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So, how addictive are these things *really*?


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Everywhere you go, the correct answer seems to be that these things are for prn use, and never for longer than six weeks.

But everywhere you go, esp in the crazy community, there are heaps of people who have been on high doses of these things for quite a while.

I have just been graced with a permanent script of Valium prn, and I am worried about addiction.

With the right P450 inhibition, the stuff will last 200hr in my system. This means that if I take a 15mg today, diazepam could still be detected in my blood up to SEVEN WEEKS later.

So even if I take a 15mg dose once a month, I would constantly have benzos in my system. How do I know that the anxiety is not really anxiety, but is due to benzo levels falling below a critical level?

And if the six-week prohibition is correct, and one 15mg dose would maintain me for 7 weeks, I am definitely bound to be dependent?

So, how difficult is it actually to get addicted to these things? Is the six-week limit just some overcautious orthodoxy that is inapplicable to real-world psychiatry? How should I deal with the fact that I have valium in my system 24/7 even though I only use it occasionally?

Eager to hear your input.

Raining.

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Everywhere you go, the correct answer seems to be that these things are for prn use, and never for longer than six weeks.

But everywhere you go, esp in the crazy community, there are heaps of people who have been on high doses of these things for quite a while.

I have just been graced with a permanent script of Valium prn, and I am worried about addiction.

With the right P450 inhibition, the stuff will last 200hr in my system. This means that if I take a 15mg today, diazepam could still be detected in my blood up to SEVEN WEEKS later.

So even if I take a 15mg dose once a month, I would constantly have benzos in my system. How do I know that the anxiety is not really anxiety, but is due to benzo levels falling below a critical level?

And if the six-week prohibition is correct, and one 15mg dose would maintain me for 7 weeks, I am definitely bound to be dependent?

So, how difficult is it actually to get addicted to these things? Is the six-week limit just some overcautious orthodoxy that is inapplicable to real-world psychiatry? How should I deal with the fact that I have valium in my system 24/7 even though I only use it occasionally?

Eager to hear your input.

Raining.

On the downside, an abrupt cold turkey withdrawal could cause convulsions and even death. And the road to physical addiction is pretty simple.....just keep taking them regularly. Many of us do. My last pdoc wrote me for .5 xanax, after nearly a year of 1mg tabs. Which means I'm usually on half the dose I was, but prn......sometimes, still as high as 4 mg a day.

They work. The scenario you are describing is nothing to worry about, and the only help you'll find from knowing the half life is really which one you can cut back on and how much because xanax is a short half life drug which leaves your system faster than valium or klonopin.......so to taper off xanax, many of us are switched to klonopin. Then tapered off that ......sanely.

I'm gonna ask soon if my pdoc can write me for klonopin next visit....since the short term effect of xanax is seeming to work less better than a longer lasting benzo.

There are people campaigning against them, people advocating them and every position in between.

Personally they have been a life/mind saver and I'm not stupid so I assume I have a physical dependency.........just like I have a dependency on other meds, its a PITA to make sure you always have your meds.........but withdrawal syndromes can kick in up to 72 hours after the last dose....so theres a time window. I use them, they work, I am functional even under stress.....like all our meds?

Its always 'they give you this but you pay for that' (Neil Young).........so, what do you need? and what are they prescribed for?

Sounds like you use them on such a limited basis theres no cause at present for concern. Knowledge is power, read up on it so you know whats going on........

Hope that helps

cheers

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Thanks for the reply.

The reason I am so worried is that I actually *like* these things. I really like how they turn down the volume in your mind and mute your environment to a meditative calm. I would like to use it a lot more often than I do, but I know that tolerance builds up, and if I use it too much it would become useless.

I am prescribed 5mg prn for anxiety, and the understanding is that I can take it up to 4 times a week. I know that's a low dose, but I don't like to live on the edge of my prescription, so I ration 10mg a week and try to stash the remainder for emergencies. But I used up my weekly 10mg, on the first Monday morning.

I would like to take more, but how much more can I be allowed to take, before tolerance and dependency kicks in?

(I can hear all of you people laughing, at a guy paranoid about Valium dependency at such low doses...)

But then, I suppose dependency is not really a problem here, if I have a legitimate use for them? I'm dependent on Lithium in the sense that I can't do without it, but it's not a problem. As long as I continue to get clinical effect at an acceptable dose, it's alright right?

And another thing is - I don't actually *need* Valium. I do have occasional freakouts and anxieties - but I'm not going to die without it. But like your morning coffee, it's helpful and pleasant. Thence every dose of Valium I take would be a non-essential and optional lifestyle choice...

I still need a margin to work with - so tolerance/addiction/dependence would be rather likely, at a dose of say 5mg every day? How about 10mg? (I know it differs for everybody, but some reference would be useful).

Good luck wiith getting Klono - it's my favorite benzo. They would much rather rx klono than xanax right?

raining.

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Based on everything I've read (mostly first hand experiences), it depends on the person. Some people do fine on the same, low dose for years on end; others develop tolerance quickly. I happen to be one of the former. I've been on exactly 1 mg of Xanax XR daily for 4 years. 1 mg still seems to be working. But I'm definitely physically addicted. If I miss I dose, I can feel it. And the few times I've tried going off it (tapering), the withdrawal was too difficult and I just stayed on it. I'm not wild about that, but my pdoc has assured me there's nothing wrong with taking it daily as long as I don't start developing tolerance.

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Pretty much the same thing here, and as my pdoc pointed out........even as much as six mg of xanax (prolly the most addictive) can be called for depending on the dx.........but he pointed out that a legitimate use of the drug will develop a tolerance......an addictive abuse of the drug is going higher and higher to get buzzed......even when it was six mg a day? It still worked.....I didn't up the dose.

My pdoc now has prescribed .5 tablets for six months.....I'm a benzo person.....they make life doable....

and with the half dose pills, I effectively found myself functioning on two to four mg a day. Over that dosage? You're not high, youre snoring and drooling and if you drink on it? you forget to breathe.

Yes they feel 'good'........theres nothing wrong with that. When was feeling like a nerve wracked piece of shit a condition we signed on for? Enjoy the relaxation and calm. its okay.

And no ones laughing at the low dose. If you need more , check with pdoc and maybe you OUGHT to be taking a little more. Like the last poster said too........its a small price to pay for being able to function without a short circuiting nervous system and panic attacks. Your caution is wise, but don't fear the benzo, when you look at all the facts and its prescribed? Its medicine. OK, when we were 16 we got 'high' on em and listened to led zeppelin. We're not 16 and our nervous systems are poorly hardwired....<Shrug>

I don't have an illusion my body isnt used to it. Hence most docs like klonopin for long term anxiety and xanax for panic attacks. And its supposed anti depressant effect. So I'll be looking into the more widely prescribed klonopin soon...

Monday mornings tend to do that to folks, heh. FYI (Depending on who you believe, one mg of xanax is 10-20 mg of valium in potency.....I've covered war zones and the daily norm was 30 plus mg a day of valium..........you'll find the comfort zone and it doesnt tend to 'stop working' ....it may make you feel less 'high' than at the beginning of use.....but you want calm, not buzzed, right?

cheers

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Thank you all for the assurances. So I guess I really don't need to worry with my mode of use. I may get dependent, but as long as I am not increasing dosages (tolerance or abuse), I should be fine?

I think I should just stop thinking about them for a while. :-) Always open to new input though.

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Thank you all for the assurances. So I guess I really don't need to worry with my mode of use. I may get dependent, but as long as I am not increasing dosages (tolerance or abuse), I should be fine?

I think I should just stop thinking about them for a while. :-) Always open to new input though.

Yeah I think you should really stop worrying mate, you stress/obsess way to much over these things IMO. Its good to be concerned about meds, just don't start worrying too much, you're as bad as me ;) Well as I've probably told you before I have managed to get "immune" to Diazepam before... but if you do you just stop taking em for a while.. and they start working again.

I'm assuming you know about the prov/diazepam interaction due to your ref to the CYP450 stuff? Yeah stick to the low doses you should be ok...I think.... maybe discuss this with the pdoc? He knows about the prov doesn't he?

...and hey you should post here more often :)

Qapla'

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Ah... Interesting! So taking Provigil makes me haz more Valium!!111!!!

So it looks like i haz valium till Christmas, even if stop taking it!!!111111!!

Yeah. Me not so worry now. Like the Beatles, who said "Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be". Dependency is nothing as long as I don't get tolerant or abusive. So me have 50 more years to live... It's palliative care baby! So at this rate I would only need a script with 256 repeats!

Yeah.. me no worry.

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Ah... Interesting! So taking Provigil makes me haz more Valium!!111!!!

So it looks like i haz valium till Christmas, even if stop taking it!!!111111!!

Yeah. Me not so worry now. Like the Beatles, who said "Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be". Dependency is nothing as long as I don't get tolerant or abusive. So me have 50 more years to live... It's palliative care baby! So at this rate I would only need a script with 256 repeats!

Yeah.. me no worry.

pfft. Paul McCartney has a Palilalia. But yeah. Chill bro ;)

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Heh, we can haz sedatives!

Just a semantic difference tho, you may or may not develop depedance.....what you will have is tolerance, which is normal. If 5 mg is enough today, you may need 10 next month. Then you find the plateau where it works even if you don't feel it as much as the first week. The tolerance part is natural, and its just finding the level where it works. For some maybe 15-20 mg a day.......which is nowhere near 'abuse' level. YMMV...And if you skip days, or stop for some time, the tolerance goes down and dependance isn't an issue really at all.

There are worse things than dependance of low but regular doses of benzos. Stopping is quite possible when done wisely ..... google is your friend, you will find regimens or stopping and tapering off benzos if you wish to. Now, none of this is a worry. Just keep asking and checking with your pdoc if you have questions.

a relaxed "cheers"

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