severe symptoms. Very mild is ideal, after a few days you will then feel fine and normal at your new dose. View the symptoms as your body healing. Your brain is adjusting it's neurotransmitters and it is a good thing, but it doesn't feel good at the time. But you will learn the routine, try not to be afraid of it, your biggest enemy is fear and anxiety about reducing. That is normal. The biggest weapon you have against that is YOU REMAIN IN CONTROL. It has been shown by Ashton and others that people do best getting off benzos if they remain in control of their dose reduction.

    This means you will feel if you are reducing too fast, then you remain at a dose longer until you are stable. If the reduction results in too severe symptoms you go back to the last dose at which you were stable, wait a few days, then try again. Or go back halfway to the last dose, get stable, then reduce again.

    Keeping the diary is important to track your progress. You will forget what dose you took, trust me. You need to write all this down, that will also make you feel very much IN CONTROL which is key to your success.

    Ricky is correct, it is preferable to switch to Valium for a smoother ride, but you can judge how you feel about your doctor if you can trust and communicate and work with him. Either way though you can do it.

    I love Randy TO PIECES!!!!! SMOOCH RANDY!!! But he is a sub expert, I'm a benzo expert. Although he may have more experience with benzos than I realize, I'll let him speak for himself. However tapering subs and tapering benzos is very similar, for both you need to do small reductions and GET STABLE on the new dose WELL BEFORE reducing again.

    If you have a difficult time doing this, you are probably making too big cuts. Making teeny tiny cuts is persnickity but really necessary, you will need a calculator and I can't repeat enough, paper and pencil, charts, graphs, self-documention of your symptoms. This will be a map that will show you the way. You can do this!!!!
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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    I am a very strong person and very resistant to discomfort such as pain. I have five fused vertebrae and never complain while others are on pain management programs. I feel I am strong enough to do this. I have at times had problems with alcohol abuse (20 years ago) and to be honest I started this Ativan 30 years ago to help me off of cocaine. I sometimes feel to some extent this just kind of replaced it despite the fact it is a much different drug. Getting off coke caused lots of anxiety, the Dr helping me with it gave me this for that and somewhere along the line that reason fell by the wayside. I currently drink no more than a few beers a month and have never gone back and messed with the coke. My pills are 1.0 mg but I do have a pill splitter because meds for cholesterol I get I cut in half (per Dr order to save money). I feel I am up to this. To be honest I recall how much at one time I loved valium. I really don't want to enjoy it again. I am a bit OCD, keeping records is cool with me.

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Then you are forthcoming with past recreational abuse and seem to have a handle on that now. Yes, benzos are used to help people come off other drugs and/or alcohol and they work simply because they do indeed sit on some of the same receptors. Possibly you have an underlying disorder of anxiety, or depression ("smiling" you may not be aware of it) and/or indeed OCD and these can drive people to try recreational drugs in the first place. It's not so much wanting to get high as it is trying to self medicate some basic unhappiness but when you are young and you've been unhappy since childhood you don't see it that way. You don't have perspective, all you know is the drug makes you feel happy or gives you energy or whatever. I can't diagnose you and you may or may not fit that description but just be alert as you come off the benzo. It's my opinion these underlying disorders are a huge part of how and why people end up addicted to substances and in the long run, we are better off dealing with them in lifestyle ways. ANY drug, legal or illegal, prescribed by a doctor or self-medicated, they ALL have their down sides. Most have a tolerance, in other words they work for a time then become less effective. So you up the dose or add something else and eventually become tolerant again and now you have a dependency problem. Sometimes drugs are necessary to get us through a crisis. Such as painkillers after surgery. If you had a bad coke problem it might be that the benzo was a good thing, it got you off the street drug and onto at least something manufactured in a clean lab under doctor supervision. But to remain on it for 30 years might not have been necessary. I cannot say for sure, I am not a psychiatrist and there are surely people who require lifelong maintenance but in my opinion that should be rare, and a person should try lifestyle changes first before being on any drug. But you are where you are now and all you can do is move forward. Keep a positive attitude, I think you will do fine.

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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    Another thing I failed to mention is I have been in therapy with a counselor for the past almost three years and yes I did have a rough early life and I never completely dealt with it until a crisis occurred May 1 2013. I should also say I still may not have completely dealt with all of it but I am on a path to do so and have finally reached a point in my life where the dollar cost of getting better makes sense to me. My 8 month old granddaughter died of a rare form of cancer. I entered grief counseling more because of the stress I had experienced watching my daughter and son-in-law losing their child. I spent ten weeks in the hospital with them while it happened. During this grief counseling it became apparent there had been other issues in my life I had never addressed which I knew of in a muted way but had not reached an adequate crisis motivating me enough to commit to self-improvement for the long term. I have been working on those. In life it is sometimes difficult to determine cause and effect or even know which is which. It amazes me to this day how much there still is for me to learn about myself. That lifelong hole in my heart may one day heal. Submitting to counseling and baring it all has changed from something I was once ashamed of to something I am proud of and wish everyone would do. We all have things that haunt us and should be seen as opportunities for improvement. It is never too late to search out happiness.

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Wow, so sorry about your granddaughter. What an ordeal, not only to lose her whom you must have loved dearly but to watch her parents suffer so. You are doing great just to have held steady and not returned to increased substance use during that time. You are wise, I think you hit the nail, that must have finally brought things to a point where you had to deal with it all and you are doing a great job. Therapy will help a lot, and now you are ready to cut the ties with the medication. It's all made you stronger but would rather the child had never had cancer. :'(

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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisweekforsure View Post
    Wow, so sorry about your granddaughter. What an ordeal, not only to lose her whom you must have loved dearly but to watch her parents suffer so. You are doing great just to have held steady and not returned to increased substance use during that time. You are wise, I think you hit the nail, that must have finally brought things to a point where you had to deal with it all and you are doing a great job. Therapy will help a lot, and now you are ready to cut the ties with the medication. It's all made you stronger but would rather the child had never had cancer. :'(
    Yes I have wished many times it all never happened but it did so we had to figure out a way to walk away from the experience as better human beings. She had to have come to this earth for a reason. I consider her as a blessing in the form of helping us all to better see our shortcomings and improve our lives. Most of us involved have done that.
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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshadow View Post
    Yes I have wished many times it all never happened but it did so we had to figure out a way to walk away from the experience as better human beings. She had to have come to this earth for a reason. I consider her as a blessing in the form of helping us all to better see our shortcomings and improve our lives. Most of us involved have done that.
    Very well said.

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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    I am glad I found this forum because there are so many strange feelings I am having about this but discussion of this subject with folks who have never experienced it I think is almost pointless. The effects of this medication I have been reading about stay on my mind. Many times over the years I have thought it may be a good idea to stop taking it. One of the main reasons was that if I were to go somewhere and realize I had forgotten my pills the only thing important to me was how to get the pills. It would be through legal channels, calling doctor, pharmacist, whatever. If I had to turn around and come home then that is what I would do, even if on my way to a vacation. I suppose that if I had ever come to a dead end regarding getting my pills and an illegal channel became available to me I would have taken advantage of it. Not that this was a regular occurrence, just saying they were very important in my life. Regardless, it is a prescription so I didn't really think this to be unusual behavior. The anxiety I think I get when I forget to take it may not even be anxiety, it may be withdrawal symptoms. When I made this decision last Saturday it was a big "aha" moment. I felt like maybe I had been deceived. Still though the only real reason I decided to stop was the possibility I was dependent and I wanted to know if my life may change if I stopped. Monday morning I began researching the drug. When I read it is sometimes only therapeutic for 2 to 4 weeks and I compared that to 30 years of taking it I was beginning to feel a little stupid or deceived. Not deceived by my doctor but by myself. Then I began to read about all the possible side effects, depression, emotional blunting, gastrointestinal issues, elevated cholesterol, lack of energy, short term memory loss, the list goes on and on including increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's. It reminds me of a commercial that came out in the nineties that really hit home with me given past experience, it was a commercial that simply stated "Cocaine, the big lie" and gave the cocaine hotline number at the bottom. It is like now I am excited about possibly feeling better than I already feel. Maybe I have not known what feeling normal is for a very long time. There is also the possibility that the only benefit I will realize by stopping is just not having to worry about having it, I don't know. I do tend to over think things and I know I am doing that now. I guess what I am trying to express is I truly am in a bit of shock and feeling dismayed wondering how this has impacted my life. I am very thankful I found a place I can express these feelings in front of folks who actually understand.

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    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisweekforsure View Post
    I love Randy TO PIECES!!!!! SMOOCH RANDY!!! But he is a sub expert, I'm a benzo expert. Although he may have more experience with benzos than I realize, I'll let him speak for himself. However tapering subs and tapering benzos is very similar, for both you need to do small reductions and GET STABLE on the new dose WELL BEFORE reducing again.


    Hey there Thisweek…We've missed you here! And right backacha with the SMOOTCH!!!

    In all honestly I have the misfortune of knowing as much about benzo's as I do the subs. Due to HEAVY abuse over the years they almost put me in the grave a time or two. Many trips to the hospital were required to help pull me through. Tried to stop them abruptly, tried to taper much too fast, and tried to reduce by way too much. Found out the hard way you just can't do that with benzo's. My drug of choice wasn't always easy to find sometimes, but I could always get my greedy hands on some benzo's. Wish I had never taken that first one.

    Anyway, the SAFE way off benzo's is to reduce slowly and by a small margin. The Ashton Manual written by Dr. Heather Ashton is considered the Bible to benzo detox and everything benzo. This is the very best material out there.

    Jshadow - Good info here by Ricky and Thisweek for you. You've been on these benzo's quite a long time. Usually it's ok to reduce by around 10% of the current dose every 5 - 7 days or so. Because of your time on them I would suggest you take it a little slower and perhaps reduce by around 5% every week. No need to be in a rush at this point.

    Switching to Valium is often suggested, but you don't have to do it that way necessarily. However you can get off is fine if you take it slow.

    Randy

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Randy, I am both glad and sad to know you have MORE experience with benzos than I do!! I agree with you completely that 5% cuts might be even better for shadow but that will require cutting off tinier pieces and remember shadow, it's not 5% of the start dose, it's 5% of whatever your current dose is. That will very quickly become ridiculous smidges of pill or crumbles, you may need a magnifying glass to sort it all out. When you get very low of course, the 5% becomes moot and at some point you have to "jump". For me, I went to liquid titration and this made me have very fine control over size and timing of dosing.

    The most important thing is to monitor your symptoms and let that be your guide. Never reduce until you have become stable on your new dose. Stay stable for a couple or three or four days, then reduce again. Adjust your plan as needed. Something to keep in mind is that anxiety is an expected part of this process because benzos are anti-anxiety drugs, therefore when you reduce anxiety happens as a normal part of the process. It can be easy to freak out over the anxiety. The anxiety can come at you from unexpected directions. At first you might not connect it with the drug reduction. For example, when I was reducing, I had fearful thoughts about the future. Will I have enough money to live in my old age? That sort of thing which is normal to worry about ANYWAY but when I was reducing, these thoughts became huge and extremely frightening and almost paralyzed me with fear. THEN I realized that they were just being magnified by the reducing process. I adjusted my reduction and felt better. You can plan for the future as best you can, then just live in today and let tomorrow take care of itself - that is a non-anxiety state. While reducing you might not be able to completely eliminate anxiety but if you are aware that it's the drug, it makes it easier to tell the worry thoughts to leave you alone. Does that make sense?

    And it was not just while reducing, I had these anxieties and fears the whole time I was on benzos. Ativan is pretty short acting, and I was only taking it at bedtime, so during the day, now that I look back on it, I am pretty sure I was having "inter-dose withdrawals". I had no idea at the time. I just was always worried and terrified about everything.

    Only from the perspective I have now of having been free of benzos for two years do I see how much those fears were fed by the drug. I still fear for my future finances but now it is normal worry, not all-consuming all day every day terror. So while you are reducing be alert for those sorts of reactions. I had similar fears about all sorts of other things too, everything from personal health to the neighborhood to the country to the world situation, to what happens after you die! ha ha!! I am not saying you will have the same experience, everyone is different. You have been on them much longer than I was and you might be very pleasantly surprised after you are off them to discover that some uncomfortable parts of your personality or mind that you thought were just you might have been the drug. It will take you a while, it even might take a year or more but I think you have some very good times to look forward to. Being free of benzos is simply wonderful. Won't be easy to get here but keep your eye on the prize.

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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    I made a chart in Excel to follow a reducing plan. I thought I would share it but can't figure out how to paste it in. Of course I started Monday with a 25% reduction, don't know if I am having problems or not but I'm okay so not going back. I did have a period where I actually felt a bit disoriented for a couple hours but it was quite a while after the first reduction so I did not associate it. So now I am on my schedule of .5mg 3 times a day and I thought I would try to reduce every five days. I can see how it will be difficult to cut pills . If I try to cut pills so that I end up with quantities of 1/2, 3/8, 1/4, and 1/8 (an I think I can do this) I can reduce at between 8% and 11% of daily total for the first four reductions. After that the percentages grow because of difficulty cutting pills but I will then be at 1.0 mg / day as opposed to the 2.0 I was at Monday.

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    You've got the idea. If that reduction is too much you'll know soon enough and can adjust as needed. You don't have to "go back" to 2 per day but don't fear going back up a fraction if you feel bad enough.

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    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshadow View Post
    I am done with this drug. I want to start tapering today. I am asking for advice that will help me be successful and will not result in me struggling too badly with this.


    jshadow,

    You asked for advice that would help you safely get off the Lorazepam without struggling. Both Thisweekforsure and I gave you the benefit of our experience with benzo's. We highly recommended you taper very, very slowly and reduce the dose by very small amounts of 5% - 10% every week or so. I fully believe a 25% reduction as your starting point is not the way to go. A benzo detox can be deadly. I very nearly proved that more than once. They need to be given the respect they deserve.

    Please be very, very careful with this. As Thisweek said, if you begin to feel the effects you'll know you reduced by too much. I care about you and want you to be safe with this taper.

    I realize cutting those pills into small doses can be a nightmare sometimes. Use either the "crushing" method or the "liquid" method of tapering the dose as Thisweek previously mentioned. Crush one of the pills into a very fine powder on a piece of paper or in a small bowl. Separate the crushed pill into separate amounts. You'll be able to get any dose required using this method. Store the powder into a foil wrapper or old pill bottle making sure to label what the dose is.

    The liquid method is quite easy and works great too. Get a baby syringe at any pharmacy. Measure an exact amount of water and place one of the pills inside to dissolve. Using the syringe you'll be able to get the dose needed this way too. More info on this is available by using Google.

    Randy
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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    Today is a strange day. I made the first reduction of 25% because when I make a decision to do something I jump in all the way. You are correct, I may have moved too quickly but I am so disappointed in myself for possibly decreasing my quality of life for over thirty years that I am still sort of in disbelief. I want this over with. I think I have been ok except for an intestinal problem I am ok with and really cannot say it is related. However, this morning I overslept which is totally unusual for me. Ever since I woke up I have been feeling a bit disoriented. I do not feel bad but I am "dulled". Actually I am not sure how to explain it. I woke up from such a heavy sleep that even included dreams that I feel like I should be alert and rested but I am not. I feel "stoned".

    I have a question too. Can dependency on this drug cause trust issues?

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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    I won't do this high a reduction again but I am going to try not to back up on this first one, at least that is how I feel now. If this day doesn't get better I may change my mind on that. I mean no disrespect for your advice. I value your advice so please do not get aggravated with me. Did I mention I am stubborn?

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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    I am spaced out and feel like crying. This is crazy. I don't mean to bare my feeling like this on a public forum but I guess this is why I joined. It certainly may be something else going on I am not aware of, I just don't know. If my statements are not appropriate for this forum let me know.

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    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    jshadow, have you even looked up the Ashton Manual, there is a lot of valuable information there that is very pertinent for your journey? Besides the Ashton Manual that is out there for you to expand your knowledge on benzodiazepines, Randy & Thisweekforsure has spent the time to share thier personal knowledge, advice, encouragement and have explained to you exactly how to proceed on the taper so you will be safe and successful!

    I'm baffled though, I don't understand why you are asking for help but you're doing things your own way? I don't mean to be harsh but Randy clearly advised you to only reduce your dosage by 5% every 5-7 days! This is going to be a very slow process that will take months, maybe a year or longer? You can not rush this process, it is very dangerous! I can not stress this enough, slow and steady will win the race! I'm sorry, I just call it like I see it! I wish you all the success in the world. Take care... God bless us all!

    P.S.
    I would suspect that your are feeling bad and all messed up because your reduction was too much? I would go back up to your original dose until you feel stable then start your 5% reduction and stay on your new reduction for the next 5-7 days before reducing 5% again!
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    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    I'm sorry. I am just so angry with myself for being so stupid. 30 years is half my life.

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    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Listen, I get it, I really do! You gotta let that go! Get back up to your normal dose so that you feel better. Start your day one tomorrow. Follow the schedule that Randy has recommended! Be patient, don't rush it! Good luck... God bless us all!
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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    It's okay, you are doing everything I did. (Wrong at first until you find out for yourself!) First, not knowing that the drug hooks you so bad. Taking it just under doctor's orders thinking that means I can't get "addicted". That's not our fault, most people don't learn this stuff unless they get first hand experience and even doctors don't get it, unless they've taken the drug for a long period of time themselves.

    Second, wanting to get off quickly, once the decision is made, wanting to get it over with. I did the same thing, just cut it by 50% and learned quickly that was not going to work. Even if you are the type who is stubborn and impatient and want to get it done already, you'll realize you can't quit a long term benzo that way. You need to resign yourself to the fact that it will be a very slow and gradual process.

    Ricky and Randy are steering you exactly right. The only thing I will add is that the lorazepam will not technically "dissolve" in water, it's not water soluable. You grind it into as fine a powder as you can then mix it with the water, but it remains suspended as particles. So every time you dose you must shake it up really well and immediately draw your dose while the particles are evenly mixed.

    At this point if I were you I'd do like Randy says and simply measure the powder. Liquid is good for after you get into the fractions of mgs per day. For me, I could do the solid powder up to 1/16 of a pill, then I went to liquid.

    We can all tell by the tone of your posts that you aren't doing well with 25% reduction.

  26. #26
    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    Today is a better day. I added a small bit to my bedtime dose to back up a little. I'm going to wait longer than I had originally planned to make each reduction. Trying to be more patient.
    Thisweekforsure likes this.

  27. #27
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshadow View Post
    Today is a better day. I added a small bit to my bedtime dose to back up a little. I'm going to wait longer than I had originally planned to make each reduction. Trying to be more patient.
    Hello jshadow, glad to hear that you're feeling better today! Most definitely the reason why you were feeling bad yesterday was because of that 25% reduction you did! You know what to do, follow the taper schedule that Randy recommended to a "T", remember this is not a race! Again, take it slow, be patient! This is going to take many months, maybe up to a year or more? You can do this! Good luck and take care... God bless us all!

  28. #28
    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    There is a lot of soul searching going on right now. This thing between my ex-fiancé and I is part of the cause, the other is my realization she is probably correct, and also there is this feeling I have of being betrayed by non other than myself. I suppose had she not called it off I wouldn't be struggling with this now. We ran into each other at church the Sunday before last. She shocked me by telling me she loved me, I hadn't seen her since we broke it off ten days earlier. On some level I can say that up until yesterday it appeared she was still interested in the possibility of working through this. I'm not sure that is the case today. Unfortunately I have trust issues and I always questioned in my mind if she truly had unconditional love for me. Recent events have shown me I had no reason to doubt her. I think this whole ordeal may be too much for her though. If I have to let her go then she deserves her peace and not to have to worry about this >>>>. We'll see how that turns out. I am still tapering and have my mind made up I will be successful. In my first post I spoke as if I never thought this a problem. In actuality I wondered many times about it but it is much easier to stay on it than to get off of it so I took the easy route. Again, this is my fault but I'm not looking back, just looking forward to life without this. Many times in my life I heard people say that addicts regardless of the substance lie by nature. I am finding that some of the things in my life I have avoided discussing are things she sees as lies. I'm still struggling with the semantics, maybe that is called denial. Honestly this is not my only problem although the other one wasn't a problem stopping, I just did it. It wasn't a dependency issue, I don't think. I see it more as an abuse issue. I started taking rx loritab when my granddaughter died to help me feel better. My perception of them was that it wasn't an issue since I could stop at will. Last year I took 60 the first quarter, 30 the following six months, and the last quarter of the year 60 total again. That is going by when the rx's were filled so it is not exact. This year I have taken about 30 to date. The last one was the day before I saw her in church. They were all rx and I had access to more, 30 per month was possible. I have this access because of multiple back surgeries. Again, I have an excuse and I'm facing up to the fact that is all it is. When I pray for strength in getting off the lorazepam I find it difficult to pray about the loritab, I am afraid that means I want to keep something in reserve for helping me feel better. I really don't have anyone but a grief counselor to discuss all this with. Discussing with my ex-fiancé just seems to make things worse between us because I have to admit frequently I have been hiding things from her. I do not know how this ends yet but it has to be an improvement over what I have been doing.

  29. #29
    jshadow is offline Junior Member
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    Well I am down to the home stretch. From .5, .5, and 1.0 for a total of 2.0 mg / day to .25mg every 26 hours. I am going to try to stop completely today. I tried last weekend. I wouldn't have thought dropping from .25 twice a day to nothing would have caused any problems but it seemed uncomfortable so I just went to .25 once per day. I have since been stretching it out to more than 24 hours. I have never had any doubt I would stop this from the day I had that aha moment realizing I had been "sleeping" or something letting myself do this for so long. No anxiety issues except one day for about 20 minutes. The only issues I have had are low level tremors, general nervousness, maybe some very runny nose issues, and some times I just couldn't think quickly. No Loritab since week after Easter. Talked to my doctor about Metropalol I take for heart rate when I already have very low blood pressure and he is letting me cut that in half. I am on a minimize medication campaign. :-)

  30. #30
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    You are doing so well! You found that going from .25 twice a day to nothing wouldn't work. That does not sound like a big dose but for this drug that is a full start dose! So I wouldn't expect you to go from .5 per day to nothing all at once. Now at .25 every 26 hours you are pretty stable. You have some symptoms but it doesn't sound bad. If you do not have any crippling anxiety or "brain zaps" and if you are getting any kind of sleep at night then you're doing great. Short 20 minute spells of anxiety are completely expected for a tapering process and are no problem if they are rare (once a day or less).

    Keep in mind that what sounds like teeny doses are actually bigger than you would expect with this drug. Right now you're on half a start dose, so you might find you cannot jump from that to nothing. You might want to start cutting it into smaller and smaller amounts. I had to cut mine into 1/8 a pill and then 1/16 a pill as best I could, then went to liquid titration. You may not need to do that, but if your symptoms start getting worse again with further cuts, then I recommend getting really persnickity with the tiny doses.

    Your description sounds exactly where you should be, mild withdrawal (a sign of healing) but still functional. You don't expect to feel normal while tapering but you don't want anything worse than mild symptoms. Just let your symptoms be your guide.

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