Questions About Benzodiazepines Detox
Here are my top 10 questions that I have received from people in response to my articles on the subject of benzo detox.
1. Have you been able to completely get off benzos? How are you feeling? Is there hope?
Yes, I am completely off benzos. I've been off now for over 15 months and overall I'm feeling great. I have zero withdrawal symptoms and I have not taken a benzo ever since finishing the schedule. I don't feel the need to take any at all.
And the last question - is there hope? Yes, absolutely! Simply follow the program and you will see a positive result. If you do follow the program I can't see any reason why you can't be successful in eliminating benzos from your system.
2. What was your experience during the latter part of the taper specifically at low doses? Can I 'jump' at some point or get completely off?
In all honesty, I did experience an increase in withdrawal symptoms at the lower doses. I really found I had no withdrawal symptoms at all at the higher end of the doses.
I started at 1 milligram and didn't feel anything at all. Using the system down the dosage to about 0.15 milligrams and lower.
The simple solution to this was to cut the reduction rate by 50%. In my case that meant reducing the daily withdrawal of the liquid from 5 millilitres daily down to 0.25 millilitres.
I do not suggest that you "jump off" at any point in time until you've reached the very end of this schedule. You need to follow the Excel spreadsheet as best you can. In saying that you can adjust the schedule at any time by modifying the numbers.
3. I feel unstable on the pills. How am I supposed to gain stability before starting the reduction?
Well, this has all to do with what's called tolerance withdrawal. In my experience and in speaking to people who have been asking me questions, very often when you're taking your pill at the end of the day or before bed, you're feeling not so great throughout the remainder of the day or, especially, in the morning and in the later afternoon. You start to feel withdrawal symptoms creep in.
The solution to that is to get on to this program as fast as you can starting with the whole milk taper. Basically what it should do is to help you by evenly distributing the medication in the solution into your body throughout the day.
If you're taking four doses per day what that will do is create higher blood levels of the medication throughout the entire day so you won't have peaks and valleys. I've had many people tell me that when they started this process of the milk program, they felt better after only a few days and achieved stability.
4. Can other medications help me get off benzos?
This is a tricky question. Yes, maybe. Personally, I have to admit that I was on a small dose of an antidepressant while withdrawing. I was on the antidepressant prior to starting the withdrawal process. That is why it's difficult for me to give you a conclusive answer on that.
I have, however, heard from other people that adding an antidepressant during the process has helped them.
Keep in mind this is anecdotal evidence. I can't say for sure either way if that's a decision that you want to move forward with.
My suggestion is to talk to your doctor about it and get some advice.
5. What if my doctor will not prescribe me more benzos and doesn't believe in withdrawal?
This is a very common thing. My simple answer is you need to find a new doctor or psychiatrist. Gather as much information beforehand on withdrawal and show it to your doctor. Show your doctor the reduction schedule and work out a plan to do it together.
I think doctors are very often reluctant to follow new methods that they don't find in a book. However, if you show them the evidence and work out a plan together to achieve this goal, I think very often that's something that puts them over the tipping edge and will allow them to assist.
The other thing you want to do is to look up or Google for Dr. Ashton. There's a lot of links on the internet along with a pre-written letter from Dr. Ashton that she advises you to bring to your doctor.
6. How long will this take me? The spreadsheet looks like it's gonna take me a very long time.
Time to completion is going to vary from person to person. There are so many factors involved: what your current dose, if you're at a high dose of clonazepam or other medications, etc.
Another factor is your body's ability to adapt. We're all very different. There are also external factors like stresses in your life and that kind of thing that can add to some of the difficulty on coming off of benzos.
My suggestion is to basically take as much time as you need to get through this process. There was absolutely no rush whatsoever. In my personal case, it's taken me almost two years to go from one milligram of clonazepam to zero.
7. Shaking the mixture and bubbles - do they really matter?
It is best to prepare your solution the night before. Take a few drops of water, put the pill inside the jar with the water, tight a little bit and allow the pill to dissolve completely. Then add your full fat milk, shake it vigorously. Really give it a good shake for a minute or two once the pill is dissolved. That's gonna the medication to get fully distributed within the fat solution of the milk.
Then put the jet of the lid on the jar and stick it in the fridge overnight.
Next morning pull the jar out of the fridge and give it a gentle shake or more of a roll back and forth with the solution. Let it sit for a minute or two. if you end up with a lot of bubbles inside your syringe, it's gonna throw off the accuracy of your withdrawal. Keep that in mind and just take your time with this process.
8. Where can I buy BD brand syringes?
There are lots of places like amazon.com, eBay and other online retailers. The key is you need to find syringes they don't necessarily have to be BD brand. I just find those to be the best. It's what I use throughout the process. They must have rubber stoppers in them.
The free syringes that you get at the pharmacy without rubber stoppers are just not accurate enough. They allow air to come in and they just don't give you a proper reading.My suggestion is also to buy several syringes at once - 60 mils, 10 mils and 5 mils. |These should be the only sizes you need to do the full reduction.
9. Do I have to use milk? What about water?
The answer is whole fat milk is the best medium to use here.
It's kind of technical but to explain it in simple terms. Medication like of benzo type when is dissolved binds more easily to fat molecules in milk. Because there are so many fat molecules in whole fat milk.
When the benzo is dissolved it distributes it evenly within the liquid. It allows you to pull off accurate amounts. When you put it in water, in my experience, it's not really worked very well.
I've seen people use water on the Internet. I tried it myself and it just didn't work for me.