DIAZEPAM REDUCTION? HOW FAST IS TOO FAST?

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi there,

​Just wondered if anyone has come up against a problem like mine.

​I have been coming off diazepam at 2 mg per day each month,doing well but had to take a break due to terrible nightmares.

My addiction specialist wants me to continue reducing at the same rate and I disagree, would rather go down really slowly now by 1mg per day per month.

​Do I stand my ground and go with my own intuition or listen to the experts?

1 like, 14 replies

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    A few questions:

    what daily dose are you at now?

    when you say 2mg per month, do you mean you start a month and reduce that first day by 2 mg and stay at that level for a month or do you gradually reduce throughout the month until you get to a total of 2mg down by the end of the month?

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    • Posted

      Hi there,

      I am presently taking 14mg daily, have come down from 18mg which I have been on for a very long time, 22 years.

      ​Yes they recommend a reduction of 2mg at the start of the month and then stay at that level for a month, no gradual reduction.

      ​I am not so keen on this as I feel it is too fast for me and I do not want any more setbacks. I am not worried about how long the process takes but they seem to think that the longer the process takes the more stressful it will be for me.??? I tend to disagree?

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  • Posted

    You haven't said what dose you were on/are on now ?

    in general the slower the taper the better to allow your nervous system to catch up and adjust. I would listen to your body, what's the rush ? 

    I came off a similar drug by using the 10% method, cutting 10% of your dose for a month then 10% of what's left for a month and so on, 

    all the best

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  • Posted

    Stand your ground you are the one suffering so you have to be able to say no when you need to.ln my opinion there are no experts when it comes to withdrawal everyone is different so take control of your taper and go as slowly as you need to.
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    • Posted

      Hi Marleen,

      ​Thanks for that, you have said it in a nutshell . Really needed to hear it from someone who knows.

      ​I have spoken to my expert and he is surprisingly understanding. He has planned some counselling for me as he feels that I need more support around me during withdrawal...RESULT!!!

      The last time I tried to come off this drug was 22 years ago, under the supervision of a so-called expert.

      She brought me down so rapidly that I developed severe OCD and severe anxiety and I ended up in a psych ward to deal with that.

      The one I have now is very different, times do change. anyone out there suffering from the same problem would be advised to state their case as you say it is you who are suffering and you who should be in control.

      ​Thanks so muchcheesygrin

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    • Posted

      Glad to hear that Anne be strong and never think you are going too slow.Too fast seems to be the cause of all the suffering so trust yourself to know what is best for you.
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  • Posted

    Hi Anne.

    First of all, when it comes to your body and how you're feeling ( you're more of an expert than the "expert's" .

    I think everyone feels withdrawal symptoms slightly different. You said you've been taking them for a long time , so don't expect to be rid of them in a short time.

    I think you should drop by what you feel comfortable with , and if that's 1mg, then so be it.

    If you feel comfortable and confident later on , you can always go back to the 2mg drop.

    Best wishes and well done ?because they are a curse of a drug.

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    • Posted

      Hi Raymond,

      ​Thanks for the input, my resolve is to take control from now on. They have offered me counselling to cope with any anxiety I may feel and how to deal with the dread that the same thing will happen again.

      ​I have decided on the 1mg drop on my next month, half a mg every two weeks is what I feel comfortable with.

      ​The experts who are helping me are dealing with a lot of people on street drugs and alcoholics, so they cannot be experts in diazepam reduction too. But they are listening to me now.

      ​They are indeed a curse of a drug and the scary thing is that the particular association that are helping me only have 2 other diazepam involuntary addicts under their care. It makes me wonder how many others are out there receiving no help at all. That is scary!!!

      Thanks again

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    • Posted

      Hi Anne.

      You're right to do the 1mg drop every month. It's not a race and you only want to do this once and do it properly.

      I'm my experience the 'Experts ' do try their best, it's just the addiction to these tablets is very difficult for them , I'm happy that they're listening to you now and you're 100% correct about the people that are not getting any help.

      I know this might sound very selfish, but you take care ? of you Anne...

      Then if you feel passionate about helping others, great 👍. It's very rewarding and it keeps my mind focused and the gratitude is priceless. It reminds me of where I was and pray to never be there again.

      Best wishes and take care.

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  • Posted

    No more than 10% reductions every 2-4+ week's per Ashton's manual.

    For me, I'm tapering no more than 5%.

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    • Posted

      Kev-

      What daily dose are you on? And how long have you been on diazepam or other benzos? I just like to know what other people are doing as compared to my withdrawal.

      I started on Lorazepam in Aug of 2015-had several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw even though I was seeing a psych for all of 2017. He just wasn't an addiction specialist. Referred to a great psychopharmacologist-private pay-by a family member. Started in January of 2018-he put me on 9 mgs of Valium a day in a substitution plan (modified Ashton) to get me off Lorazepam which I did in two months but I was only on .75 of Lorazepam when the substitution plan started.

      Since beginning of March off of Lorazepam, but now having to w/d from Diazepam which I am finding much tougher with plenty of side effects. Right now-as of today, I start another cut of only .25 daily for a week which is only a 3.7% drop. When I get to 5 mgs a day, which will have been a 4.7% drop, I will then titrate. My doc uses a compounding pharmacy so I'm hoping that will be easier. My weekly plan which will last at least until the end of the year if not a few months after that will never drop more than 5% in a week. I find any bigger drop, my body can't handle. Of course being on this stuff at all is terrible, but I have hope and I try to keep living, eat well, exercise, no alcohol or caffeine and work from home as a consultant which keeps me distracted. Finally, I have an underlying problem which is why a doc (not my regular PCP) gave me Lorazepam in the first place. It's called Ciguatera, a toxic fish poisoning which I've had for 10 years-no cure but it produces itching and pins and needles-just what I was looking to alleviate with Lorazepam (but I didn't know it was addictive) and what do you know , the w/d symptoms from a benzo produce those problems in me, plus others. Nothing like shooting yourself in the foot ;-)

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