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Alcohol post benzo


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Hi everyone, I was hoping some folks here could help me out with some information. I took ativan from 9/29 - 10/26, starting at 2 mg per day for 14 days, then 1 mg per day until the 26th. I started to feel terrible when I missed a dose, so I quickly tapered off by cutting my dose in half every three days per my dr's instructions. Last dose was .125 on 11/2. The 8 day taper and about 4 days after that were difficult, but not horrific. I only slept an hour or two a night and was extremely anxious/depressed. Since then I still have some anxiety ( nothing new) and my sleep is slowly returning to normal. My question is this - is it possible to drink alcohol again (moderate drinking, not binging) without being thrown back to where I was three weeks ago? I found a lot of threads on benzo withdrawal sites that basically scared the sh*t out of me. If it matters, I'm not on any other meds before or since. Also I didn't drink at all while on the ativan. I would just like to know I can have a couple of beers or glasses of wine with my wife without being concerned I'm going to have a seizure or end up worse off than I started. I've asked my pdoc and he seemed to have no issues with it, and told me if everyone who took benzos for a month couldn't drink anymore there'd be a lot more sober people out there. I tend to agree with him, but as I said I got pretty nervous about it when I read those other sites, alcohol even post benzo seems to be a big no go on them. Thank you for any help you can provide, I could use some help with this. Take care!

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I don't know what the sites say but I take Ativan daily (in the morning) and will drink in the afternoons/evenings, up to 4-5 pints.  Not every day do I drink, but I will.  I'm fine.  Sometimes if I have trouble sleeping at night I take an Ativan but I try to make sure I don't feel tipsy when I do so.  I may not be a poster child of responsible Ativan/alcohol usage though.

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The bummer is that benzos and alcohol both hit the GABA receptors and mess up sleep architecture. So in some senses, you might be "undoing" a bit of the work you've done.

Also for this reason (hitting the same receptors) makes benzos and alcohol have a synergistic effect that really superbly depresses the central nervous system in such a way that it can make you "rock star dead" if you take them at the same time. I have no idea what those kind of doses are for you because each person's body chemistry is different.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not a doctor, but you should be through far more than 5 half lives of ativan by now, which for clinical purposes, means you are ativan free. You didn't take it that long, so that is why you have been able to manage your withdrawal with only a bit of pain.

If you want to be sure, ask your pharmacist or pdoc, but I doubt you have any ativan in your blood stream at this point.

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