Hey so I’m a sober alcoholic for almost a year now but what I can’t seem to kick is my addiction to benzos… Namely ativan. I will take them here and there and spacw them out so I try not to become addicted… Problem is, I’ve been addicted to them before and now see that I have a small, or beginning, mental and physical dependency on them now. And every time I try to stop taking G them some heavy anxiety creeps up in my life and I just can’t let them go. I’m very afraid of withdrawal as well and don’t know how to really let them go for good… Any advice or help or similar issues out there?
I started a thread recently about this very thing. Search the forum for “benzo addiction.” I think I called it “anyone dealing with benzo addiction?” I suffered greatly from this and had to go through more hell than anyone should have to experience.
When i was drinking i ti became addicted to Ativan for five years i managed to come off them a month before i stopped drinking crazy withdrawals lol but i got throught it wish you well
Wanna start off by saying thanks for sharing where youre at… But i also must statr that im not a doctor lol. This is just my experience is all. Also wanted to remind you there isnhope and help out there. You no longer have to do this on your own. We do recover.
Benzos is a tuff one. Because the withdrawals can be very dangerous. Do you get this medication prescribed by a doctor or off the street? If youre getting them through a doctor, let your dr know your wanting to taper down off the benzos. If you stop them all at once, the results can be dangerous or even deadly. So please be careful! So tapering down off them is what i would do. If you cant manage to do this on your own. May i suggest a detox center to help you. Ive been to detox centers, theyre helpful. They will keep you away from the pills for a few days, which i needed. And they get you off of them safely, which is most important!
Im not trying to scare you, but this is a serious disease. Benzo wd can be fatal. I just want you to be safe and live your life to the fullest, sober. Beat of luck, keep us posted. Remember, you are not alone. You can get sober and stay sober.
thank you i will
I am currently in india right now and can by them at any pharmacy. i cannot tell my parents im back one them because i just moved home to detox from alcohol withdrawal… so i need to do this quietly and on my own. im going to try to do the dr Ashton method and switch to valium and then taper… im pretty upset about this and even had a night a couple weeks ago where i had a few beers and broke my sobriety streak… i think escaping from my mind and pain is my number one priority and thats when i get with the drugs and booze. i dont know if i will ever not have a pill close by me for emergency… but one ALWAYS leads to two…
does therapy help any???
Honestly my number one advice is to seek professional help for this. It really is insanely dangerous. It’s also insanely difficult. The number one mental withdrawal symptom is intense anxiety. The physical withdrawal symptoms can be the same symptoms as panic attacks. Also seizures can happen, and often do. I really don’t want to scare you either but I can’t not put these things out there.
I was up to a really high dose when I went into treatment and couldn’t have done it without my detox, hospital stay, and the treatment I received afterwards. Therapy and an IOP group helped me immensely after I went through the first month of medically supervised treatment. In group as well as in therapy they taught many things, but the most effective were DBT and CBT.
I don’t know what dose you are up to and I hope it’s nothing near as bad as I was. For me, drinking made me so much more anxious. If you are really set on doing this on your own, staying clean from the booze is going to be helpful. Also look for books on CBT and DBT for anxiety, or whatever other mental health issues you may have. Go to therapy and work those books with your therapist.
Another idea would be to tell your parents that they had you on benzos to safely get you off the alcohol and you became addicted to them that way, then tell them you need treatment. I know that here in the US they always use benzos in the detox process.
Hope some of this helps. You can message me if you would like. I’m 239 days clean from benzos and alcohol and feel very strongly about this subject. Doctors hand this shit out and never tell anyone what it really does to your brain or how scary it is.
so i just got some valium and am going to switch myself over through the Ashton way. Ive done it before but never without being supervised.
My schedule is written down and I start tomorrow. the only thing im worried about is myself really. i take a benzo for any little shitty problem in my day and i have to somehow get passed that or else this will become an addiction for the rest of my life.
Any tips and tricks to not pop one while withdrawing?
ALso, thanks to all who commented. I am very aware of how dangerous this is and am grateful for your honest words.
i want to live life without a crutch and be healthy…
I totally agree with that sentiment.
I constantly wish I had never taken my first Xanax so that I didn’t know what I was missing. My anxiety is super bad today and I would KILL for any benzo! I just keep looking back to the early days of my detox and recover to remind myself of what I don’t ever want to go through again!
The best things that work for me when I want to reach for that pill are mostly tedious hobbies. Coloring, drawing, sorting change. I’ve been on here constantly the last few days to keep the time inching by. Distraction has been my best friend since I got clean.
I hope you keep us updated on your progress. Just because I feel strongly about medical help in no way means I’m not rooting for you. Anything that helps someone get clean and stay clean is a plus for me!
Thanks for the tips.
I will be on here letting you know for sure.
And if worse comes to worse I’m going to have to tell my dad… And he just might kill me or make me go through cold turkey, but I won’t feel the guilt anymore.
Dads just want what’s best for their kids !!! He loves you you know !!!
so im here.
ive stopped the ativan. i dont think ive been taking them long and consistently enough to have them really mess with me yet. which is a relief. but every time i think that something pops up and bam, im taking some.
anyways, i have some valium and yesterday got mental and took 5mg. i dont think i needed it but i dont know really. do i have a dependency or not? is it mental? is it physical? is it just blood sugar issues? or is it my underlying anxiety?
on top of all this i have bronchitis and havent felt decent in a long time. health is a big trigger for me to take something to make me feel more comfortable, but im trying not to. im going to have to feel uncomfortable for a while in order to get used to life… a normal life, feeling normal things and coping in a healthy way.
im happy though that it was only 5mg of valium instead of 2mg of ativan (equivalent of 20mg valium).
lets see what happens today, and yes @Modestakieran, doing tedious things really does help. i keep running around like a lab rat trying to distract my mind. but i know im getting stronger mentally because when i was in the height of my alcohol and benzo addiction i could care less about how much i took, what i took and what i could potentially do to me… now i care and im scared.
going to find a benzo thread and read up.
thanks for all the responses and what not, it helps coming on here and reading about others who struggle and want out.
This might be a little long winded…
It’s a fact that all benzos are more addictive than most substances on earth. People who are on them for longer than a few days form a chemical dependency. For almost all people that slight dependancy is easy to get over. But the longer someone is on it the harder it is to get off of it. The higher the dose… well, we all know the rest. You don’t have to go down the shithole that I went through to be addicted.
The part that’s worse is the mental addiction (just like everything else). It’s downright fucked up how well these medications work! Crippling panic attack, GONE! Every type of anxiety, GONE! And the worst part is that millions of people are prescribed it and don’t have a “problem.” Well, I think more people do than are documented, but that’s just me maybe. I think it’s absolutely amazing that the newer generation of psychiatrists and doctors refuse to prescribe them except in dire circumstance.
So… here is the greatest problem. The biggest withdrawal symptom is anxiety! Like terrible, agoraphobic anxiety. For people who have only been on them for a few weeks this isn’t super intense (but still not a walk in the park). For people who have been on them for a while it becomes almost impossible. The physical stuff is pretty bad (downright terrible in a lot of cases), but it’s the knowing how well the shit works that really screws us up.
Throw on top of all that the history of addiction to other stuff (alcohol for us) and BAM! Perfect storm! What is the biggest withdrawal across the board??? Let’s say it together everyone… ANXIETY!
Sooooo, yeah. Most people don’t end up in the situation I was in with the benzos (thank jeebus) but that doesn’t mean the situation is easier.
You definitely took a big step not taking a high dose. I didn’t have the option of trying to taper off the way you are trying. I sincerely hope that you can succeed! Motivation and drive are ESSENTIAL in your journey. There’s nothing even remotely close to easy about what you are doing and I stand behind you in your journey. Please keep us up to date! There is so little out there about this addiction and anything you can add to the greater world about it is important! Much love!
ok… yes, totally agree with you! unreal what these drugs can do.
so my update:
at the SAME time im dealing with figuring out my taper or dependence, my mom is cold turkeying off 20-30mg valium. she didnt tell us and shes going through hell. this has been an amazing wake up call but scary at the same time. im getting some withdrawal symptoms because i was using ativan most of the time and then stopped that and started doing valium. i was clean for 3 days and the 4th i began to feel it… so im def going through something.
ive decided to do a taper. ive done it before but not alone. my father knows that i may have a problem, but hes so worried with my mom right now that i cant fully disclose that im also going through some issues. i think he would have a heart attack.
so ive looked on dr. ashtons guide to slow tapering and am going to try to do this… im so confused about it all right now. its so scary seeing my mom just in hell and at the same time im still taking these devil pills.
tomorrow starts my scheduled taper- first introducing valium into the day with a small amount of ativan in the worming and then week by week it changes.
it will be a long process and the key is to not EVER go up for an emergency purpose. I am actually more afraid of my weak minded nature than anything else while doing this… maybe when i start the process successfully i will let my father in on it… or maybe not.
please pray for me, as i see hell going on in the next room and i dont want this again.