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Alcohol Withdrawal -> Benzodiazapine Withdrawal?
  1. #1
    matt11230 is offline New Member
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    Default Alcohol Withdrawal -> Benzodiazapine Withdrawal?

    Hey All,

    This is my first post here, been reading alot of your posts to get my bearings on the subject a bit (apologies this is going to be a long winded one). About a month ago - I decided out of the blue to stop drinking cold turkey after a long long time drinking if not daily, almost. I worked in a bar, as did all my friends, so it fueled that addiction a bit. Anyway, needless to say, first day was shaky (as usual), second day was a complete nightmare! Went into the ER pulse was up there around 193 (they thought I was having a heart attack, before the EKG), was honest about my entire history - so they gave me valium injections until my pulse came down to a normal level. I was admitted and librium every day for 3 days on a taper schedule. Leaving, I felt absolutely fine and I was sure I'd kicked this. A few days later, though, the shaking came back, started seeing spots around the room, rubber band feeling around the head and BEYOND anxiety (like not being able to leave the house, not being comfortable in the house). Rather than go back to the ER, I grabbed a beer which calmed me down for about an hour, and the cycle started all over again (stupid). So I decided again, I needed to detox, but possibly on a longer schedule. This time my vitals weren't as high so they gave me a shot of Ativan and sent me home, 2 days later, same symptoms return, so back to the ER again (after reading all of your comments and researching, I realize how dangerous alcohol and benzo wd can be so I wanted to cover all my bases) and same thing - except this time they offered me a 3 day .5 ativan rx to hold me over til' I was able to see a dr (who eventually rxed me a month 2x a day at 1mg) My question is, all in all I haven't been on benzos quite that long, but every time I try to quit I get alot of these terrible symptoms, could that be the culmination of not only the benzos but my history with alcohol as well? Has anyone been in any similar situation? I decided to quit drinking because I wanted zero addictions, now I feel like I've been handed a replacement one.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated!!

    M

  2. #2
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    If you're a serious alcoholic and try to detox yourself the results can actually be fatal for some. I would deal with this in a controlled environment, like a week in rehab or whatever. If I read this correctly you've been to the ER about five times over a short period of time. That in itself should tell you what you are dealing with. Hope that helps. God bless.
    I am not a dr. My statements are based on years of experience and related education. Consult with the professional of your choice regarding matters of concern.

  3. #3
    matt11230 is offline New Member
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    First thank you for so much for writing back. While I may take some heat for saying this I'm not truly a serious alcoholic, it had more to do with the social setting, work environ, etc. I have zero cravings, or desire to drink alcohol after seeing the damaging effects of not only drinking regularly, but stopping suddenly. Psychologically, I do fine without it (minus the extreme anxiety that comes from withdrawal) - physically is what I'm more concerned about. As far as the detox, I've been through that (first visit - librium). The reason for "relapse" had more to do with managing the physical symptoms (lets face it hospital bills are ridiculously expensive) subsequent visits seemed more to be management of withdrawal after the initial detox. I realize nobody here is a doctor, not asking medical advice, just personal opinion - especially if anybody has been through anything similar. My question is could the long term alcohol use which required detox and then subsequent doses of ativan/librium/valium even though for an extremely short period of time initiate benzo withdrawal due to the fact that alcohol acts similarly on the brain and i was using that for a few years prior? If so where do I go from here? I have a months supply of ativan (way more than I'd care to use) which I plan on using only on an as needed basis when symptoms of w/d arise - is that a wise path? Tapering to me is confusing, because I had no specific dose I was using long term - just the .5 2xday for 4 days and now these 1mg which I've been given for a month. Any advice, insight or reply will be veryvery appreciated.

  4. #4
    mel_woody is offline New Member
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    Hi just joined this site as i've decided i cant carry on with my current situation...basically i've always used alcohol to relax...until it got to the stage where its taken over my life...i was drinking in the morning just to feel normal.....i realised that i couldnt do this anymore so finally confessed to my gp...where they then prescribed 5mg of diazapam 3 times a day.....it did stop the craving for alcoho but made me feel very drowsy. i went back to the gp and they lowered the dose to 2mg 3 times a day. my rel probs started then wen went n holiday and was mixing 2mg of diazapam with alcohol....so spent most of my holiday dazed and confused and guilty as i wasnt remembering most afternoons. i went back to the doctors but didnt tell them about the alcohol. the last weekhas been vile because i would take 2 mg of diazapam then half way throught the day start drinking so by the time my husband got if from work i was just constantly asleep and then wake up disorientated....i ws then left with guilt constant guilt. I completely fessed up yeterday and told him everything...hes willing to stand by me but i need advice so i can cut down the dose of diazapam and not touch alcohol i just want to feel normal again....please help!!!
    Mel xx

    http://www.drugs.com/answers/

  5. #5
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    You need to see your doctor. I'm not sure how much you have been drinking along with the valium or how much valium you are taking. You need to hit some AA meetings and get some support. You are an addict. I could probably help you with the valium taper, however the alcohol combination frankly scares me too much. You know how your heart raced before? This is a lethal combination. Fess up to your doctor and admit your problem.
    You can google the Ashton Manual for benzodiazepine taper. Good luck to you, Mel, let me know what happens.

    Iloerose

  6. #6
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    matt ...... I agree with Rose about doing a detox from benzos and alcohol together. You need to see your dr and should actually be medically detoxed. What the hell is a "serious alcoholic"? If that isn't denial I don't know what is! That could literally be a fatal detox!!!! I"M NOT KIDDING!!!! This isn't like stopping a few pain pills, both benzo detox and/or alcohol detox can be fatal but together I wouldn't touch it here for anything. You need to get to the dr and check in as an inpatient. Your life could be hanging on this. I pray that you listen!! Keep us posted as you can. I will help almost anyone on this forum and have helped people drs wouldn't touch get clean right here and was successful. But I'm not going to be responsible for you killing yourself. You'll have to talk to someone besides me and I think anyone that tells you to do this at home without medical care is insane. God bless.
    Last edited by Robert_325; 06-16-2012 at 04:05 PM.
    I am not a dr. My statements are based on years of experience and related education. Consult with the professional of your choice regarding matters of concern.

  7. #7
    thalia45 is offline Member
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    Matt, the ONLY thing I have done right is not get dependent on Benzos. But I will tell you they are an awful combo with alcohol. The few times I have done the two together are unlike anything else. No more. EVEN if I go back to Vicodin (good grief I hope not!!) I will never do the Benzo-alcohol. Truly, it is the closest I have felt to dying.

  8. #8
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Mel, are you still out there? Really no one here is going to be able to help with a benzo/alcohol problem. WAY TOO DANGEROUS Please seek help from your doctor. Taking valium, drinking and passing out is serious. We can help for moral support. I think robert and thalia got you mixed up with the previous guy, but the same goes. Please don't be discouraged. Fess up with your doc, this is life or death for you. He/She will understand this.

    Peace,

    Iloerose

  9. #9
    rxqueen83 is offline Member
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    Yeah my boyfriend just lost his 56 year old friend about two weeks ago from alcohol withdrawal. He didn't try to QUIT, but he would become so ill when he ran out of money to buy beers his body just couldn't take the abuse anymore. His liver shut down. Very sad. I agree with the others. Please seek help. It is out there.
    iloerose likes this.

  10. #10
    thalia45 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rxqueen83 View Post
    Yeah my boyfriend just lost his 56 year old friend about two weeks ago from alcohol withdrawal. He didn't try to QUIT, but he would become so ill when he ran out of money to buy beers his body just couldn't take the abuse anymore. His liver shut down. Very sad. I agree with the others. Please seek help. It is out there.
    How much alcohol was he drinking? Someone asked that at a meeting yesterday, a new person; she was clearly a wreck and trying to quit. She promised to go to the meeting today, and although I can't sponsor maybe I can help. I suggested a rehab which completely freaked her out; maybe that fact of your bf's friend will get her attention.

  11. #11
    thalia45 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rxqueen83 View Post
    Yeah my boyfriend just lost his 56 year old friend about two weeks ago from alcohol withdrawal. He didn't try to QUIT, but he would become so ill when he ran out of money to buy beers his body just couldn't take the abuse anymore. His liver shut down. Very sad. I agree with the others. Please seek help. It is out there.
    How much alcohol was he drinking? Someone asked that at a meeting yesterday, a new person; she was clearly a wreck and trying to quit. She promised to go to the meeting today, and although I can't sponsor maybe I can help. I suggested a rehab which completely freaked her out; maybe that fact of your bf's friend will get her attention.

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