26 years Zopiclone Dependency

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Since 1989 I have been prescribed with various sleep tabs to help me with my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Nightmares have ruled most of my life, after 2 years in SADF and a very traumatic car accident! Eventually I was prescribed Zopiclone, and a very strong anti-depressant, tranquillisers and an anti-psychotic drug.

As I've worked through my trauma through the years my addiction on Zopiclone has gotten worse and worse. I'm not on anti-psychotic and anti-depressant anymore, but I just can't get off Zops. Over last 5 years I've come from 10 x 7.5mg per night down to 4 x 7.5mg per night and now I can't sleep at all? I think my body has become to used to it, it doesn't seem to work at all now? Can anyone suggest what I do now, I haven't worked in 2 years because I just don't sleep? I'm a nervous wreck!!

I'm open to suggestions, please!

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi stan was in similar situation , but just on the zops 13 years they do stop working after a time as the tolerance goes up , I had a melt down at xmas trying to lower my dose cpn came and refered me 2 days later to local drug and alcohol centre was initially mortified, I am a nurse by trade , the my stopped the zops immediately and prescribed diazepam which I thought was not working only after 2/3 weeks did the zops leave my system and the diazepam started working I now sleep from 11 till 6 , we are lowering the dose every few weeks slowly been 4 weeks now with no zops and although I get panicy in the am I get up put TV on low and try not to let it take over the rest of the day no cat napping and a stick night regime and stick to same get up out of bed time , you will get there ask your gp to refer you to a unit or call mind or email don't be embarrassed, you just need help and support x god bless
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  • Posted

    Unfortunately, I've read over and over that residual insomnia from PTSD is not curable.

    SADF = South African Defence Force ? Don't they have a veterans association? In particular a section dealing with those suffering from PTSD? Have you been diagnosed with PTSD? Is your health service not aware that you have this condition?

    Put "Shared Digital Memories: South African Defence Force Veterans as a Virtual Community" into your search engine including the inverted commas. See if there's any organization that can help referenced there.

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  • Posted

    Sorry you've had such a bad time of it.

    Is your doctor prescribing 4 x 7.5mg zopiclone for you? Or are you buying them (you don't have to answer that.)

    The best way to get off zopiclone is to use diazepam to taper off slowly. You can go to your local walk-in drug addiction clinic and they will help you.

    Zopiclone don't last long in the body, which is why a great many people take more and more of them (I ceertainly did.)

    Diazepam, however, lasts a lot longer than zopiclone so it's the drug of choice for people coming off zopiclone and simultaneously trying to get a night's sleep. I'm sleeping very well now and have been in treatment for about four months.

    Hoope this is helpful. Best wishes, Tess.

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  • Posted

    Stanzop, first I want to congratulate you on coming off the meds you did!  I think tess gave you very good info.  I'm going to send you a link by PM for a forum that is specifically about benzos where you can get very informed support.
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    • Posted

      Can you send me that link too Betsy?

      Are drug and addiction centers common in every town? By the government? I'm in the U.S. And we don't have them. Thanks.

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    • Posted

      In the UK there are drug addiction centres which are free, and you refer yourself.

      All areas are supposed to have them, and they are paid for by local government.

      I have heard of some that don't help addicts on zopiclone or benzodiazepes e.g. xanax or valium.

      But somewhere close to where most people live, there should be a self-help group which will help you to find he right place for you. You just google it plus the area where you live and make enquiries.

      The government here is committed to helping all addicts, not only crack or heroin addicts. In fact, it has been shown that it is harder to get people off valium than it is to get them off heroin, because valium & co are very highly addictive. Good luck. It took me forty years before I admitted to myself that I had a problem. The rest, as they say, is history. All my family have been very supportive, which I think helps.  Tess.

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    • Posted

      I'm curious in a good way, Tess:  how would they approach helping someone when the best way to get off these drugs is a slow taper due to the remodeling problem?  You can't push through and get it over with the way you can with heroin and coke.

      Are you totally off benzos now, Tess, after all those years?  If so, do you have any lasting issues?

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    • Posted

      Hi Betsy,

      I have been attendin the clinic for four months now. I go every fortnight. The doctor told me on my first visit that it would probably take about eighteen months to get right off. We started with 30mg diazepam daily, and I stayed on that for eight weeks. Eventually I found I wasn't afraid to go down to 28mg. That was for a month. Next step was 26mg, which I'm currently on, but next Friday I'll be going down to 24mg. I haven't noticed any withdrawal symptoms and I'm sleeping well, which was something I was very worried about.

      I won't pretend that I haven't been tempted to go back to a drug web site now and again - and in fact, I did actually order 40 zolpidem, which I gorged on for three days. Then I tried to remember my promises to my family, especially my grown up children. The pharmacy where I collect my diazepam is right next door to an internet cafe, which isn't helpful. My daughter has blocked access to all drug websites on my laptop, so at least if I have a compulsion to buy something online, I can't unless I go to the internet cafe. 

      So, no, not off completely, but on the way. It gets easier (in my case) as time goes on. I've discovered that sleeping isn't an issue and I don't have withdrawal symptoms - just occasional cravings for the blissful feeling I used to experience when I took 20 zopiclone and 300 mg diazepam at night.Yes, that's 300mg, not 30mg. Not good, but just proves how much the human body can tolerate after many years of taking benzos.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Tess for explaining that. That's amazing there are centers all through the country. Is drug addiction prevalent there?

      I think here in the US it's probably prevalent but it's hush hushed. It would be great if there was such a resource and free too!

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