I spoke to my doctor in the beginning of the week regarding my Klonopin withdrawal and Prozac withdrawal. Because of all the symptoms and bizarre feelings I’ve been having, I asked if I should be in a rehab at this point. He said no, it would not be appropriate, and that rehab is recommended for acute withdrawal.
I spoke to friends who have been through rehab for prescription medication and also did some research of my own. Here is a wonderful video about benzodiazapene withdrawal treatment guidelines presented by Dr. C. Heather Ashton, the leading expert on benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine withdrawal.
I found this video very encouraging. Here are the main points:
- There is no single protocol for benzodiazepine withdrawal. Drug doaseages should be tapered gradually and the withdrawal should be individually tailored for each patient.
- There is no reason for abrupt withdrawal, in fact rapid detox (such as in a rehab) is not recommended. Especially from high doses, can result in seizures, psychosis, and severe panic attacks.
- Can take months or up to a year or more.
- The patient and doctor initially agree on a withdrawal regimen or schedule, but for the best results, the patient should be in control of the rate of withdrawal. (note to self: slow the hell down)
If problems and setbacks happen, the patient may do one of 2 things:
1. stabilize the medication dosage for a few weeks or
2. decrease the rate of withdrawal (revise the withdrawal regimen)
The goal with benzodiazepeine withdrawal is to always go forward and avoid a backslide of increasing the dosage of the drug. Living without medications is a learning process that may take months.
Well I’m a-learning, and one day at a time it is getting better. I’m kinda relieved about the rehab decision because I really didn’t want to go. Since speaking to my doctor and confirming what he said with this video, I am giving myself permission to take a year (or more if need be) to completely get off my Klonopin, that’s the benzo, and that’s the biggie for me.
If you are in benzodiazepene withdrawal (like me), I’d love to hear your experiences. Please share below so we can all benefit.
I wish you peace,
ps. Thankfully the anger outbursts are subsiding, now I have to work on being patient…Time for the big guns: lots of prayer, meditation, and yoga, and using Panic Away big time 😉