Addicted to Zopiclone and Oxazepam

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Hi, I'm new, this is only my second post. I've suffered with depression and anxiety most of my adult life. My anxiety was made much worse because I suffer from PTSD due to experiences I had in the 90s and early 00's. I've been on so many medications over the years to help combat my terrible insomnia, anxiety, hyper vigilance and panic disorder. I now find myself addicted to Zopiclone and serapax (Oxazepam). I'm at my wits end, because they don't work like they used to, but try as I might I can't stop taking them because when I try to everything gets so much worse. I just don't know what to do.

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  • Posted

    Sorry you're feeling this bad, Ian.

    Your meds don't work as well as they used to necause you've developed a tolerance to them.

    Can you go and discuss this with your GP?

    In the meantime, don't stop taking the zopiclone and oxazepam, as the withdrawal symptoms are awful.

    I wonder, if you were to refer yourself to your nearest drug addiction clinic, whether they would help? They certainly helped me. It's always worth a go.

    And don't feel alone - there are millions of addicts in the world who started off on prescription drugs, aand some of us come to this website in order to support one another, necause we understand what it's like to be taking these wretched things, and gradually finding out that we have to take more and more for them to work.

    Keep in touch.   Best wishes from Tess.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Tess, I really feel that you understand the horrible dilemma I'm in. My doctor isn't really much help. I've been on these meds for a very long time. I've spoken to him about a medication I was on before not working. He initially upped the dose and then after a while changed the medication. But all he did was change it from one benzo to another. I hadn't thought of contacting my local drug addiction clinic.

      it actually seems like a very good idea. They would have the relevant expertise. It is something I will have to give some thought to. I don't want to come off the Oxazepam and then find my panic attacks are out of control. 

      I appreciate getting advice from someone who understands what I'm dealing with. Thanks for your advice. Definitely food for thought.

      Thank you

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    • Posted

      One thing I can promise you is that the drug addiction clinic will not suddenly stop your meds. They will work with you to find a comfortable dose and then, when you're ready, slowly taper you off. It is important to taper off because after all this time, your brains has literally forgotten how to go to sleep without medication, so it needs a little retraining. The other good thing about these places is that they offer counselling, peer group meetings, and will discuss what they're doing to help you with your GP, which I've found makes life easier for everyone. The unfortunate truth is that GPs do not have the skills and knowledge to deal wiwth all of us benzo addicts so they either cut off all supplies immediately (dangerous and unhelpful) or they tell you there's nothing they can do.

      You'll meet people addicted to other drugs at the clinic, and everyone is rooting for everyone else. Nobody cares if you're on heroin or valium - if you're addicted, so be it, and you will be helped.

      Please keep in touch. I'll be happy to answer any other questions if you have any. xx Tess.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Tess, I've been given a lot of very helpful information today. I think I might need a couple of days to really get to grips with it all and plan my next move.

      Visiting this forum and plucking up the courage to make a comment has been a good decision. I don't feel quite as lost as I did.

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  • Posted

    Hi Ian

    I too suffer PTSD for many years from active service so i know exactly what you're going through. The depression anxiety panic attacks anger/rage insomnia and fatigue.i attempted a serious near death result suicide 2007 from it all.i have been on ALL the the antidepressants from ssri to lithium and none worked. I now take 450mg "venlafine" daily which i think may help me a bit. I also take zopiclone but the trouble with it is your body quickly gets used to it and builds up a tolerance to it so you need and take more. i was taking 22.5mg a night. I hope I'm not teaching you suck eggs but you cannot get over PTSD there is no cure,well certainly not after the length of time we talking of. I don't know your history but with PTSD you need Cognitive behavioural therapy (cbt) & regular counselling with a team of mental health professionals that will find a medication plan that suits and works for you whilst working on these dependancies you mention. I know how difficult is with a useless GP. I found with zopiclone that it's more of a panic attack thing. If i had run out or was away from home without them, that moment i realised i had none i suddenly went into a massive panic mode and sweats etc and a different feeling from my addiction to dihydrocodeine. I was on 8 a day and they gave me a bit off a high,increasing my mood and mind. After a few hours i wanted more & more.it was different than zopiclone. I truly feel for you Ian and i would certainly say ask for a referral to mental health and detox team. If need be ask for another GP. I hope this does not offend you and you may have already been through the system. With PTSD it is learning coping mechanisms alongside medication. I'm sure you're aware PTSD is an umberlla term for many symptoms that anyone of can be triggered by anything leaving you severely depressed,angry,anxious or panic attacks which no tablet will cure. That's why i say its learning coping stratergies alongside medication. I hope you get it sorted mate. I now just take either 1 or 2 3.75mg a night and NEVER take extra regardless if i sleep or not. I also take various opiates (i became paralysed waist down in the army) and i apply the

    same to them. From same experience as you having a useless GP that hands out smarties I'd say bang on every door you need,ask for different doctor or even local MP until you get the help you need. No matter how low you get please remember there is help out there,you're not alone mate. I wish you all the best.

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    • Posted

      So much of your reply describes my experience so well. I know that there is no way to just walk away from PTSD. I made a very serious attempt on my life a  couple of years ago and ended up in a coma for a week.

      All sorts of things trigger a massive panic reaction in me. I can't stand cars drawing up behind me and stopping. I can't deal with being out on a Friday or Saturday night, when people often scream (with excitement or whatever other reason).

      I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to me with such honesty and good advice.

      Im sorry to hear of your physical injury Darren. I admire your courage and tenacity mate, I know it's not easy.

      Once again, thanks for your comment, it means a lot to me.

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