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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone addicted to clonazepam and has gotten off?

I am on 1mg daily for over a year and feel that my body is tolerant to it. It helped me earlier when I started, but not so much anymore.If I go 2 days without it, I can feel a huge increase in anxiety. I want to get off, but am afraid of the withdrawals.
 

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I took clonazepam 8mg / day for ~ 8 month and got off of it using phenobarbital for under 3 weeks without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. But as not many doctors will prescribe Pheno anymore you may ask your Pdoc to give you an equivalent dose of Valium or Librium and then taper one of those benzos down slowly.
 

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You are right to be afraid of the withdrawals, they aren't nice. My advice is to get on an alternate anti-anxiety med BEFORE coming off the clon, such as an SSRI, but do not start antidepressants during benzo withdrawal, trust me it's bad with their initial side-effects. Without a method of handling the anxiety like SSRIs, in withdrawal you are likely to reach a state of anxiety worse than you originally had, and it can be pretty disabling.

The best way to withdraw is to switch to diazepam (Valium) and taper very slowly, using small reduction methods like 2mg tablets (break them?), liquid diazepam, etc. if necessary. If your doctor refuses to do this, find a better doctor, it is the accepted best method of withdrawal.

I withdrew from about 8 months of varying amounts of benzos, alprazolam & clonazepam at ~2-6mg, but also sometimes diazepam. It was from my own supply, and when I decided to withdraw, the steps were pretty abrupt and inconsistent. Sometimes it was down as much as 0.5mg, sometimes 0.25mg, and sometimes less until I gave up breaking them and stopped completely. It was basically months and months of being housebound, with agonisingly severe anxiety, insomnia, depression, boredom (when not occupied by anxiety) and extreme drug craving. Luckily my memory doesn't really work any more, or I'm sure the experiences during this time would still bother me greatly.
 

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Luckily my memory doesn't really work any more, or I'm sure the experiences during this time would still bother me greatly.
That's the right attitude. ;) But seriously: What do you mean when you say you're memory doesn't really work anymore? (Ab)using benzos & GBL isn't the best idea in the world (I have to know it as I did the same :)), but you're not some old guy who has consumed vodka like others drink water over decades.

@decodude: One year is quite some time, but 1mg clonazepam / day is not that bad. Euphoria gave you the right tips with the Valium, if you follow them and take it slow you will likely be fine.
 

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That's the right attitude. ;) But seriously: What do you mean when you say you're memory doesn't really work anymore? (Ab)using benzos & GBL isn't the best idea in the world (I have to know it as I did the same :)), but you're not some old guy who has consumed vodka like others drink water over decades.
It wasn't just benzos & GBL, it also included heavy use of ketamine (sometimes daily) and cannabis (daily). Also Ritalin, gabapentin, PEA, nitrous oxide, selegiline, opium, codeine, salvia, bupropion at varying times and varying dosage. 'Cocaine' and 'pills' I each did once but those were crappy quality. On top of that was a vast array of supplements, and probably more stuff I don't remember.

Fortunately an MRI says my brain is structurally fine, but that doesn't change the fact that my memory, concentration, motivation, organisation, and a lot more are just totally shot. Episodic memory is worst, I forget specifically when things happened, but usually vaguely remember that they did. "Brain fog" describes it well. My reward system has almost entirely shut down, I've done literally nothing most days for months. Hopefully when these antidepressants kick in some of that will change.

How's it going with your regimen by the way? Did you find a way to prevent tolerance, like an NMDA antagonist? Don't they drug-screen in med school (or afterwards)?
 

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It wasn't just benzos & GBL, it also included heavy use of ketamine (sometimes daily) and cannabis (daily). Also Ritalin, nitrous oxide, opium, codeine, salvia, PEA, selegiline, bupropion at varying times and varying dosage. 'Cocaine' and 'pills' I each did once but those were crappy quality. On top of that was a vast array of supplements, and probably more stuff I don't remember.

Fortunately an MRI says my brain is structurally fine, but that doesn't change the fact that my memory, concentration, motivation, organisation, and a lot more are just totally shot. I can barely remember any of yesterday, but maybe some of that is due to the meds. My reward system has almost entirely shut down, I've done literally nothing each day for months. Hopefully when these antidepressants kick in some of that will change.

How's it going with your regimen by the way? Did you find a way to prevent tolerance, like an NMDA antagonist? Don't they drug-screen in med school (or afterwards)?
I will write about my new regimen in my old thread. I have never had a drug screen in med school, but there might me one if I would work in a hospital later.
 

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The best way to withdraw is to switch to diazepam (Valium) and taper very slowly, using small reduction methods like 2mg tablets (break them?), liquid diazepam, etc. if necessary. If your doctor refuses to do this, find a better doctor, it is the accepted best method of withdrawal.
I agree. I was on 3mg/day of clonazepam for about a year (?), forseeing problems with WDs I had my doctor switch me over to Valium early on(before I intended to stop therapy with benzos). I stayed on 30-40mgs/day for as long as I felt I needed to and eventually came down to 10mg over the course of about a year (in 5mg increments, no strict schedule - just when I felt like it).

For The last 10mg I cut down 1mg every 1-3 weeks using 2mg tablets. For the last 5mg I cut down by .5 (1/4 tab) every 1-3 weeks. It took 6 months but was really easy and I experienced very little in the way of WDs, just occasional moodiness and mild agoraphobia.

SIMPLIFIED: 1mg of clonazepam = 20mg of Valium. No need to divide the dose with its long half-life, at night is good so you sleep better. Use 2mg pills (or 2's and 5's if you can get both) to cut down 1mg every 1-2 weeks. They say with most drug tapers the last 25% is the hardest. So, for the last 5mg, you may want to switch to .5 (1/4 of a 2mg tab) increments.

This is based on the Ashton Manual's (google it) section on how to withdraw from benzos. I got the idea for cutting by .5 for the last bit from the benzoisland forum - they are even more conservative. It might help to print out a copy of the AM and show it to your doc in case he's reluctant to switch to valium. Some nutty doctors will just have you halve and quarter clonazepam tabs over a few months - way too fast!

The pheno method seems ideal, I've only heard of it being used in inpatient detox for severe cases (except for medline;)).
 

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It wasn't just benzos & GBL, it also included heavy use of ketamine (sometimes daily) and cannabis (daily). Also Ritalin, gabapentin, nitrous oxide, opium, codeine, salvia, PEA, selegiline, bupropion at varying times and varying dosage. 'Cocaine' and 'pills' I each did once but those were crappy quality. On top of that was a vast array of supplements, and probably more stuff I don't remember.

Fortunately an MRI says my brain is structurally fine, but that doesn't change the fact that my memory, concentration, motivation, organisation, and a lot more are just totally shot. Episodic memory is worst, I forget specifically when things happened, but usually vaguely remember that they did. "Brain fog" describes it well. My reward system has almost entirely shut down, I've done literally nothing most days for months. Hopefully when these antidepressants kick in some of that will change.

How's it going with your regimen by the way? Did you find a way to prevent tolerance, like an NMDA antagonist? Don't they drug-screen in med school (or afterwards)?
so, euphoria-am just wondering how yer liver is doin.' that's quite a load of chemicals for yer system to process. {just a concerned citizen..}
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I actually found a site that will help me do this as well.
http://www.non-benzodiazepines.org.uk/clonazepam.html
I just need to find a doc to do it properly so I don't run short of valium/clonazepam because I am getting it through a family member currently who has health insurance, but this is not going to work since I need my own doc to do this properly, but that also means paying out of pocket for visits and meds. Any idea on how I could get assistance with this?

I guess there is no other normal way then to just switch over to diazepam and taper this down for about a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Medline.

What is phenobarbital and why do you suspect that a doc won't give this? 3 weeks is a short time to withdraw. I would prefer this method to constant anxiety, but did you have any withdrawal symptoms since it seems awfully fast.
 

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Withdrawals are going to happen.

I was on 6mg's a day for about two months. Some days I would take 10mg's, others I would only take 3 or 4mg's...

When I quit, I just quit. A physciatrist told me to wein off of it, but I just quit all together. I was really sick for a week, and I couldn't really sleep at all...
 

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Medline.

What is phenobarbital and why do you suspect that a doc won't give this? 3 weeks is a short time to withdraw. I would prefer this method to constant anxiety, but did you have any withdrawal symptoms since it seems awfully fast.
Altough phenobarbital which is a really old drug is far less toxic than the short acting barbiturates doctors are usually hesitant to prescribe it, the older ones in general less so than the younger ones. In your case it's also not necessary, I took much more Klonopin (altough not for a full year), if you slowly taper down using diazepam (Valium) you should be fine.

Withdrawals are going to happen.

I was on 6mg's a day for about two months. Some days I would take 10mg's, others I would only take 3 or 4mg's...

When I quit, I just quit. A physciatrist told me to wein off of it, but I just quit all together. I was really sick for a week, and I couldn't really sleep at all...
Two months is not that long, but if you had taken those amounts for a year or so and stopped cold turkey you could have experienced severe withdrawal symptoms including delirium and seizures.
 

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Do the doctors actually ask you to take this medication daily? I know it's kind of useless if you can't, but maybe the best way to use this class of drugs is to cycle it with another AD so that you're maybe using this once every 3 days. I feel like they're probably going to take Xanax/Klonopin off the market because the potential for abuse is too easy.
 

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Two months is not that long, but if you had taken those amounts for a year or so and stopped cold turkey you could have experienced severe withdrawal symptoms including delirium and seizures.
Lucky me then huh?
 

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Do the doctors actually ask you to take this medication daily? I know it's kind of useless if you can't, but maybe the best way to use this class of drugs is to cycle it with another AD so that you're maybe using this once every 3 days. I feel like they're probably going to take Xanax/Klonopin off the market because the potential for abuse is too easy.
Xanax and Klonopin (which is an antiepileptic) won't be taken off the market. ;) The abuse and addiction potential of benzos is in general not that high (the DEA classifies them as 'just' Schedule IV controlled substances [except for flunitrazepam]). The problem is that people mix up the terms abuse, addiction and physical dependence quite often. Physical dependence to benzodiazepines can happen without abusing the drug. Taking benzos just as needed is a good idea, altough sometimes long-term treatment is indicated. Benzos can't by "cycled with another AD" as they are no antidepressants and ADs must be taken regularly. :)

Lucky me then huh?
You were smart enough to not take relatively high Klonopin doses for a long time and then suddenly stop cold turkey, I don't know if "luck" is the right term here. But great that you didn't suffer longer or harder WD symptoms.
 

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Medline: I've been taking 1 mg of klonopin daily for about a month now, but now want to get off of it, as far as I'm aware the general rule of thumb is to taper down by .25 mg every 2 weeks. Is this what you would suggest?
 

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Medline: I've been taking 1 mg of klonopin daily for about a month now, but now want to get off of it, as far as I'm aware the general rule of thumb is to taper down by .25 mg every 2 weeks. Is this what you would suggest?
Personally - after just 1 month on 1mg Klonopin daily - I would taper down somewhat faster (eg. 0.25mg / week or how fast I can tolerate without problems). But this is really something you should discuss with your Pdoc I hope (s)he is competent. I don't exepect most people developing strong(er) signs of physical dependence after just 4 weeks @ 1mg clonazepam daily. But abrupt withdrawal from the drug could likely cause at least rebound anxiety and some light to maybe moderate WD symptoms, therefor tapering it down is a good idea.
 
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