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Author Topic: Anxiety and Benzo usage, addiction and withdrawal...  (Read 2214 times)

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Offline wylidas

  • Member
  • Posts: 85
  • Trying to love this life, since it's all we got.
Anxiety and Benzo usage, addiction and withdrawal...
« on: April 28, 2012, 09:27:46 AM »
I wanted to start a post on here to see if anyone has personal experiences with benzos they would like to share. I am a recovering 'accidental addict' when I got dependent on Ativan last year. I am 7 months off and still struggling with the aftermath. I actually see a chemical dependency expert who explained to me that this is common for people who cold turkey off a powerful drug like Ativan, and that it can often take 12-18 months for the central nervous system to fully heal. Of course, each person's unique chemistry is different...

My main issue is that I have been struggling staying on my HIV regimen at this time. Never had these issues prior to benzo addiction. Has anyone else experience anything like this? Or care to share their experiences with benzos in general?

I would like to hear positive and negative to get a good feel for what others are going through and how they deal....
Diagnosed + in 2006.
Atripla in 2006 (Bad dreams, nervous system reaction after a few weeks. Discontinued.)
Epzicom/Reyataz/Norvir October 2007 - February 2012 (anxiety and elevated BP primary s/x)
UD VL <30
CD4 - fluctuates between 250 - 500 with 25%+
Discontinued meds in February 2012 (due to adherence issues after detoxing from Ativan)
March 2012 - CD4 296, VL 120
4/22/2012 - Started Complera
5/1/2012 - Discontinued Complera, began monitored drug holiday
7/3/2012 - VL 55,000; CD4 211 - started Bactrim
8/5/2012 - Began Truvada + Isentress

Offline denb45

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,051
  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
Re: Anxiety and Benzo usage, addiction and withdrawal...
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2012, 10:27:47 AM »
I was on Benzo's for almost 8 yrs. for PTSD-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
it was such a low dosage 0.5 mg that the transition off of them on to Trarzodone was hardly noticeable at all, I didn't suffer from any withdrawals form the benzo's at all.....that's my story, and I'm sicking to it, I know it's different for others and I hope that's a comfort to you............good luck to you  ;)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline wylidas

  • Member
  • Posts: 85
  • Trying to love this life, since it's all we got.
Re: Anxiety and Benzo usage, addiction and withdrawal...
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2012, 10:58:26 AM »
thanks for the input denb. :)
I know that there are many who have little problems coming off benzos, but there are also many who do. I am one of the 'lucky' ones I guess. hehe

Glad things are working out for you and congrats on being benzo free! It's better for you long term to be off that stuff.
Diagnosed + in 2006.
Atripla in 2006 (Bad dreams, nervous system reaction after a few weeks. Discontinued.)
Epzicom/Reyataz/Norvir October 2007 - February 2012 (anxiety and elevated BP primary s/x)
UD VL <30
CD4 - fluctuates between 250 - 500 with 25%+
Discontinued meds in February 2012 (due to adherence issues after detoxing from Ativan)
March 2012 - CD4 296, VL 120
4/22/2012 - Started Complera
5/1/2012 - Discontinued Complera, began monitored drug holiday
7/3/2012 - VL 55,000; CD4 211 - started Bactrim
8/5/2012 - Began Truvada + Isentress

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • Posts: 23,990
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Anxiety and Benzo usage, addiction and withdrawal...
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2012, 12:59:26 PM »
A doctor should never allow a patient to quit cold turkey from benzos, they should taper off the usage. Why didn't you taper off? Didn't the prescribing doctor explain this fact to you when she/he first put you on this medication?
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline wylidas

  • Member
  • Posts: 85
  • Trying to love this life, since it's all we got.
Re: Anxiety and Benzo usage, addiction and withdrawal...
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2012, 01:12:16 PM »
Miss Philicia- My psychiatrist who was overseeing my ativan usage and taper only felt that a couple weeks of tapering would be sufficient to ensure I didn't have a seizure. I went from 2mg daily usage to nothing in the matter of a few weeks. So it was not a true cold turkey, but I refer to it that way because the doctors I see now have told me that the dosage and length of time I took ativan should have been a taper lasting several months minimum. I know longer see that psychiatrist.
Diagnosed + in 2006.
Atripla in 2006 (Bad dreams, nervous system reaction after a few weeks. Discontinued.)
Epzicom/Reyataz/Norvir October 2007 - February 2012 (anxiety and elevated BP primary s/x)
UD VL <30
CD4 - fluctuates between 250 - 500 with 25%+
Discontinued meds in February 2012 (due to adherence issues after detoxing from Ativan)
March 2012 - CD4 296, VL 120
4/22/2012 - Started Complera
5/1/2012 - Discontinued Complera, began monitored drug holiday
7/3/2012 - VL 55,000; CD4 211 - started Bactrim
8/5/2012 - Began Truvada + Isentress

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,814
Re: Anxiety and Benzo usage, addiction and withdrawal...
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 02:50:34 AM »
I usually take .5mg of Xanax, three times a day.  The prescription is written for 4mg per day.  120 per month with 5 refills.  Since I don't take 4mg per day, I let refills expire.  My therapist acted shocked that I took 1.5mg per day.  He said he was surprised I could function.  He must have a low tolerance, or has never taken them.  1.5mg isn't much, as far as I am concerned.  I'm not sure if he thought I took all of that at one time. 

Since I haven't felt the urge to take more and more, I hope when I come off of them (hopefully will be able to do this once the depression med really begins to work), I won't experience any kind of withdrawal.  I don't crave them, which I think would be a key indicator how bad a withdrawal would be. 

 


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