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Benzo and Opiate Withdrawal Need Advice please
  1. #1
    JohnsonJoe03 is offline New Member
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    Default Benzo and Opiate Withdrawal Need Advice please

    I've lurked this forum for years now, throughout the various stages of my addiction which has been nearly exclusive to opiates. I had a stint in the hospital from drinking a few years back and haven't touched it since, no desire to, even when benzo free. Anyway. I am on Suboxone, have been for around 4 years now it seems, but I always went back and forth to full-agonists. This last time I'm really ready to quit, I never posted before because I knew I was only "quitting" at the time for financial reasons, not because I wanted to. I have the means to stay on drugs for years if I want to but I don't anymore, sick of it.

    The specifics: Late 20s on and off opiates (never over 300mg oxycodone a day) been taking subs again for about 2 months, and yeah the "induction" is getting harder and harder as I do that stupid dance between pills and buprenorphine. It now takes a solid 3 days of pretty intense WD even after waiting the requisite time and placing high on the COWS scale before re-inducting sub, I just deal with that as a fact of life now, I remember the first induction, was actually euphoric.. So I'm down to about 0.25-0.50mg a day, once a day, which is a big step for me as I always dosed 2x a day (never above 5mg MAX, usually 1.5/1.5 so 3mg)... So I skipped 4 days a couple weeks ago, that blasted my 2mg sub tolerance down to around a comfortable 1mg a day, and I've been skipping days and stable on around 0.25mg a day for a few days now, still feel malaise, but during the time with pills I picked up a benzo, specifically alprazolam habit that I can't shake. They have certainly helped with this quick sub taper but I want off both. I have about 16mg of sub left which can last a month and a half if I want, but I'm really hoping to just jump off that, then off the benzos.

    When I came off benzos before, I switched to diazepam, I have about 30 of those (10mg) and 10 bars (I can get more bars, don't want to)... I was always comfortable as far as opiates quitting benzos before though --I should mention I'm on about 4mg of xanax a day at this point, sounds stupid when I type that out, that it takes 4mg of xanax to make me feel good-ok-- I've been on 2mg for the last 2 days and the 2 withdrawals are starting to converge in on me... The 2 times I quit benzos before (never been on them for over 6 months at a time) I rapidly switch to 20mg diazepam, then go to 10 after around a week or even less, then 5mg, then take quarters (2.5mg) until I run out and feel really mind-screwed for about a week, like just scared of everything, agoraphobia, scared to drive, heavy chest and heart beat, ringing ears, popping ears, twitches, spasms, all that >>>>... I always keep a bar laying around though for the mental aspect, like keeping a little piece of sub left when you jump just in case, the strange part is that during the midst of benzo WD for me at least, taking the anti-anxiety pill scares me, like the opposite of opiates, maybe a good thing...

    Should I just tough it out? Go though the opiate detox since im pretty good at 0.25mg sub a day it will suck, but I don't think ill be fetile curled up in the tub praying to anything anyone like full blown opiate detox. then quit the benzos? I know its going to be double difficult since the symptoms are going to compound in my head so maybe ill take some anti-depressants after? They worked well for me before and I still have a few month supply (Lexapro).

    The Ashton protocol isn't really for me, It seems great, but I'm not prescribed any of these meds, I have been in the past, but not currently, so seeing a psych to get me off Benzos I heard is incredibly difficult and I don't have the patience to count on people who may or may not be around if I need valium. So I just need to quit. I don't see a doctor or anyone so maybe I just need to hear from other people what I've been telling myself to just tough it out for a couple weeks. Or anyone with experience might suggest something better? The few people in my life that know about this say to call a Psych, but I don't want to be flagged and don't even really want to lie and say I have "anxiety and all that" so they put me on anxiety meds, I don't know maybe that's the easiest way so I can slow taper the benzos, because the way I'm going for now is a non-productive few weeks, no work, nothing, at least a slow benzo taper would allow for work after the sub WD. Anyone?

  2. #2
    JohnsonJoe03 is offline New Member
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    So after more thought, going to taper the subs to what I can only imagine is an 0.125mg (1/8mg) since I get the weaker generic pills now, then skip a day, and skip 2 days then 3, then jump. I'm really not even stable on the 0.25 yet. I'm fine, I can go do stuff, handle business and eat but I don't feel normal, so I know I'm not stable at 0.25, which is just the nature of tapering I guess... I'm going to try to skip tomorrow after I just took my 0.25mg crumb, Ill keep it updated so it's not just a thread of complaint, lol, maybe help somebody in the future... Best of luck to those in a similar situation.

  3. #3
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I don't have much input about subs because I've never taken them, except to say I would not taper both the sub and the benzo at the same time. Do one, then the other. I guess you might want to do the sub first. I think most people do the opiate first but I did the benzo first because to me, benzo tapering is trickier and withdrawal worse than with opiates. But either way, it's best to go as slowly as you can, as you have the supply for I guess. If I were in your situation, no, I would not go to a psychiatrist and I definitely would not go and lie to one and create a record of having anxiety disorders or whatever. That can come back and bite you.

  4. #4
    JohnsonJoe03 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisweekforsure View Post
    I don't have much input about subs because I've never taken them, except to say I would not taper both the sub and the benzo at the same time. Do one, then the other. I guess you might want to do the sub first. I think most people do the opiate first but I did the benzo first because to me, benzo tapering is trickier and withdrawal worse than with opiates. But either way, it's best to go as slowly as you can, as you have the supply for I guess. If I were in your situation, no, I would not go to a psychiatrist and I definitely would not go and lie to one and create a record of having anxiety disorders or whatever. That can come back and bite you.
    Well, The subs are about expired, I can probably find some more if I put the calls out but I have enough and am low enough to know that it's not going to be anything like full blown oxy withdrawal.... Like I said I have about 1.5 left and that can last me a month and a half approx. if I want

    But really no Psychiatrist? Everyone that is physically around me is saying to do this... If I go in and be honest saying that I have a Benzo addiction that was precipitated by a preexisting anxiety disorder originally prescribed legally, and that I want to safely taper off of them they wont help me? I also thought psychiatrists can't flag people as drug seekers unless you really go in there and blow it with the intention of seeking a legal high? I don't know much about that corner of law, I know it's confidential but my main concern was just finding a psych that would take me on as a "burden" to wean off the benzos, I mean we could work other things out too but that would be my main goal, I would just be cutting the time inbetween where they prescribe me the benzos, then I ask to taper, I'd be directly asking for a taper....? Any thoughts? I was really thinking the psychologist was my best option... As my diazepam and xanax sources are sketchy and I might only have like a months or 2 supply left, and it's way easier for me to get alprazolam, which is not what I want.. It's cool for panic attacks, but no, I'm trying to wean off, xanax weans don't work for me.

    Edit: The thing is... I really do have legitimate anxiety (GAD) but I don't want to take benzos forever... So I was thinking of just going in and stating that fact, and concealing the monster in the closet that I'm already taking benzos... I mean having an anxiety disorder on my record is really not a big deal is it? It's not like many people would ever have access to those records, it seems worse to go in and say that I'm addicted to something that I was once prescribed to me legally because I needed it, then moved away and didn't see another doctor and just got the same meds off the street, then they flag me as a drug addict... some help please? Thank you for the reply and your time
    Last edited by Anonymous; 06-12-2016 at 12:24 AM.

  5. #5
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Well if you actually do have GAD then you aren't lying to the psychiatrist, that's a bit different. And it certainly is better to get benzos legally from a doctor than buying off the street. A lot of people on this forum tell us that their psychiatrist does not believe in very slow tapers. They are given fast tapers. So sometimes people will just go in and get a prescription for their condition without telling the doctor they want to use it to taper. Then they taper on their own and simply don't get the refills as often and eventually tell the doctor they stopped the med and don't need it anymore. If it were me I might do it that way, as long as the diagnosis was already in my record. But I wouldn't make up things and get things in the record about me that weren't true. Yes, all sorts of people can access your records. We don't have privacy anymore, not really, you cannot assume it.
    Ricky71 likes this.

  6. #6
    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisweekforsure View Post
    Well if you actually do have GAD then you aren't lying to the psychiatrist, that's a bit different. And it certainly is better to get benzos legally from a doctor than buying off the street. A lot of people on this forum tell us that their psychiatrist does not believe in very slow tapers. They are given fast tapers. So sometimes people will just go in and get a prescription for their condition without telling the doctor they want to use it to taper. Then they taper on their own and simply don't get the refills as often and eventually tell the doctor they stopped the med and don't need it anymore. If it were me I might do it that way, as long as the diagnosis was already in my record. But I wouldn't make up things and get things in the record about me that weren't true. Yes, all sorts of people can access your records. We don't have privacy anymore, not really, you cannot assume it.
    I agree with thisweek, if your doc is okay with tapering you off the benzos they'll usually want to do it too fast! I would say nothing about it to the doc, get your script and taper yourself? 5-10% reduction every 5 days or so should be a pretty comfortable taper? Good luck... God bless us all!

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    JohnsonJoe03 is offline New Member
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    Yeah, I believe it... But when I went to the hospital, no records of anything on me were found, even from the same hospital a few years back for a laceration.... It's really odd to me being in the server database management technology sector of business as well... To coordinate patient files into a database --sort of like the NICS check-- would be tedious but easily done, the technology has been here for decades... I think it all lies around that patient/doctor confidentiality area of law that I don't know much about.. I mean if I knew anything about practicing medicine, I could have a server and database on all my patients and records, and easily transfer that to another facility if my patient was in urgent care at a hospital for background information... Last time I was at the hospital they were still carrying around folders with papers like they came out of an old file cabinet, and still didn't find my info for the few times I'd been there for 'regular' things, they asked if I'd ever been there before the last time I went, and I was shocked... Even a paper filing system could have answered that lol, and this is one of the top rated hospitals in the western US. they have million dollar medical tech, but metadata and information technology is still held in a manilla folder, just seems backwards to me... It's got to be a law thing...

    A family member died of old age/cancer and at a hospital and there was no coordination with their PCP so they had no idea what medication they were on, and family member didn't know how to pronounce the names.. To this day I think they were given opiates and possibly benzos for terminal anxiety, then the hospital severely underdosed them causing a much harder passing that could have been avoided, but it could have been helped by family too, anyway, rambing on off topic, neither here nor there, sorry...

    But yea you're right about assuming it's private..I just thought it was part of a psychiatrists doctrine to maintain confidentiality unless they feel homicide or suicide is imminent, they could lose their license. Now days I'm sure they are allowed, or even required to release medication info to PCPs and vise versa...

  8. #8
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    You are absolutely right just a few years ago that's how it was and right now we are in a transition period. The ACA has only recently been implemented. (Assuming you're in the U.S.?) Your health info is now mandated to be digitized. Once anything is digitized it can multiply indefinitely. Once they file with your insurance it goes not only to the insurance company's servers, but to private third party contractors that work with the insurance company, for example, "health coach" or "health nurse" people that start calling you and encouraging you to quit smoking or manage your diabetes or whatnot, all based on whatever information is in your file. There is also a central database containing some, but not all, your health info that insurance companies use, for example, life insurance companies, to check you out when you apply for policies. The confidentiality between you and any doctor, including psychiatrists, has so many holes it's a colander. Many agencies are allowed to access the info for a myriad of purposes, mostly involving public safety or law enforcement. Most states have laws requiring any controlled substance be entered into yet another database, and the list of people able to access that is long. You have to assume that if a doctor accesses it, his staff will also be eyes to see it, people without medical degrees who never swore the oath to do no harm. Some local sheriffs are petitioning for direct access to these prescription databases when the original purpose was just for doctors and pharmacies to see what patients are getting from elsewhere. Once data exists, all kinds of people and companies will want it. When profit motives or government budgets are involved, they WILL push til they get it. So while what you SAY to your psychiatrist is technically confidential, the fact that he gave you a benzo is practically published as front page news. And if they know you got a benzo, any interested party is going to ASSUME you have a serious underlying condition, such as generalized anxiety, PTSD, alcoholism, etc., all of which can compromise your application for certain licenses, jobs, and privileges.

    Then there is the issue of simple security. When everything was paper, a person had to physically enter the building to get your info. Now, they can hack any computer connected to the internet from anywhere in the world. Your doctor does not even need to send your info out anywhere, if his machine is on the web, it can be hacked. So on top of all these legal loopholes to get your data, there's a whole underworld of criminals on the dark web going after personal data for purposes of identity theft, ransom ware, etc. Your doc has your social security number, name and address, that alone is reason enough for him to be target. Your insurance company too is a target, one of the biggest health insurance companies in the U.S. was hacked a couple years ago with millions of people's personal data stolen. You can remove one layer of risk by paying cash to your doctor and asking him not to file insurance, but if he still uses a machine connected to the web for his notes or gives you a prescription, your info gets outside his four walls regardless.

    Yes in theory all this digitized connectivity is supposed to be good for you, allow a hospital to access all your medical history in the event of an emergency so you get better care. In reality, as you know, it still does not provide that benefit, and it DOES provide a lot of privacy compromise. Right now it's still very much a work in progress, changing all the time and we do NOT know all the unintended consequences. Back in the day what happened between you and your doctor stayed between you and your doctor. Now it's a very different world.

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    JohnsonJoe03 is offline New Member
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    So now I have to use a proxy in life, as well as online, haha.. I know a lot about the technology you are talking about, and while what you're saying is hypothetically possible, it's really doubtful showing an alprazolam prescription on my medical record would hurt any job prospects aside from a top level government job, even then doubtful it would hurt, so many people are given them for so many reasons, divorce, lost family, etc.

    It depends on a lot of variables as far as the hacking too but hacking a secure database without flaws is not something very many people at all can do. I don't remember psychiatrists requiring SSN, and I'm positive it's not all integrated right now so that somebody in Alabama could access my psychiatrists database if I were in say Montana, just finding it would be an undertaking in itself, maybe if I were a VIP it would be a concern but it's likely a lot of CEOs and executives are on some sort of medication be it SSRIs, benzos, or whatever, so I hear you, but disagree about it hurting job prospects if I needed to go work at Google or Amazon etc,. Typing this personal info here without a proxy is more worrying than that, and that's not really worrying me, and I have anxiety!

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    JohnsonJoe03 is offline New Member
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    Anxiety, and a proxy ... so the virtual proxy is masking my physical identy anxiety... if I had any to begin with.. But all jokes aside..

    I'm waiting for an appointment, down to 0.25mg sub a day I believe I mentioned, it's strange, either because I took it 2x a day for so long, or my metabolism is so fast I'm straight, 100% for like 18 hours on 0.25.. Then I get restless, emotional, sweat flashes... No sneezing though, can't remember the last time I sneezed, that used to be my first symptom after the minor sweating.

    I was getting the pills, and they were definitely weaker generic bupe (generics have a 20% +/- FDA tolerance where name brand is like 5% I've read in the past). Now I got a couple strips, so I know I'm taking exactly 0.25, or at least exactly 1/32 of a 8mg strip, should be 0.25mg.... I was probably taking more than 0.25 with the pills, not much more but come on how to you measure 1/32 of a pill when they don't break properly, glad I got some strips... and like I said on the other thread, I wouldn't have posted if I wasn't ready this time, in the past I quit and knew I didn't want to... This time I have money, means, supply, and everything available to continue my habits for years but no more chemical handcuffs, been a long time coming... In the past I would have taken 2mg as soon as I got the strips to "feel extra good" didn't even think about it this time until typing on here, thats reassuring to me.

    I'm going to 'stabilize' on 0.25 as in full 24 hour feel good at that level per advice here on the only other forum I started which is just about the sub only... So then ill go to 0.125, sickly I know at a 50% reduction, but ill manage, stable at 0.125, then skip days rain or shine.... I'll keep it updated so if anyone might get some help in the future from this.... I'm also pretty good at around 2.5mg xanax a day... Going to make due with 2mg tomorrow.... I haven't been on the benzos for too long so I don't think I need to do the full ashton thing, we'll see what's comfortable... Once I'm at 2mg alp a day I'm going to switch to 20mg diazepam and 0.5mg alp for panic attacks (if any), these bars are also >>>>>> ones from india, I took one of my doctor xanax bars and it was like twice as potent, so in a way it's a good thing, I'm probably on less than I think... It does seem like I don't really need more than 2mg a day, if that. If I just took 1mg at night I'd probably be fine, but the day would suck considering the short action of Alprazolam, hence, the reason for my switch to diazepam on the 15th refill date. But I only get 30 (10mg).. I think it's a good time to wean both since the sub WD is very minor irritation at this point at such a low dose, and it's sedative effects probably help with benzo WD.

    Ill update.. But just assume I'm on 0.25 until I come around again ill let you know when I switch down to 0.125 or of any changes in routine, thanks to everyone, and the forum, sorry my posts are so long I type fast and tend to ramble what's in my head on the keyboard.

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