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Xanax Withdrawal
  1. #61
    morninglory is offline Junior Member
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    [:0]Good grief, seamellow! You don't have to curse me, I haven't done anything to you, per se. No, I'm not a doctor but I'm not a drug addict either. Let me ask you this: If you had cancer would you take a drug to help it go into remission? If you broke your leg, would you take something for pain, even OTC drugs (they ARE drugs, you know). If you were so depressed as to consider suicide would you not try to find something to bring you out of the depression? It's the same with the "benzos", as you call them. They are helpful to people whose phobias and panic has gotten out of hand. I am not talking about popping pills just to get high; I am saying these drugs were created to help people who have about given up hope of having a normal life. If taken as prescribed they can only do some good. Most doctors recommend short-term therapy with the benzos. I don't see a problem with that unless they are abused.[?]

    Betsy

  2. #62
    limericklad2 is offline Member
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    Hi Betsy,

    You ARE so right, seamellow is an idiot who thinks he knows it all , we people take Benzos BECAUSE we need to........

    So dont post anything you dont know about seamellow, even though u think u do


    Betsy, we will always have people like SEAMELLOW , take no notice..

    Mike.

    a FRIEND FROM IRELAND..

  3. #63
    pimp4uho is offline New Member
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    seamellow

    Yes, I'm off benzos. I was just giving my experience in hopes it can help others. I was switched from xanax to kolonpin for the purposes of tapering off, not just switched to be on another benzo.

    I started out on a high does off 8mg a day of kolonpin and dropped down 1mg every 2 weeks. Never felt any withdrawl. Switching to another benzo kinda puts into your mind that you wont "die" without the xanax. Just like herion to methadone.

  4. #64
    seamellow is offline New Member
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    pimp4uho> That's great you made it off benzos! Maybe klonopin is the best way to come down and off. That's great to share your information!...limericklad> I've survived child abuse, four suicides in my family, poverty, a panic disorder, and benzodiazepine addiction, so pathetic mind games don't even phase me!

  5. #65
    morninglory is offline Junior Member
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    Limericklad2, thanks for the support! I think everyone has something in their background that makes them feel out of touch and
    panicky at times; however, not EVERYONE brags about it! People can
    whine all they want to about their "terrible childhood", etc. The courtrooms are full of them, so are the prisons. If someone can overcome their anxieties and depression without drugs, great! Others may need a little help, taken as prescribed! Cheers....[:X]

    Betsy

  6. #66
    seamellow is offline New Member
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    Betsy, This is a thread on xanax withdrawal, so why are you wasting space with soothing rationale on how wonderful it is to take drugs, and the cozy feeling of finding an enabeling addict in cyberspace? I am proud of what I've survived, and people who have been through alot need to hear it so they too can see it's possible to be okay not on drugs. If you and your valium-head friend weren't so stoned and self absorbed, you would see that. Show some guts, do some work in therapy and kicking benzos, and you too can be happy and drug free! There is a small part of your consciousness that desires it, or you woudn't respond on this thread!

  7. #67
    morninglory is offline Junior Member
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    Seamellow, go give your testimonials are a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. They would love to hear from someone as knowledgable as you on this subject.

    Betsy

  8. #68
    narf852 is offline New Member
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    quote:Originally posted by AGirlThatHurts

    im in my third day of xanax withdrawl. sweaty, worst headache ever, and cant sleep. im afraid to tell anyone, even my doctor, because i have lied to her (along with many others) to get drugs prescribed to me. i didnt even know i was addicted to xanax until a few days ago, when the familiar withdrawl symptoms crept up on me. i had the same withdrawl symptoms from taking lexapro for two years, except this time there is alot of numbness in my limbs and face. its been at least two months straight of eating those things, every single day, sometimes in excess of 10 mgs a day, because i liked the nightmares it gave me at night. and now i cant sleep at all. i have spent so much $$$ on this stuff, disguising my need for it as 'anxiety'. i know i need help, but i am too scared to say anything. i didnt even see this coming-i had always taken them here and there for the hell of it, and now its ruined so many things much like the hydrocodone addiction i had before this. any thoughts anyone??

  9. #69
    narf852 is offline New Member
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    Hi, I used to work in a rehabilitation center and I have seen so many different withdrawal symptons,so I must let you know that detoxing off of any Benzos, is the same thing as detoxing off of alcohol. It can be very dangerous and should be done in a rehab. center or in the hospital. When we detoxed our clients, we would use prescription strength Ibiprofhen along with a blood pressure medication,and something that would just let them sleep,but we were there 24/7 if a emergency should arise. I hope this helps you out,and please excuse my spelling, etc. because I just found out today that I have right side heart failure and pulmonary hypertension,but I could not reply to all who are trying to withdraw from benzos!!!!!!!!! Good Luck

  10. #70
    limericklad2 is offline Member
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    Hi ,

    ask your DR to switch you to ( valium ) while you are weaning off the benzos ... as valium is also a benzo!
    its nuch easier on withdraels.....

    READ MY POST , LIMERICKLAD2...

    a friend from ireland







    quote:Originally posted by narf852

    quote:Originally posted by AGirlThatHurts

    im in my third day of xanax withdrawl. sweaty, worst headache ever, and cant sleep. im afraid to tell anyone, even my doctor, because i have lied to her (along with many others) to get drugs prescribed to me. i didnt even know i was addicted to xanax until a few days ago, when the familiar withdrawl symptoms crept up on me. i had the same withdrawl symptoms from taking lexapro for two years, except this time there is alot of numbness in my limbs and face. its been at least two months straight of eating those things, every single day, sometimes in excess of 10 mgs a day, because i liked the nightmares it gave me at night. and now i cant sleep at all. i have spent so much $$$ on this stuff, disguising my need for it as 'anxiety'. i know i need help, but i am too scared to say anything. i didnt even see this coming-i had always taken them here and there for the hell of it, and now its ruined so many things much like the hydrocodone addiction i had before this. any thoughts anyone??

  11. #71
    bkdaniels is offline Junior Member
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    Hey sfc420, how are you doing?

    If narcotics have been used for the relief of pain, consideration should be given to the choice of the approprite drug and to the mode of administration. Morphine is still the drug of choice for most patients requiring relief for pain for short periods.

    The ambulatory treatment of addiction never succeeds and should therefore not be undertaken, except in special setting, such as a carefully supervised methadone treatment program. Occasional exceptions may be made in cases of seriously ill addicts who are awaiting treatment in a hospital or methadone program, or of patients who are suffering from incurable disease.

    A small, almost insignificant, proportion of addictsare introduced to drugs by Physicians in the course or an illness. However, the precise "personality" factorwhich renders them vulnerable to addiction has not been identified.

    The abstinance syndrome which occurs in the morphine addicts may be taken as the prototype of the opiates. The first 8 to 16 h of abstinance usually pass asymptomatically, at the end of this period, yawning, rintorrhea, sweating, and lacerations becomes manifest.

    At first mild, these symptoms increase in severity over a period of several hours and then remain constant for several days. The patient may be able to sleep during the early period, but is restless, and thereafter insominia remains a prominent feature.

    The intensity of the opiate abstience syndrome depends mainly on the dose of the drug and duration of the addiction, but also on indivisual factors. In respect to morphine it has been found that the majority of indivisuals recieving 240 mg daily for 30 days or more will show moderately severe abstinence symptom after withdrawal.

    Dilatation of the pupils, recurring waves of gooseglesh, and twitching of the muscles appear. The patient complains of severe aches in the back, abdomen, and legs and of hot and cold "flashes" so that he covers himself with blankets.

    By the end of about 36 h the restlessness becomes more extreme, and nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea usually developes. The temperture, respiration, and blood pressure are slightly elevated.

    All these symptomsreach their peak intensity 48 to 72 h after withdraw, and then gradually decline. The abstinence syndrome is rarely fatal.

    After 7 to 10 days, all clinical signs of abstinence have dissappeared, although the patient may complain of insominia, nervousness, weakness, and muscle aches for several more weeks, and a small deviation of a number of physiological variables can be detected with refined techniques for up to 10 months (protracted abstinence). Reguardless of the method of drug withdrawal employed, treatment is best carried out in an institution with proper facilities for postwithdrawal rehabilitation in a drug-free environment of where methadone or an antagonist may be administered.

    The Epidemiology Of Opiate Addiction In The United States
    Ball JC, Chambers CK (eds)
    Springfield, Ill.: 1970
    National Center for Biotechnology Information
    U.S. National Library of Medicine

    Best wishes,

    "Experience is the best teacher, but has the toughest Grades module"
    Byron K. Daniels, PBT

  12. #72
    jamjam is offline New Member
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    hello,in hopes of helping others I am posting my own personal experience with xanax withdrawals after 1year use @.50mg x4daily. Once I found myself occassionally wanting/needing to take 5 daily I knew I wanted off this stuff. I wish to God I had researched and read the boards on this stuff before I allowed a doctor to prescribe it. I would NEVER take this stuff again EVER. It was initially prescribed to help me transition off Hydrocodone after a back injury; however, because of stress with lawsuits the doctor kept me on it. For me, coming off xanax was far worse than coming off the hydro, and I have read that many others felt that way as well. Although I have wanted to stop the xanax for some time I didn't because of fear about withdrawals which is what lead me to the boards. It is through reading several boards that I got the courage, determination, and education about how to do it. Without a doubt the following website,http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/index.htm, is the best medical information and advise to help educate yourself on concerns; though I followed a slightly different taper pattern; primarily only because I had already started it on my own when I found that site. What I found for me after several attempts to taper was that I had to take each day's pills and split all into quarters (total 16) and set those aside for the day. That helped to keep me both focused with my goal and set perceptual boundaries for me. I began with taking a full pill,four quarters, morning and night since the largest amount time lapsed between doses making it the hardest times to reduce. Then I started rotating 1/4 reduction periods between the 2 mid day doses with the thought/goal being that rotating would being to moderately confuse and prepare the signals in my brain to expect change was coming. I did that for about a week and then started tapering reducing total intake by 1/4 every 7-10 days, I followed my comfort zone here until I got down to only 4 quarters a day, .50 mg. daily. trust me, getting there was not easy. When I felt the craving type symptoms might cause me to abandon my goal, I found the above website and had my doctor prescribe valium. He only prescribed 5 mg daily split into quarters, to bridge the transition so I could stay with it. What I didn't know at the time was the conversion rate between Xanax and Valium and apparently my doctor either didn't know or was negligent because 5 mg of Valium was severely lower than it should have been for a Xanax transition dosage level. But, it did help since Valium has a MUCH longer half-life so it doesn't leave your system as abruptly. I did the bridge transition taking both the reduced dosage of Xanax w/Valium supplement for about 5 days. For the first day or two I took (2) 5 mg Valium and (1) .50 Xanax, all quartered. Then when symptoms somewhat stabilized I reduced further. I probably should have done it for a longer period of time and at a much higher Valium dosage level according to the recommendations of the above site, but once I had determination about this I wanted it done, and my doctor had left for vacation already. I am tired of feeling like pills control my life where for the last several months I have had to plan my life and schedules around 30 day supply. Especially after experiencing that eventually staying on this **** actually created a worse problem than I had to start with. While withdrawals are not comfortable, for me, it wasn't nearly as bad as what I had feared it would be. Today is day 5, and for the first time in months I had a good night's sleep and woke up this morning feeling good!! From what I have read I am sure that the withdrawal aftermath isn't completely over, but unquestionably it is reaching a point where things are settled enough to finally be able to get a good night's sleep, a very good sign. For me, the first 3 days were the worst where I had symptoms like a bad flu with aching and restless legs...actually restless all overs. What helped with the symptoms for me was I read on other boards where others got relief with mega dosing with vitamins, minerals, herbs,and amino acids. That has really helped me a lot. I honestly don't think I could have done it without it. I adapted my regimen from the Thomas Recipe found on the following board, http://www.>>>>>>>.org/perl6/Addicti...es/31800a.html. It is a good foundational recipe to start with and adjust it according your symptoms and body responses. For me,I also added other things. I am taking a good multi vitamin and good multimineral, supplemented with additional doses of 5HTP, Tryosine & B-6, Citrical, B-5, B-12, Vit C, Valerian, and Taurine. The Valerian seems to be key in calming anxiety. I take Valerian (the herb, not Valium!) as needed 2 at a time 30 min intervals til anxiety subsides to tolerable level. The Valerian comes in both capsules and an extract; I think the extract is likely faster acting. The Taurine I took just as precaution after having read the posts about risk of seizures. Taurine reportedly helps epileptic patients control seizures. Having said that, I also need to say that the benzo.org medical website, and others, clarifies that while there is a risk of seizures that it is a small percentage, and primarily exists where patients have been taking extremely high dosages for a very long period of time. But, caution should always be used as there is always exceptions to every statistic, and I didn't want to be one so I took the Taurine. The first 2-3 days were the hardest. The flu like aches were helped tremendously with hot baths & epsom salts, heating pad, and Aspercreme. The Aspercreme is phenominal with helping to relieve the aches!! Today I intend to start a 2 week body multicleanse system from the health food store as well as add honey/apple cidar/water supplement which supposedly helps to rebalance the body's natural PH system (2-3 T each in 8 oz water---some websites also suggested to add molasses) several times throughout the day. Sorry for the rather long post, but I thought/hope my experience might help someone else. Good luck and God bless to all!!!

  13. #73
    jamjam is offline New Member
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    p.s. I forgot to include the following information that may hopefully be helpful for someone. First the Thomas Recipe author created it to detox from painmeds not from benzos. To clarify, I followed the nutriment part of the recipe MINUS the benzo part. I found some benefit from Salonpas pain patches for the aches and spinal stuff. The joint aches ended after day 3, felt good when I first woke up today, but still have some tightening muscles. The Aspercreme with the Nutritional Regimen seems to help with that. I have also throughout been drinking lots of Orange Juice and Pomegrante Juice (antioxidant) which also seems to help. Everybodys body chemistry is so different and will respond differently so you just have to start with a basic nutriment regiment and adjust. I wait 30-45 min to assess and adjust progressively from there until symptoms subside.

    Regarding the Valerian mentioned in my earlier post you might also be interested in reading information on the following website.http://www.mindpub.com/altern08.htm which states, in part,
    "How is valerian able to conduct such a smooth withdrawal? Perhaps the answer is because the Valerian binds to the same receptor sites on brain cells as Xanax. When Xanax is no more in the system, the receptors "scream out for something to bind to. If there’s nothing there, the brain cell receptors "go nuts." But if you can slip in valerian, it’s enough to satisfy them so they calm down. Many doctors now use valerian to help ensure a safe and painless transition from Xanax."

    It seems to be helping me so I think there is something to it. Hope this helps someone for ideas on how to ease benzo withdrawals!


  14. #74
    jamjam is offline New Member
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    p.s. I forgot to include the following information that may hopefully be helpful for someone. First the Thomas Recipe author created it to detox from painmeds not from benzos. To clarify, I followed the nutriment part of the recipe MINUS the benzo part. I found some benefit from Salonpas pain patches for the aches and spinal stuff. The joint aches ended after day 3, felt good when I first woke up today, but still have some tightening muscles. The Aspercreme with the Nutritional Regimen seems to help with that. I have also throughout been drinking lots of Orange Juice and Pomegrante Juice (antioxidant) which also seems to help. Everybodys body chemistry is so different and will respond differently so you just have to start with a basic nutriment regiment and adjust. I wait 30-45 min to assess and adjust progressively from there until symptoms subside.

    Regarding the Valerian mentioned in my earlier post you might also be interested in reading information on the following website.http://www.mindpub.com/altern08.htm which states, in part,
    "How is valerian able to conduct such a smooth withdrawal? Perhaps the answer is because the Valerian binds to the same receptor sites on brain cells as Xanax. When Xanax is no more in the system, the receptors "scream out for something to bind to. If there’s nothing there, the brain cell receptors "go nuts." But if you can slip in valerian, it’s enough to satisfy them so they calm down. Many doctors now use valerian to help ensure a safe and painless transition from Xanax."

    It seems to be helping me so I think there is something to it. Hope this helps someone for ideas on how to ease benzo withdrawals!


  15. #75
    jamjam is offline New Member
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    Day 6; footnote to Day 5. Well yesterday, Day 5, ended up being tougher than it started out But, the good news is I am still hanging in there, with modifications. On Day 4, I finally had a good night's sleep and woke up feeling good on Day 5, best I have felt in months actually. But, as the day went on I got worse, not sure why other than from what I have had so far on many boards and websites that peaks and valleys are characteristic of withdrawals from Xanax. I think my problem is exacerbated because I have high blood pressure to start, on medication for it, and one of the symptoms of detoxing/withdrawals is frequently that it spikes your blood pressure. Most of what I felt yesterday seemed consistent with what I have previously experienced with spikes in high blood pressure, with the exception of the tightening and cramping muscles. It became so uncomfortable for me that I finally had to take 1/2 5mg Valium to help settle it because I feared if I didn't that it would get worse and that my fears would cause me to totally abandon the detox. As stated in my earlier post I already knew that I had ended the Xanax/Valium bridging transition period too soon. Had I stayed with it longer, as recommended, perhaps this would not have happened. But it has and is something I just have to cope with. I researched more online which oddly enough was both a good and bad idea. Good in that it did, thank God, eventually lead me to what I think is the right next step for me; bad however in that, for me and everyone may feel differently about this part, I am not so sure that when a person is going through the actual detox that it is the best time to be doing research. The reason I feel that way is during that time your thinking is at its foggiest and your fears are at their greatest. If I were not a strong willed person, researching further during that time could have very easily scared the s**t out of me and caused me to completely abandon the detox. During detox your fears about the greatests risks are at their highest, and it is easy during that time for those fears to consume you and psychologically inside of you there is a lil pill person is running around inside of you looking for any good reason to abandon the detox. During that time it is really difficult to calm your fears with the reality that the greatest risks principally apply to those who have been on extremely high doses for extended periods of time. But, your fears kick in where you intellectually know there are exceptions to every statistic, and you start to fear you are THAT exception. It is that fear that broke me and lead me to the 1/2 .5 Valium; but, I held the line at that. I got myself settled enough to continue the online research, and found several sights discussing a short term regimen 6 days)of Clonidine (high blood pressure drug)helps opioid withdrawls. I then called my doctor's office (gp doc since my psych doc is now on vacation during all of this) and got him to call in a script for Clonidine, a drug that not only treats high blood pressure but also has a secondary treatment benefit of helping opoid withdrawals. Thusfar, I haven't found any websites that address using Clonidine for benzo withdrawals. But, for sure I needed something more to help the blood pressure, and I was hoping that it might also help some with the standard withdrawal issues; it did. Clonidine itself is not a risk free drug so I would advise others contemplating its benefits to be sure to have it prescribed by your doctor rather than ordering it online. If you are going to order it online, make sure you research it well to ensure you do not have any counterindications for it. One helpful website about its use for treating withdrawals is http://members.optusnet.com.au/~apfdfy/Homedetx.htm. It is a Home Guide to detoxing for several different types of drugs, including benzos; however, again, it says nothing about Clondine for benzo withdrawals-----that was just my own personal experiment that seems to be working for me so far, but that could be because of the high blood pressure. The importance here is to know that if you already have high blood pressure before detox then you may want to contemplate the Clonidine regimen. My gp doc kept me on what I was already on for blood pressure, Lotensin, and just added the Clonidine. It is possible that if you don't have high blood pressure your experience with Clonidine results could be very different. The above Home Detox website is sponsored by APFDFY, Austrailian Parents For Drug Free Youth, Maryborough Qld Australia Phone/Fax 0741 233 810. However, that site primarily discusses how to use Clonidine for detoxing opioid withdrawals which, again, is only a [u]secondary</u> ancillary use for the drug. In order to educate yourself on the drug it is critical that you review medical drug websites to learn about risks and drug interactions, especially if you are on other medications as well. Today is Day 6 for me. I slept well last night, and woke up feeling good. I have been awake 2 hours so far, and so far so good; better than yesterday but who knows what the rest of the day will bring. While I don't feel the best I have ever felt in my life, I feel good considering what I am going through. At this point I am thinking that if it stays like this today I might actually feel good enough to start walking. In hindsight that might have helped me yesterday since exercise helps kick in endorphines and dopamine stuff that naturally counterbalances withdrawls. But, my symptoms became so uncomfortable yesterday thatI was scared to leave the house by myself for fear of not knowing exactly what was happening or could happen so I stayed nestled in all day. I did do lots of patterned track type walking all around the house, and I think that helped some. For those who may be reading this trying to get the courage to move to the next step, detox, I would emphasize the importance of slow tapering (NOT cold turkey!!) and a bridging detox where you transition from Xanax (short acting benzo) to Valium (long acting benzo). My problem at the moment is caused by my psych doc not accurately prescribing the bridging Valium at high enough level, and then he left on vacation. The manner in which he has approached the taper process clearly shows he is either not informed or is just irresponsible in how he administers drugs....as evidenced by the fact he kept me on the Xanax too long which caused this problem in the first place. From now on I am not going to be so naive and trusting with any doctors prescribing things. This has definitely taught me a hard lesson about doing your own thorough research; thank God for the internet!!!

  16. #76
    jamjam is offline New Member
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    Regarding online researching, I have researched days on end while trying to prepare for this detox, and for those newly approaching it who may be reading this please be aware that ANYONE can develop and put up a website on anything. Make sure you are on a credible website. Credible websites will provide their name, their credentials, and contact information; i.e. name, address, and phone number. I have read many websites posted by individual physicians, and some of the information posted is contradicted by more credible sources. For example, my psych doc who has handled this all wrong could have a website up stating his recommendations when by my own experience he clearly does not have a clue. Individual doctors with websites are likely to be posting information usually based on their own limited patient practice/experience which could only be a small handful of patients. The most credible and reliable website sources are going to be those who are major institutions of education (universities) or major medical organizations(hospitals). The http://www.benzo.org.uk website has been highly acclaimed by many others on this and other forum boards. I wish I had found this site before my psych doc went on vacation where I could have printed out and faxed to him how to responsibly manage the taper. If your doctor seems uninformed you might want to refer him/her to the site or print it out for them since with some doctors you have to be very assertive and insistent. If your doctor is uncooperative, switch doctors and find one who is willing to learn and do his/her own research.

    There is an excellent source for benzo information at the specific link within that site http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/index.htm. At that site is [u]THE ASHTON MANUAL</u>:
    -PROTOCOL FOR THE TREATMENT OF BENZODIAZEPINE WITHDRAWAL
    -Medical research information from a benzodiazepine withdrawal clinic


    The author of the information is:

    Professor Cyrstal Heather Ashton, DM, FRCP
    Emeritus Professor of Psychopharmacology
    School of Neurosciences, Division of Psychiatry,
    The Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road,
    Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, England,
    UK
    Email: c.h.ashton@ncl.ac.uk
    Telephone: +44(0)191 282 5400

    Professor Ashton's work has centered on the effects of psychotropic drugs - e.g. cannabis (recreational use and medical uses), ecstasy, benzodiazepines (prescribed use, withdrawal methods and recreational abuse) and others: lectures to schools, parents, other educational bodies, doctors and other professionals.

    Executive Member of North East Council on Addictions (NECA). Advice and literature about drugs to British Medical Association, Department of Health, Ministry of Defence, Schools Organisations, House of Lords and House of Commons Select Committees.

    Numerous papers, books and chapters in books on psychotropic drugs.
    Undergraduate Teaching
    Postgraduate: (MRCPsych)
    Undergraduate: Honours degree in Pharmacology


    Professor Ashton's curriculum vitae is presented at the following link on the website http://www.benzo.org.uk/ashcv.htm which states:
    Chrystal Heather Ashton DM, FRCP is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

    Professor Ashton is a graduate of the University of Oxford and obtained a First Class Honours Degree (BA) in Physiology in 1951. She qualified in Medicine (BM, BCh, MA) in 1954 and gained a postgraduate Doctor of Medicine (DM) in 1956. She qualified as MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians, London) in 1958 and was elected FRCP (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London) in 1975. She also became National Health Service Consultant in Clinical Psychopharmacology in 1975 and National Health Service Consultant in Psychiatry in 1994.

    She has worked at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne as researcher (Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor) and clinician since 1965, first in the Department of Pharmacology and latterly in the Department of Psychiatry. Her research has centred, and continues, on the effects of psychotropic drugs (nicotine, cannabis, benzodiazepines, antidepressants and others) on the brain and behaviour in man. Her main clinical work was in running a benzodiazepine withdrawal clinic for 12 years from 1982-1994.

    At present she is involved with the North East Council for Addictions (NECA) of which she is former Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee on which she still serves. She continues to give advice on benzodiazepine problems to counsellors and is patron of the Bristol & District Tranquilliser Project. She was generic expert in the UK benzodiazepine litigation in the 1980s and has been involved with the UK organisation Victims of Tranquillisers (VOT). She has submitted evidence about benzodiazepines to the House of Commons Health Select Committee.

    Professor Ashton has published approximately 250 papers in professional journals, books and chapters in books on psychotropic drugs of which over 50 concern benzodiazepines. She has given evidence to various Government committees on tobacco smoking, cannabis and benzodiazepines and has given invited lectures on benzodiazepines in the UK, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland and other countries.







  17. #77
    sfc420 is offline Member
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    i gotta disagree with u there... by short term use they mean a couple of weeks - thats what they say about most of the strong benzos. u really cant cure a true anxiety problem in a couple of weeks - i have anxiety and have for over 2 years, still cant cure it and ive taken every kind of benzo available short of taking a roofie.

    btw, switching benzos is nothing like switchin from phenobarbital to lithium, theyre different drugs. a benzos a benzo, one may be weaker but ultimately u arent accomplishing **** if ur still taking those pills

  18. #78
    sfc420 is offline Member
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    quote:Originally posted by bkdaniels

    Hey sfc420, how are you doing?

    If narcotics have been used for the relief of pain, consideration should be given to the choice of the approprite drug and to the mode of administration. Morphine is still the drug of choice for most patients requiring relief for pain for short periods.

    The ambulatory treatment of addiction never succeeds and should therefore not be undertaken, except in special setting, such as a carefully supervised methadone treatment program. Occasional exceptions may be made in cases of seriously ill addicts who are awaiting treatment in a hospital or methadone program, or of patients who are suffering from incurable disease.

    A small, almost insignificant, proportion of addictsare introduced to drugs by Physicians in the course or an illness. However, the precise "personality" factorwhich renders them vulnerable to addiction has not been identified.

    The abstinance syndrome which occurs in the morphine addicts may be taken as the prototype of the opiates. The first 8 to 16 h of abstinance usually pass asymptomatically, at the end of this period, yawning, rintorrhea, sweating, and lacerations becomes manifest.

    At first mild, these symptoms increase in severity over a period of several hours and then remain constant for several days. The patient may be able to sleep during the early period, but is restless, and thereafter insominia remains a prominent feature.

    The intensity of the opiate abstience syndrome depends mainly on the dose of the drug and duration of the addiction, but also on indivisual factors. In respect to morphine it has been found that the majority of indivisuals recieving 240 mg daily for 30 days or more will show moderately severe abstinence symptom after withdrawal.

    Dilatation of the pupils, recurring waves of gooseglesh, and twitching of the muscles appear. The patient complains of severe aches in the back, abdomen, and legs and of hot and cold "flashes" so that he covers himself with blankets.

    By the end of about 36 h the restlessness becomes more extreme, and nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea usually developes. The temperture, respiration, and blood pressure are slightly elevated.

    All these symptomsreach their peak intensity 48 to 72 h after withdraw, and then gradually decline. The abstinence syndrome is rarely fatal.

    After 7 to 10 days, all clinical signs of abstinence have dissappeared, although the patient may complain of insominia, nervousness, weakness, and muscle aches for several more weeks, and a small deviation of a number of physiological variables can be detected with refined techniques for up to 10 months (protracted abstinence). Reguardless of the method of drug withdrawal employed, treatment is best carried out in an institution with proper facilities for postwithdrawal rehabilitation in a drug-free environment of where methadone or an antagonist may be administered.

    The Epidemiology Of Opiate Addiction In The United States
    Ball JC, Chambers CK (eds)
    Springfield, Ill.: 1970
    National Center for Biotechnology Information
    U.S. National Library of Medicine

    Best wishes,

    "Experience is the best teacher, but has the toughest Grades module"
    Byron K. Daniels, PBT


    thanks for listening and responding so thoroughly -


    to be honest with u, im not doing too well.... im at about 48 hours of that process, broke, by myself, lonely, depressed, overworked and pretty much on the verge of insanity. i cant do this internet thing anymore because it simply cant express how bad i hurt right now, mostly emotionally. i would blame my use of the pills more on whats going on in my life, my emotional state, which has always been bad. i havent had a good friend or a girl to fall back on... well... ever. i thought moving into a new environment with my brother would be good, but i just came down to find a brother with a bigger addiction problem than me, and a place 500 miles away from my original home with no one i know. im lookin at my last 3 bong tokes which im going to take before i go to work, but after that its all for one...i dunno what im gonna do

  19. #79
    jamjam is offline New Member
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    http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/index.htm
    Professor C Heather Ashton, DM, FRCP
    Emeritus Professor of Psychopharmacology
    School of Neurosciences, Division of Psychiatry,
    The Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road,
    Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, England, UK


    According to Professor Ashton, a world renowned expert on benzos with over 30 years of experience in research and clinicial study & treatment, switching from a short term acting benzo to a long term acting benzos for a gradual taper reduction process is absolutely critical to reduce risks and increase success of detox from Xanax. The important distinction is the half-life of benzo drugs; i.e., the speed at which the drug leaves your system. Xanax has the shortest half life at 6-12 hours whereas Valuim with a longer half life at 20-100 hours (variables based on individual body chemistry). The key issue is the half life controls the peaks and valleys of withdrawal which can be bridged and made more tolerable with a longer half life benzo during the taper. With a full blown dependency on Xanax it is painfully possible for you to taper detox, but the success rate is far lower because it is far more difficult to do because there are more severe symptoms of the Xanax withdrawal. [u]The purpose is to SUBSTANTIALLY reduce withdrawal symptoms which substantially increases the success of staying with the detox and getting completely off of everything</u>. According to Professor Ashton, if you follow her recommended taper schedule/process, you CAN detox completely and successfully without any withdrawal symptoms. But, her schedule is a very slow taper taking months. For me, I just don't want to take any of this stuff for that long. I want and need my life back, for me and my family. I had become practically nonfunctional with this s**t. My entire life was organized around the priority of managing my dependency. I just absolutely refuse to live my life like that anymore. Thank God for boards like this and informative websites like Professor Ashton's. Without those I could have never done this detox. While I modified the Ashton taper schedule to get off this >>>> as soon as possible, I educated myself tremendously about withdrawal symtoms,what to expect, options, etc., and then developed a detox plan for my needs. You don't have to develop your own detox plan like I did. You can just follow the one Professor Ashton presents in THE ASHTON MANUAL at http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/index.htm. According to Professor Ashton if you are on a doctor prescribed dosage level of Xanax you can detox safely at home without withdrawal symptoms, but it will take several months. If you are ordering Xanax online and have been taking extremely high levels for an extended period of time you should not detox on your own without a doctor's supervision/guidance as you are in the small percentage high risk group for possible seizure/stroke/death during medically unsupervised detox.

    For me, I feel very fortunate----many websites state that coming off of a Xanax dependency is worse than coming off >>>>>>. I have finally been able to really enjoy my day today, and I am feeling really normal/good again....sooooooooooooo much better than yesterday,Day 5!!! What a difference 24 hours and adding small does of Clonidine and Valium (only 1/2 of 5 mg tab once a day)have made. I have been looking forward to this day and this feeling for such a very long time!!!

    I was on Xanax .50 x4 daily for 1 year and developed a dependency. Today is Day 6 of 12 day final detox for me. One month ago I began a Xanax only taper w/o Valuim transition bridge. I was trying to follow the process recommended on several other websites (not ASHTON MANUAL) with reducing Xanax dose by 1/4 every 5-7 days based on withdrawal symptoms. That taper was very difficult, but I did manage to get my Xanax intake down to (1) .50 (quartered) daily, but because of Xanax's short half life I just couldn't tolerate reducing below that level without transitioning to a longer half life benzo which stabilizes the balance of the withdrawal period. That is when I decided, for me, I either had to do the Valium transition bridge or risk abandonment of the detox altogether because of withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, for my symptoms I added Clonidine (blood pressure drug that has helped with withdrawls) and resumed 1/2 5mg Valium daily. With that regimen I am clearly now past the worst part and only 5 weeks after first initiating my taper and now in Day 6 of the final 12 days. Based on today I am anticipating that the remaining 6 days will be minimal symptoms---and, if I have symptoms then I will simply extend the balance of the taper beyond 12 days and reduce at tolerable levels. For those who worry about withdrawal symtoms, please know that I could have avoided most, if not all, the withdrawal symptoms had I followed the lengthier taper as recommended on Professor Ashton's website in THE ASHTON MANUAL. For me, I just chose to do otherwise. I feel like the past year of my life while on this s**t has been wasted....so many family functions or social things that I didn't attend because "I just didn't feel well" , so ENOUGH for me!

    I have substantially reduced the mega-doses of nutritional supplements--which I had added to help cope with the detox stress to my body. Starting today I am on a regular nutritional supplement with a good multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplements. I will continue with the minimal doses of Clondine and Valium and continue to taper those for the next 6 days, or slightly longer if needed to tolerably moderate symptoms, afterwhich I will have finally successfully concluded this God awful dependency!!!! I am soooooooooooooo happy!!!!


  20. #80
    jamjam is offline New Member
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    ....just wanted to say sorry for the long posts y'all...just wanted to share my story and research information with others, particularly with readers since there are many more readers than posters as evidenced by the numbers--- nearly 6,700 people reading and 78 people posting. Hopefully the information and sharing my own personal experience might help others to understand the importance of educating themselves through credible professional website resources about Benzos and find the courage to take that first step or find the support and determination to follow through the final steps of detox. It did for me; thank God. God Bless and Good Luck to All

  21. #81
    sanking111 is offline New Member
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    I know first hand how xanax works, and coming off I have never been able to accomplish. Addiction?...yes, but also I'm not at the pointe in life to do so. Though I did try, for two months. I did alot of reasearch, turns out this one of the most DANGEROUS drugs to come off of..(Quickley), so, slow is the method. I'f you can cut yourself 1/4 every two weeks, you would be doing good. I tried to follow the (Ashton Manual), but had no way of changing from xanax to valium.
    I't also dependa on the lenght of time you have been on them too.
    Talk w/ your Doctr. about the Ashton method,If you must do it alone, Cut yourself small doses only!..Never try cold-turkey! And remember, you cut doses at your comfort zone. I'f you need 2-4 weeks before another cut, take it!. .......Wish you lots a luck!.....

    sandra king

  22. #82
    jamjam is offline New Member
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    Progress Report Day 8. So far so good Had a pretty good quality weekend. There is sunshine in my life again after a year of the ups and downs of struggling to manage this Xanax dependency and trying to come off. For me, my success is a result of determination to do slow taper combined with a "bridge switch transition" to Valium because of longer half life, which allowed me to continue with successful taper. While my determination caused me to do it too quickly, I have only been successful because I added Clonidine to help with the increased blood pressure spikes. For many people withdrawal symptoms include increased blood pressure, and for those who already have high blood pressure, it can result in increased blood pressure spikes which can be managed by adding a low dose of Clonidine to your existing blood pressure medication regimen. My doctor added .10 Clonidine to my already existing 40 mg Lotensin. The significant benefit of adding Clonidine is that it has helped me with all general withdrawal symptoms. However, if you are prone to have low blood pressure you should NOT consider taking Clonidine without consulting a doctor.

    Upon reflection about the detox process thusfar at Day 8, it is really hard to say exactly which part of it has been the worst part. So far I have experienced 4 distinct phases, and all were difficult and challenging in different ways. Each person's experience is different based on individual circumstances, body chemistry, level of dosage and length of use. But, the following was the phases of my personal experience:

    Phase 1: Days 1-2 [u]Withdrawal Craving</u>
    Progressively intense feelings of craving type withdrawals that one might expect from missed doses. Progressively increasing symptoms of of being very ill at ease, and figity.

    Phase 2: Days 3-4 [u]Anxiety & Pain</u>
    Ill-at-ease & figity symptoms reach richter scale proportions, and now include restless legs and increased anxiety and inability to be calm and still. During this phase I walked around the house a lot. It is easy to misread what is happening during this phase. My brain and the lil pill person inside of me WANTED to misread the experience. Rather than accepting it as part of withdrawals, it tempted me to misperceive my physiology symptoms as evidence that I was really required to be on this medication. It took great will and determination to overcome those feelings. Next, came my body's punishment for not giving in - extreme joint pain and back pain - several hot epsom salt baths a day helped a lot. I also got relief from initiating a mega dose nutrient vitamin and mineral supplement regimen. I learned about that from posters on other drug withdrawal boards. While initiating the nutrient plan during this phase did help me a lot to get through it, but perhaps if I had known and started the nutritional vitamin/mineral supplement regimen BEFORE the detox the pain might not have been as bad for me. So, something for others to contemplate.

    Phase 3: Days 3-5
    Joint pain completely subsides, but was replaced with increased blood pressure, intense feelings of increased anxiety and worry about what was happening to me. I had thought I was "through the worst" when joint pain ended. This phase is the body's last aggressive attempt to make you give in. I had clouded thinking and disorientation, was minimally functional but could minimally manage household functions where my family thought only that I had bad case of flu so not much was expected of me -- definitely could NOT and should NOT drive--was extremely fearful about what was happening --intense thoughts and fears about all the posts about seizure risks -- constant worry about my risks -- should I abandon the detox -- somewhere I found the inner ability and strength to stay grounded and intellectually rationalize my risks are minimal. The risks primarily apply to a small percentage, but do exist and are critically important for people who are taking very high, not FDA/doctor recommended dosage levels and for high dosage levels taken for extended periods of time -- that was not me. I had been under doctor prescribed and monitored dosage level of .50 (x) 4 for 1 year. I had not exceeded the doctor prescribed dosage. I had never bought supplemental supplies online or through other sources beyond my personal physician prescribed level.

    Phase 4: Days 6-8 (I am currently at Day 8)
    Made modifications in regimen by adding Clonidine to stabilize blood pressure spikes; helped tremendously with stabilizing anxiety as well general residual withdrawal symptoms. Had very good quality days over the week end, slept very well. Finally clear thinking again...yeah!!!!! God that feels so good. I had not realize how blunted my thinking had become from the Xanax! I sat hubby down and confided in him what I had actually been through. It wasn't the flu. I had not told him earlier because he is such a worrier, and going through this I had to focus on taking care of only me. Had I told him, I would have then had to take care of him because of his extreme worry fears about me. For me, I made a personal decision to prioritize my needs during this so that I can prioritize and better meet his needs and our needs for the rest of our lives after this. There is life after Xanax. You just have to set your compass and find it. He is so proud of me for getting through this. First we cried, and then we made new life goal plans together. I am finally getting my trolley back on life's track which will improve our quality of life. Today is the first day of the rest of my/our life, and it will be a better quality life for us because I had the courage, strength, & ability to endure this detox. I am starting acupuncture on Tuesday and starting yoga class next week. This is my last post, I think/hope, lol, I hope sharing my experience and my story will help others. Good luck to everyone! May God's angels be your wingmen to successfully guide you to where you want to be.

  23. #83
    so_bell is offline New Member
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    quote:Originally posted by seamellow

    Dr. morninglory, It isn't my nerves that need to be calmed, because I like to pop the bubble of drug addict's in denial, like yourself. I'm doing just fine without benzos here. You on the other hand are full of s**t!
    Now, Now Seamellow,, Let's don't get hostile and rude. I have read thru this entire section of the forum and truly felt that you and Betsy had made some really good, interesting and informative points of discussion. It is very obvious that you are very well informed as well as you have a true desire to help people thru such a difficult time that you have already experienced. Please don't resort to tactics that are obviously below your mentality. You need to continue despite other people's remarks. ( This goes for you also, Morninglory!!) The correspondance from each of you was much needed,,,,,,,,so please stop and remember what you are here for!

    You are much to wise for this,,,,,,,seriously!

  24. #84
    so_bell is offline New Member
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    [quote]Originally posted by morninglory

    Seamellow, excuse the heck out of me for not getting the message clear. Sounds like YOU need something to calm your nerves!

    Betsy
    [/quote

    Morninglory,, Please see my response to Seamellow that was also directed to you. You have made so many helpful points and ideas along with your accomplishments to let all of this stop you now!
    It is obvious that you are very intelligent and have your best interest along with others in your heart. Keep it up,, I look forward to hearing about your progress!! I have faith that you can do it,,,,,,even if it is not exactly the way others have approached their problem,,,,,,,,God bless you!

  25. #85
    life_jkt is offline New Member
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    hi, don't think my message came thru last time.

    i'm hooked with this drug for 3 years now. I managed to quit taking it after 1 year of use but after 6 months, stress came back to my life and took over my life again.

    am not using a high dosage. currently taking .25mg a day (yes, only taking once a day mostly in the morning). my experience during withdrawal period was great - actually very small bad symptoms but that generally wined off pretty fast till my stress came back to my life. i was taking .25-.50mg x 2 daily prior to the withdrawal period. i didn't want to go over that dosage. during the first year, i went thru meditation/yoga and this helped me alot.

    even my low dosage now, i'm not sure if i can live a day without taking the drug. will try to take .125mg a day and take more yoga classes. hopefully will work but still afraid to be fully be xanax-free.

  26. #86
    dlw422 is offline New Member
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    Hi all. New here. I have been on xanax for about 7 years now. I take 1mg. 4 times a day. I have read the horror stories of this drug, and i am scared to death.

    I suffer from severe panic attacks, social phobia, and anxiety. My Dr. has just stopped giving me xanax, and gave me zoloft..which i tried before, but didn't help. I have been on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation anti-deppresants. The side effects are so scary, that i don't want to talk about them.

    I have enough xanax to last a couple of months. They do help to some degree with the panic and anxiety. At least they will let me go outside on my porch. My driving is limited to about 2 miles from home. I can't go into wal mart or a store.

    How will i come off this med? I already scared thinking about it. I can't take no more on my body and mind. Do i check myself in a hospital? Do i just kill myself?

    These post really scare me about coming off xanax. I have seen other Dr's, but they won't touch any benzo's. I am just screwed.

    I would rather be dead than go through withdraws... like i said "it's hard enough now with the meds.

    Please...anybody help. dlw422@yahoo.com

    Regards
    David...

  27. #87
    sparkl111211 is offline New Member
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    Hi, My name is melanie and I am a recovering addict. I relapsed on xanax last night and I dont like the way I feel right now. How long does it take for xanax to be completely out of your system? Days? Weeks? Please if you could help me I would greatly appreciate it.
    I have been drug free for 9 months and i only took 1mg of xanax, which 1mg of xanax is one too many...

    Thank You God Bless

  28. #88
    morninglory is offline Junior Member
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    Hi So Bell, I stopped visiting the forum for a while but just wanted to thank you for letting me see how rude & B****y I was to Seamellow.
    I am sure he knows what he is talking about regarding Xanax with-drawal; however, he doesn't seem to get it that not everyone is addicted to the point that their lives are unmanageable. Sure, I could stop Xanax and drink a 12-pack every day and maybe not have to
    worry about a panic attack but I don't think that would solve anything. I too have survived traumas in my life, mostly in adulthood. Some within the last 5 years. I take my 1/2 of a .5 in the am to keep the panic/anxiety at bay. Have also been on Lexapro but it's not helping, am going to try & go back to Paxil CR when it becomes available again. I'm not a "dopehead", just need that crutch, if that's what you want to call it. [8D]

    Betsy

  29. #89
    grahampat_98 is offline New Member
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    I have just been reading random posts thru this discussion and the obvious thing is that different people react differently to drugs ~ there is really no generalization that can be 100% applied to anyone and their experience with xanax or other drugs.

    I had my first 3 panic attacks and all 3 required a rush to the ER with a heart rate of 160, and the ominous feeling that I was dying. After having monitors on my heart during all 3 sessions, the doctors told me that my heart was fine. They did a thalium stress test on me, and a few other heart related tests as well (I've got a great Kaiser doc who does everything he can to put me at ease). Anyway, I've been talking xanax for about 10 years, at times have been on 1 in the am and 1 before bed, been weaned off easily 3 different times, and then had relapses and went back on them fulltime. What I found is that since I already had "panic" and "anxiety", I was focusing completely and utterly on each breath, each twinge, each little "feeling", each time my heart pounded, etc... Took my pulse compulsively. So when the THOUGHT of not having xanax to make me feel comfortable came up, it was my mental attitude that caused me to become obsessed with each bodily feeling, to a compulsive degree, which seemed to be a spiralling circle, which then brought on an attack. So IMVHO, I think that some of the withdrawal feelings are more related to the actual panic disorder than the meds itself. I do agree that weaning is pretty much demanded, but I feel that people who are suffering symptoms 6 months later, should be seeing a doctor for another diagnosis. Again, JMVHO


  30. #90
    luckyloogy is offline New Member
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    Im really sorry you all had been taking benzos for so long! I have been off and on for a year now (but now I am officially OFF!!!!), with my longest stint being my last at about 2 months (only 1-2mg daily). I suffer from Bipolar II and GAD (with panic attacks and TERRIBLE somatization). Recently I had to be hospitalized because I was near suicidal from depression and anxiety during which I decided I had had enough of the damn benzos (I was on the worst...xanax) and told my psych I wanted to quit. I feel that my story is important to this discussion as a SHORT term user because my withdrawal symptoms were AWFUL despite the fact that I was only on the drug for ~2 months! She put me on klonopin (.5 then .25) and ambien which helped smooth out the withdrawal process and allow me to sleep. Fortunetly, my worst symtoms (terribly distressing jitters, tremors throughout my ENTIRE body...I looked like that shaky older guy from beavis and butthead...and COMPLETE restlessnes to where I couldn't focus on even reading a single sheet of paper, and the sensation of my skin pealing off!) dissapeared after about 5 days, however my period of anxiety was followed by more depression, mostly stemming from distressing memories (which I read is a symptom of xanax withdrawal). I desperately implore you to seek therapy and other means such as anti-depressants and buspar rather than take this drug...and if you HAVE to because nothing else works...take it only when you NEED to!

    Good luck and my best wishes to those who are tackling this!,

    luckyloogy

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