Benzo taper attempt #4. Clonazepam 4mg; here's hoping... - Part 1

By Stickemupz · Feb 2, 2015 · ·
  1. Hello, g'day, Nin Hao, Wominjika, Ciao, Bonjour, Hola, مرحبا, annyeonghaseyo;
    And everything else.

    so the brief backstory

    For about 5 or so years now, I've been on some form and dose of benzodiazepines daily; or nearly.
    After a benzo withdrawal related grand mal seizure followed by a mandatory trip to the psych ward (psychosis fuelled by a 5 day IV meth bender, heroin (was addicted and using daily) a shitload of alprazolam (holding back benzo withdrawals), ketamine and that's just what I remember before being in a booking cell; with my head in the toilet; unable to breath due to toilet water. Equally likely it was me or the cops doing the "halfway" drowning. (I have an interesting relationship with my old local cops "on the beat", where they would nearly always pull me over or search me; and be pissed off every time because I became somewhat of a "Stealth expert" as well as a complaint against a colleague of theirs via my mother as a 14 year old for excessive force.

    The psych ward psychiatrists told me not to stop taking clonazepam and olanzapine.
    The olanzapine dropped off, I was no longer psychotic; the clonazepam didn't, I was still anxious as hell like I have been since unnofficially "diagnosed" with depression and anxiety at 8 years old (my childhood/adolescent psychiatrist didn't believe in anti-depressant or anxiolytic medication for minors; wish there were more like him)

    back to the point
    For the last 3 or so years I've been on 4mg Clonazepam daily (minimum, up to 6mg as needed, also abuse)
    A few days ago I started a taper; I'm now on 3mg of Clonazepam and 10mg diazepam daily (ashton manual based taper to 3mg)

    Now even though I'm dropping my dose (equivalent and literal), I'm still starting to get some serious anxiety out of this. I often took larger doses of clonazepam (8mg-20mg) with alcohol to try and get any kind of buzz. Opiates/Opioids are still not worth doing without a benzo too (and I was daily IV heroin user, still to this day using IV heroin 3-5 days a week)

    Now you'd think all the heroin and booze would halt minor withdrawal from benzo tapering; but it doesn't even help it.

    This is early days, and I'm looking to moderate everything except for my daily cannabis use whilst tapering from benzodiazepines.
    I'm lucky enough to have a good doctor and a schedule fitting both me and him (my doctor).

    But I'd be lying if I tried to claim I wasn't addicted to not only benzo's, but alcohol, opiates/opioids, cannabis (Hash Oil and Flower), tobacco and caffeine.

    But one step at a time, and I figure I want to get benzo's out the way before some of the more acute withdrawal methods associated with other drugs (I'm not going on opiate/opioid maintainence again, cold turkey for this idiot from now on) and alcohol I will likely need benzo's to be effective short term (in a detox facility) to get through withdrawals safely, as I'm quite prone to seizures.

    So to get clean again, I have to knock benzo's away, and it's fucking with my head and body at such a minuscule dose drop.

    ive been trying this for ages
    Taper attempt number 4 as indicated in the thread title.

    I'm fucking scared. Any tips or help would be appreciated.
    Support, a story of your own; anything,
    I feel very fucking alone.
    My son has been uncomfortable to an extent around me since I started tapering; and I thought I was doing better with him during this period than I am.

    He deserves better, he deserves my 100%.

    I just don't know what to do.
    Give me my acute heroin withdrawal over this headfuck anyday :(

    Tips, comments, stories, ideas, links, criticism; all welcome. I'm getting off the fucking benzo's this time!
    Anything to do it right.

    And maybe my journey can help someone....maybe...

    Thanks for reading, will update regularly if there's interest.


  1. out_there
    Firstly congratulations on taking the first step towards attempting to withdraw from clonazepam. This is a very courageous step considering your past and the anxiety you're experiencing.
    I have also been on various benzos for 8 years now. The first was alprazolam which I abused and had to CT from. That took a good month or two of the usual benzo withdrawal hell to recover from. I was working in India at the time and was basically alone through that.
    After that I was prescribed temazepam then nitrazepam. I managed to get off nitrazepam without too much trouble using tramadol which has some mild NMDA antagonist properties. That and methadone can offset some benzo withdrawals. See this link:

    Having successfully withdrawn from benzos twice, I then somehow became dependent again on lorazepam and then nitrazepam. This time tramadol hasn't seemed to work but methadone has helped for offsetting the withdrawals. But I think this is dependent on the tolerance to opioids. That study indicated that NMDA receptors are only antagonised by tramadol at high concentrations so in your case that is probably why it doesn't help much to use opiates/opioids although methadone may work.

    What I would suggest and since you have a good doctor this shouldn't be too hard, is to get a script for pregabalin. This will help with sleep and anxiety. It may also have some use to offset withdrawals. But discuss it with your doctor. Meditation is also invaluable for relaxation and anxiety and if you need some pointers or want to try meditation let me know and I can give you a couple of tips...(not that I'm an expert but I have a couple of useful starter ideas).

    I also really feel for you with a son there. How old? I have two boys and it is really hard going through withdrawals and trying to hold everything together for them. So I send you best wishes and hope you will be successful. Also, I do think it is the right choice to get over the benzo thing first. I think it is the hardest drug to withdraw from as you have mentioned in your post. But I would also suggest trying to cut down on alcohol at the same time because you don't really want to be put back on diazepam when you go to rehab for alcohol withdrawal (which you probably will be as that is the standard procedure for alcohol withdrawal in Australia).

    So good luck and best wishes for the coming months!

    Just as an adjunct, I was doing some further research to confirm pregabalin as a useful tool in beating benzo withdrawal and this study seems to have some very promising findings. It's heavy going but at least look at the discussion and intro sections:
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