The Accidental Addict
« on: April 05, 2015, 11:10:22 pm »
I didn’t think I’d wind up here. A father & grandfather with a successful career, I never was the druggie type. But here I am, in the scary situation of being a lorazepam addict in need of help. I want to get off this drug and am turning to BenzoBuddies for support and guidance. My saga began about 3 years ago. I was under a lot of work stress and turned to my doctor for help with anxiety. She prescribed Valium, initially a 1-month supply at a fairly low dose, then a refill for a 2nd month. It was effective at relieving my work anxiety. At the time I was totally naïve, I had no idea that this doctor-prescribed drug was so addictive and that it would lead to so many problems down the road. When the Valium ran out, my anxiety level spiked to 10 times worse than it had started out at, to the point where I was not sleeping at all or able to function. I failed to recognize that at the time as a symptom of benzo withdrawal, instead mis-interpreting it as renewed work anxiety. I sought out the help of a psychiatrist, who also failed to recognize my plight for what it was, and who in fact prescribed Ativan to relieve my anxiety. It worked, and under her care I took 1 mg Ativan daily, later increased to 2 mg daily, for over 2 years… Not too long ago, I moved to another state for a job change, and stopped seeing that psychiatrist. I knew my supply of Ativan would run out, but I naively did not expect the drug withdrawal would be a huge deal. On my own I stopped cold turkey, and … wham. I don’t want to go into detail at this point, let’s just say I went crazy for a couple of weeks. I still had a supply of Ativan at the time I went cold turkey. To restore my sanity I had to go back on it, 2 mg / day, which is where I am now. Since then I have been reading a lot. I now know what I need to do is a long slow taper. I have not started the tapering process yet. This will be very difficult. I haven’t yet found a supportive doctor, so at this point I am on my own. Any suggestions on how to find a doctor willing to support benzo withdrawal would be welcome. Also I cannot afford to lose my job during this process and therefore cannot do an extended inpatient kind of thing. For privacy reasons I don’t want to say publicly where I am, I’ll just say in the USA but not in a major city. This is going to be a challenge. Any help & support will be appreciated.
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BLAH you don't need your doctor for anything but a supply
of pills BLAH BLAH BLAH we are all you need BLAH BLAH BLAH
Re: The Accidental Addict
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2015, 11:44:03 am »
Thanks for the replies. I am glad I found this group and appreciate the quick responses. Now let me get more specific and see if any of you can offer more specific help. I’ll post a series of questions over the next few days that I need help with. Let me know if it’d be more appropriate to post these question to a different topic than Introductions and I’ll move them. I’m a newbie here.
It would be good to find a supportive doctor. 2 replies here have pointed me to an extremely out-of-date list (2007!?) which is completely useless. It lists 2 doctors in my state, listing them both as working for the same counseling center. Well, Googling and phoning reveals neither still works for that counseling center (left so long ago it had never heard of them), and as far I can tell neither still works in this state or anywhere nearby. That counseling center said they now have nobody who can or will treat benzo addiction. Subsequent phone calls to every shrink in the region turned up a series of flat “no”‘s when they heard the problem I wanted help with. This was even after initially promising conversations (“taking new patients?” “yes”, “what problems do you treat” “a great variety of psychiatric problems”). But when benzo addiction came up, it’s like I said a forbidden word… “ah, well, … , no I don’t treat for that”. I was astonished. My own primary care also flat-out refuses to deal with it. Honestly don’t know where to turn at this point, as far as getting it from the medical profession.