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Coming off benzos and opiates
  1. #1
    little_engine is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Coming off benzos and opiates

    I have taken pain meds and benzos for several years, and I moved from one state to another just as all the prescription rules changed. I can't get either now, and my new doctor won't prescribe me a taper. She said if I run into trouble, go to urgent care.

    Before I moved, I was already on a supervised taper of Xanax. I was at 3mg a day, and under the planned taper I went down to 1.5 from June to October. The plan was for me to stay at 1.5mg until the taper could be resumed after moving. When I realized there wouldn't be help from doctors, I brought myself down to .75mg a day. I've stayed at that for most of December, although I've taken a small amount more if things were really bad. Is it safe to jump off? I have plenty left to taper further, but I want to do it now, ahead of the opiate withdrawal... The opiates are the hard thing for me. I'm out of my prescription and no longer using legal ones, and I don't even like the high, it's just maintenance I want. I don't know if that's addict behavior or chronic pain. I want to go to the methadone/subutex clinic, but they won't take me if I'm positive for benzos. I'm stuck and I'm scared.

  2. #2
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014


    Can't believe the doctor told you to go to urgent care rather than help you!!! Makes me so upset. Grrrr!!!

    Please, please, please don't jump where you're at. Continue to taper down to zero if at all possible. Benzo detox can be deadly and can put you in harms way if you're not careful. It's nothing like an opiate detox that's for sure! Taper lower. much. much lower and go as slow as you can too. Small reductions over lots of time until off is the best way to do it.

    Stay as far away from methadone as possible. That stuff DESTROYED me completely! I know it can be ok for LONG TERM medical situations, but for everyday use it's not a good idea in my opinion. I got so hooked and thought I would NEVER get off. Finally switched to subs and got off that too. Subs are MUCH better than methadone I would always say. Have to be careful if you use subs too. Use them correctly and you can get off with few problems.

    What opiates are you taking? How much per day and for how long? That info will help us help you. You can jump or taper the opiates rathe than use the subs. Subs should be the last choice in my opinion.

    Let us know what you decide!

    Last edited by Anonymous; 12-27-2014 at 02:10 PM.

  3. #3
    little_engine is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    I'm embarrassed to talk about the opiates, because unlike the benzos, I have used more than prescribed for a long time now, and I've never really talked about it. I've taken pain meds on and off my whole life, usually prescribed for pain, at least one day a month except for during my pregnancies. So my tolerance has been pretty high for over 20 years.

    I've been prescribed hydrocodone for over 3 years - 60mg daily was my prescription amount. Before the hydrocodone I was on the maximum recommended dose of Tramadol daily for 4 years. When the pain got unbearable on Tramadol, I was buying *anything* opiate off the street for a few weeks. I waited until I knew my urine would come back clean then went to the doctor to ask for more effective meds. The hydrocodone at 60mg worked well for the first year. After that, it didn't work as well, and I was afraid if I asked for an increase it would look like drug seeking and I'd lose my prescription. (Maybe a stupid decision - my anxiety at one point was so bad I couldn't leave the house, so asking for help is not easy for me.) So I started buying pills to supplement what I was prescribed. I used the amount of acetaminophen to judge what was safe, since my tolerance was so high. Some days I stayed at the 60mg prescribed (or less if I ran out) but many days I was taking 40-60mg more of hydrocodone or 30-60mg oxycodone on top of my prescribed dose. Sometimes way more, sometimes methadone if I could get it because it lasts longer. Basically whatever was available. I've gone through withdrawal when I've run out, partly because I was curious as to whether I could do it. I can, but then after I get through the process and I'm mostly in the clear, the pain and depression crush me and I think I can't live in that much pain. Which is why I'm ok with maintenance - until I have more confidence in my ability to live without it, I am willing to do whatever they require to keep me stable.

    When I ran out of pills, I got a small amount of h (it's cheaper, and I'm almost broke) to get me through until I could go to the clinic. They turned me away because of the benzo prescription - I told them how I'd tapered down and didn't want it, but this was the state clinic and their rules regarding benzo use are strict. I won't have the money to go to the private clinic for a few weeks. So, more h, just enough to not get sick while I'm trying to figure everything out. I hope that's all I'm doing, is just enough. I recognize I could go way further down, but I don't even like it! I'm embarrassed by all of this, and terrified.

    About 5 years ago, I jumped off xanax at a higher dose, and had seizures. At that time I was told I'd probably be on them for life. Earlier this year, my anxiety went way down, and I asked to go off, and that's when the taper started. I've never been honest about my opiate use with a doctor. I've always managed to hide it. I had trouble with dependence about 12 years ago, but got off it by using meth - but I only ever admitted to dependence on that, and that was easy to stop.

  4. #4
    little_engine is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    I know subs help with pain, because I tried someone else's when I ran out of pills in the past. And I know I can't take extra opiates if I'm on it. That seems like it would keep me from making stupider and stupider decisions.

  5. #5
    Iluv2smile is offline Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2014


    I am glad you came here and shared your story..
    You are not alone..
    Many of us here have histories like yours or worse..
    If you can choose between suboxone and methadone..
    I would go for the sub..
    Methadone took my soul it just numbed me to everything..
    I could function but I haded it and hated myself..
    I was on it for 10+ years..
    Finally able to induce to sub now tapering that..
    If you keep posting on here and get support you probaly won't feel the need to do something right that could be dangerous..
    Like Randy said you have to taper the benzos..
    I know what it is like to have to stay well to function..
    But if you could do that whatever way possible while tapering the benzo..
    Go to the clinic when you are benzo clean and get on the sub..
    Use the taper plan used by many on here..
    You could be clean and off of everything in a few months..
    Sometimes having a plan gives us hope.
    And being here with others will give you hope and guidance..
    I hope you hang in here..
    Please keep posting
    Last edited by Anonymous; 12-28-2014 at 12:08 AM.

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