Off Diazepam for about a month, but still can't coffee nor alcohol...

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Hi everyone, I've quit diazepam about a month ago. My doc prescribed it to help me cope with a zopiclone withdrawal (stopped cold turkey after 3 months of use). I started with a small dose (2mg of diazepam before bedtime) and started to taper after my first week on it. So, I took 1 week of 2mg, then 1 week of 1.5mg, 1 of 1mg, then 2 weeks of 0.5mg, 2 weeks of 0,25. I got stable on 0,25 and I progressivly stopped which means I took 0.25 mg 4 times a week, 3 times the next week, 2 times the week after and then 0. I feel good overall but I can't drink coffee nor alcohol yet, not even a few sips. When I do, it's like most of my withdrawal symptoms come back. I get internal vibrations (this is the most persistant one), blurry vision, dizziness, I feel like I'm on a boat when I'm laying down flat on my back, random adrenaline rushes, tension, feeling depress, etc. It seems to come and go and it does'nt last for more than half a day. It's worst in the morning when I wake up.

I know it's probably very common and I should'nt worry about it, but I'd like to know if someone had or is having a similiar issue with caffein and alcohol (after quiting diazepam) 

SO, I'm just wondering how much longer will I have to wait. Is there any hope I can be able to quietly enjoy a beer under the sun without having these "tensions" inside me, I mean in a relativly close future? 

Thank you smile

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  • Posted

    You are really fortunate to have gotten off zopiclone ct w/o withdrawal lingering symptoms and also a good taper off the valium! I would not push things. Your gaba receptors are still sensitive so I would definitely give the caffeine and alcohol a real for at least 6 months. I have had a terrible time tapering off ambien,switched over to diazepam 4 mg,am very symptomatic. Could I ask you how long you were on the z medication and what dosage? We're you symptomatic on zoopiclone? How symptomatic were you on valium as you tapered? Thanks! 
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    • Posted

      I started with 7mg of zopiclone for a month. I had real bad daytime anxiety rebound and I did'nt realise it was a side effect of the medicine and not a medical condition. I took a a break of Z for about 3 weeks and tried minimum dose of Citalopram for a week, minimum dose of Effoxor for 4 days, 6mg of Seroquel for a week, 1 week of remeron and then I when back to zopiclone because it was the best option for me, I was way too sensitive to any medication. After another month of Z use, I decided to cut the dosage in half. I took 3.5 mg for another 2 months and then I started to understand that the Zopiclone was giving me severe dizziness, constant tinnitus, shakiness, cold, derealization, severe insomnia, fast heartbeat, trembling, very small hallucinations, hypersensivity to sounds, blurry vision, etc. And the more I was getting off it the less I was experiencing daytime anxiety. I actually felt better and more alive. I talked to my doc, and he told be to stop progressivly. I decided to cut the 3.5mg to 2.5mg for a week, then stop completly. When I did that, I panicked because I started to feel depress and had suicidal thoughts. I would cry for no reasons or be overly emotional (I've never been like that). The thing is, I did'nt know what was a withdrawal process and I did'nt quite understand what I had to do nor how I could achieve a safe taper. It was a first in my life and no one really explained it to me. I went to see a psychiatrist, he gave me 2mg of valium to help me. The diazepam withdrawal was very slow and very difficult for me. Worst thing in my life actually. I had all possible symptoms. I thought I was becoming crazy/psycho or something and that I couldnt go back to university and simply live a normal life. I quit pretty much everything and went back to live with my parents (easy but safe option for me). After 4 weeks off diazepam, I started to work again eventho I felt and I still feel vulnerable. Everytime I finish a day, I feel happy and proud of myself. I know the worst part is over but everything is so uncertain. 

      So yes, I was extremely sensitive to both medication. I was scared all the time and I still am when I face something new. But I try to replace the "what if" but a "so what?". 

      It's hard. It's both physical and psychological. Often both at the same time.  You're right, I think I'll just keep up with exercice and healty food habits and cut off alchool and coffee. 

      Where are you at in your process?

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your lengthy reply! I am glad to hear that you will be taking a long break from caffeine and alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms can occur even after a year. That's how sensitive our CNS can become. In your case it does not seem like you will be affected too much due to a very short time of use and a low  dose! So I would not worry--the residual anxiety could also be stress related and not even withdrawal!
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  • Posted

    Jim, I am down to 3.8 mg of valium,crossed over from ambien .I am tapering ever so slowly, .1 mg valium every 10 days. I still have a lot of symptoms,mainly physical-- dizziness,benzo bloating, had hyperacusas which has gone away for the most part,tinnitus, numb feet,tingles, pulsing in the head,occasional jolts of pain in various parts of the body,sweating at night, sensitivity to light,touch of even fabrics on skin.however, a lot of symptoms seem to be getting better. It has been 1 year since I tapered. My mistake was that I listened to an idiot doctor who advised enormous cuts of 33 percent--too much for the CNS to handle. It's like going CT. These symptoms have followed me even though I am on a slow taper now. It will take another year probably but as long as I am getting better very slowly, I will stay the course. I have not really had the mental symptoms though. Take care and hang in there! You are over the worst and benzo free! Congratulations !
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    • Posted

      Wow, thank you, I wish you the best smile I know it is hard, long and can be very depressing from time to time. Hang in there too, you're not alone!

      Thanks for your reply smile

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