Author Topic: Big jump from Clonazepam to Diazepam ( long, but important intro )  (Read 211 times)

[Buddie]

Hello there, I am new here, and glad to be here. :)

This is probably going to be a long post, so that I make sure I get every aspect of this included. And the story is kind of mixed up, when it comes to my benzo-usage, which I am sure it is for many of you. I would also recommend that you read my introduction ( if possible, I am very new here ), to get some input.

I guess it all started with me becoming an alcoholic. Where I am from, drinking beer was very innocent, as the society-error completely manipulated my head to think alcohol was "innocent", because it was legal. Drugs such as cannabis, amphetamines, extacy were very normal, and when I only got drunk, I was a very good boy. Then I did good. And when alcohol started becoming a problem ( 3 day benders ), and the nerves started getting to me, I was a good boy when I only smoked weed. And when I stopped smoking weed, I was a good boy when I only smoked tobacco, but stopping weed without "celebrating" with beer? Nah.

I feel so stupid looking back at it all now. An alcoholic was "the old man on the bench in the park, with an empty stare into the air". But I got struck by that lightning so hard it almost killed me, many, many times. It was like the best friend who suddenly one day shot you in the back. And I was very ignorant. I basically did not know anything about detox, rehabilitation, the danger of drinking, and the fact that STOPPING drinking is potentially deadly. I can give you my signature on this, as I almost died several times. I`ll give it to you straight: Alcohol is one of the hardest drugs out there (!!!) Please, don`t be the stupid young person I was, and NEVER underestimate alcohol! Enjoy your party, of course, but KNOW your limits. Based on personal experience: If you get to the point where it becomes normal to drink 3 days in a row, or you drink a little bit every day, or your apetite starts dissapearing; Then you are about to enter a door you probably don`t even see. I didn`t. And what was once some of the greatest times in my life: Parties, concerts, going out and ending the evening with kebab or a burger, became a situation with the same man drinking hand-sanitizers at hospitals, or in desperate situations, and eating maximum 1 small meal ( for example a pack of noodles ) when my body started to feel numb in a way that scared me, even though I was drunk, every other day. I simply could not digest food, because it felt like I was swallowing fire. And I had to have to bottles of beer besides the meal, and to big bottles of beer right next to my bed when I was "sleeping" in the night, because I woke up with cravings every second hour.

Many, many years of this shit wasted. And all the opportunities, friends lost. But still, I concider myself lucky. Even though I am now on high doses of benzos. I have been sober from alcohol in 3 years, after basically 15 years of alcoholism. I have had 3 relapses that lasted for about 1 week, but I forgive myself for that.

My first withdrawals, was in my home, for many years ( I did not know about medications like Valium or benzos at the time, so my alcohol-withdrawals were hell ). But then I discovered oxazepam, and when I was even going to concider stopping drinking ( I tried to stop, I never gave up fighting ), it wasn`t even something I would concider if I did not have oxazepam for at least the first 10 days of alcohol-withdrawal.

Long story shortened a little: I have lost many years of my life, and it feels horrible, because it basically feels like I have just lost them. It is painful to see a man you concider a good friend, who passes you like a stranger, because he sees you as a stranger. Not because he is judgemental, but because he was a good friend of yours 20 years ago, and you don`t actually realize how much time that have passed. What feels like maybe 1 or 2 years ago, is actually 10 or 20 years. And how I wish I could go back in time, and scare the shit out of myself. If I had been a bit smarter in my choices back then, I would probably have been a good police-officer now. That was my dream. But the closest I got to that, was sleeping the alcohol off in their cells. I have burnt many bridges. And I don`t want you to do the same.

And this is a strict advice for the younger people, which I wish I personally understood when I was that age: If you are the type of person who hangs out with "cool and trendy" people, who takes drugs and have a undefined lust to make you do the same, and of course, they are your friends and all... Do me one favor: You must seperate who your real friends are, and who the people who in some way envy you are. The people who envy you, wants to pull you down. They are NOT your friends. Maybe you should pay more focus to the fading old friend who is very worried about you, on the outside. Because he/she is your true friend. But I know that you may not hear him/her so well right now. Amplify, think, and choose. You will understand in the future.

Yes, this was the long intro.

Today: I have a beautiful girlfriend, and I am studying. I have a good life, but I know it can be so much better. And that is the reason why I am here. The benzos became my walking cane, and then my wheelchair, and then my "life-coach". Everything that happens, is based on my benzo-sitation. Do I have enough medication? Then of course I can study! Do I have enough medication? Then of course I can train and eat healthy. If I can join you at a big family-dinner? One moment, I just need to run to the farmacy, and of course I can join you at your big family-dinner.

Benzos basically took over control, the same way alcohol did. But even though I have been on high doses, and still am, I must say that if I continued drinking, I would not be here to write this today.

When I say I have a good life, I compare it with my old life. But God knows I love my girlfriend, I love my studies, I love my apartment, and I love the climate I live in. I love the sun. But always, in the back of my head, I am extremely depressed. The things I told you about "loosing years" is a big issue for me. It`s like I am afraid that tomorrow I`ll be 80.

The american police-shows like "Cops" and similar is something I watch every once in a while. But I had never excpected to get severly shocked over the statement from a very intelligent police-officer to a young drugaddict. She was a beautiful young woman, maybe in her mid-20`s. The cop told her:

"The last time I saw you, you looked much better. And if you continue this, you`ll be 40 in a few days, not knowing what happened".

He blew my mind.

I am sorry if I seem a bit all over the place, but I have much on my mind, and haven`t really talked to somebody who really understands in a few years. And despite the fact that I need advice, I also want to give advice. I feel that is almost like a duty.

About my benzo-usage today: I have a slow tapering plan originally, but Clonazepam really sucks the life out of me. The only one who can come through this heavy mindset, is my girlfriend and the people I love. But in my personal life, it is like I am looking at the good life I have now, that I have worked hard for, from a distance. And I know why: To put it straight out there: The F!!!!!! Benzo`s gotta go! I am ready to fight.

Today, I was thinking, and I know that many of you are too: What am really afraid of about quitting benzos? All the horrible withdrawal-symptoms? Will I fall into an epileptic seizure on the street? That electrical helmet on my head, is that dangerous? Will I die? Maybe I will not feel so much withdrawal? Conclusion? We don`t know what "group" we are in. And keep in mind, no offence, but some people are more sensitive then others, and what some people may call stiff muscles in the shoulder and neck, may be described as "a living hell" by others.

This being said: I am also afraid. Even though I have gone through benzo-withdrawal before, it has a variation that is very hard to explain. Sometimes it may go smooth, whilst other times we need more time. I am right there with you, so I am not judging. I am just sharing my thoughts. For example: I was in rehabilitation for both Valium and alcohol. Alcohol was the main thing, but I was also on Diazepam ( 60-80 mg ) a day. ( DO NOT COMBINE ).

I detoxed myself from alcohol 10 days before I went to the institution, and used high doses of valium, and trained much to feel stronger when I got there. I was told not to stop drinking before I came to the institution, but I did it anyway. I did not want to come into the institution and make a fool out of myself, by being very drunk and weak. At the same time, I strictly advice any alcoholic or person who have taken alcohol for a long time, NOT to do the same. WAIT UNTIL to you come to the hospital, and try to keep a low profile if you are very drunk. Or else the day after will be so much worse. Maybe you have had a big mouth to some of the other patients, who you are going to live with. So wait until you are under the care of professionals, and just shut up and go to your room. :)

The benzo-part: The pshyciatrist who worked there, is known to be the best in this area, in my country. I had been boosting my Valium-dose up to 80 mg ( maybe more ) the ten days before the hospital, and to handle the alcohol-WD. The psychiatrist first said he wanted me to stay on 60 mg the first week, just to get known and comfortable with the surroundings, and then he wanted to cut with 5 mg diazepam every other day. I got terrified. All the stories I had read online. It didn`t matter to me that he had 30 years of experience. I managed to talk him into every third day. And guess what? It went smooth. The only symptoms I had was that I got stressed when it was too many people in a room, a sensitivity ot sounds and many people talking etc, which are also symptoms I have had before I started benzos. BUT: Remember that this was in a hospital (!!!!) Consult with your doctor. I am not a doctor. I am an experienciatrist. :)

Yes, I started using again some months after I had been at the hospital for 4 months. I never really understood why, because I wasn`t sick in any way. Maybe it was the pshycological part. That after all this, it would be nice to just relax for a little while. Use when needed.

Now:
Until recently, I used a mix of Rivotril and Valium, and Imovane in the evening.

I found out that first I would taper down Rivotril to maybe 2 mg a day, and then switch over to Valium.

Daily dose now: Rivotril 6-8 mg daily.
Imovane: 7,5 mg daily
Seroquel: 25 mg a night ( tapered from 100 depot )

Now comes the question-part. I really hope you do not think of me as a besserweisser because of all the advice I gave above. Because if I can prevent people from doing the same mistakes as myself, I will. But still, here we are, on the same boat. 

My experiences with the different ( relevant ) medications:

Rivotril: I HATE, HATE, HATE them!!! They are my worst enemy, gives me severe depressions, scares me because I have only used them for maybe a year, and is the medication I am most insecure about. These calculators that calculates clonazepam into Diazepam, all gives me different answers. But a psychiatrist told me that 0,5 mg Clonazepam is the same as 5 mg Diazepam. Can anybody confirm or deny this?

Valium: The medication I want to start with RIGHT NOW. And I am thinking about doing a big jump too. I want to try to go from ( let us just say 8 mg Clonazepam ) to 40 mg of Valium, starting as soon as possible. Then I am thinking about tapering down 5 mg every 10-14 days of Valium, maybe after a stabilization-time unknown. I will use extra long time at the ending part, and will not stop totally until I am down to symbolic 0.25 mg.

Valium is the medication I know the best, and it is much more anti-depressant-ish then Clonazepam for me, and lighter in the sense of energy. I think that just knowing that the poison-medication Clonazepam is on its way out of my system, will give me strength. But of course, our body has limits.

Imovane:
This will be the last medication I quit with. Because I know how important sleep is, and I have a problem with waking up too early, and not falling asleep again, even though I am very tired. At its worst, I went for 3 weeks, and went to sleep extremely tired, hoping I would get a night of good sleep, but after 1,5 hours I woke up, "ready" for a new day. After the 3 weeks, I got a cold. And this cold was the cure. After that light cold, everything was normal again. That is, I still woke up 1-2 hours earlier then I "should", but at least I started functioning again. That is why I use Imovane. I can`t really say that I feel any effect of them, even when I have taken them daytime. But according to these calculators, it is equal to 10 mg diazepam.

Seroquel: I am probably one of the few people in the world who appretiates Seroquel. Sometimes, if I am not in gym-mode, I can go a whole day without eating. But after I take Seroquel, I get apetite, and get tired.

This is probably the longest post ever. Maybe even a book. :) But what do you think I will expect to experience by doing this? Is it pure madness, or is it maybe smart, concidering the very negative Clonazepam has on me?

I would sincerly appretiate all advice, experiences and even some harsh words ( but try to keep it constructive ). I am also sorry if I am a bit all over the place. I hear that alot in RL too, so it`s just the way I am. :)

Have a good evening, morning, night, depending on where you are in the world. :)

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Big jump from Clonazepam to Diazepam ( long, but important intro )
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2022, 05:39:25 pm »
Are you currently taking clonazepam 8mg a day?  Are you consistent in your dosing each day?  You sya you want to get down to 0.25mg diazepam - are you not wanting to taper all the way off?  In order to get the input you are seeking, it would be helpful if you list all your medication names, current doses, and even time of day you take them.  Here is how you add your signature:

Add your history/signature
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Big jump from Clonazepam to Diazepam ( long, but important intro )
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2022, 06:19:12 pm »
Thank you for your reply, [...].

Yes and no. Some days I take more, but this is the "comfort-dose". I am also taking Imovane 7,5 mg before bed. Clonazepam  I take when I wake up, and then arround 1500, and then arround 2000. Seroquel usually 1900.

Yes, I want to taper all the way down to zero.

Did I do the signature-thing correct?

Thanks again :)
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Big jump from Clonazepam to Diazepam ( long, but important intro )
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2022, 06:42:22 pm »
You certainly did - thank you!
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Big jump from Clonazepam to Diazepam ( long, but important intro )
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2022, 07:12:49 pm »
Is there a reason you want to taper so quickly?  We suggest a slower taper than you are considering so that withdrawl symptoms are manageable and you can stay functional.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Big jump from Clonazepam to Diazepam ( long, but important intro )
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2022, 07:18:05 pm »
I thought 8 mg clonazepam is 160mg diazepam, not 40...
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Big jump from Clonazepam to Diazepam ( long, but important intro )
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2022, 08:48:19 pm »
Is there a reason you want to taper so quickly?  We suggest a slower taper than you are considering so that withdrawl symptoms are manageable and you can stay functional.

Thank you for the recommendation. You are actually right. It is important that I stay functional, but at the same time, I am not functional now. It is like only 10 % of my brain is working, and my studies are very demanding. But going from 8 mg clonazepam to 40 mg of Valium might be a bit too brutal. I actually don`t know, because I really hate Clonazepam. But I don`t want to continue using Clonazepam for an eternity before I switch to Valium. But I think that if I for example take a big fall from 8-4 mg, I would survive. And then stabilize for a period of time, before switching to Valium. Also remember that I take an extra 10 mg "diazepam" in the Imovane ( Could this be true, concidering that Imovane is not actually Benzo, but a close relative? )

For example: I try a relatively rapid taper of Clonazepam for 1 month, and get as close to 4 mg as possible. If it gets too bad, I could always go up a little again. I just want to get over to Valium as soon as possible. It is a much better medicine for me.

But thank you very much for your advice. I really appretiate it. And I will probably follow it, at least find a middleway. :)
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Big jump from Clonazepam to Diazepam ( long, but important intro )
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2022, 09:07:42 pm »
I thought 8 mg clonazepam is 160mg diazepam, not 40...

According to some of the "calculators", you are right. There are thousands of different answers here. The man who told me that 0,5 mg Clonazepam is the same as 5 mg diazepam, is a psychiatrist. But I must also admit: I very often mix mg with half a pill, which is 2 mg, hehe. It seems so logical in my non-mathematical head. :) Are we confused yet? :)

1/10. 1 mg clonazepam equals 10 mg diazepam ( according to the doctor, and please take note: I am aware that doctors don`t have much training in this area. But on this one I think he is right. ) There are probably many factors here. For example: Why doesn`t Imovane have an effect on me if it`s supposed to be equal to 10 mg of diazepam? When I have taken it in daytime?

And some people say that Oxazepam ( which has more or less 50 % of the power of diazepam ) is much better for them then Valium etc.

About your comment in general: I didn`t mean that 8 mg Clonazepam equals 40 mg of Valium. I wish :) But no. I said I wanted to jump/fall from 8 mg of Clonazepam to 40 mg of Valium, and wondered if this was too risky.

Thank you for your comment. Now I feel like a drunk Walter White, hehe :) ( still on the wagon, just joking of course )
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Big jump from Clonazepam to Diazepam ( long, but important intro )
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2022, 09:59:09 am »
[...], there are several issues when letting benzos go and like I mentioned, staying functional coupled with keeping withdrawl symptoms manageable are of course important.  It is hard to keep the taper momentum up when one can't tolerate the withdrawl symptoms they are experiencing.

But, even more important that those two things is safety.  You are on a very large dose of clonazepam and dropping your dose drastically either by dropping the clonazepam dose or switching to a dose of diazepam that is too low is not safe.  I strongly encourage you to read the Ashton Manual if you have not already.  It suggests 5-10% reductions in dose every two weeks or so (even lower if necessary) for both safety and comfort purposes.  Here is the link to the manual:

The Ashton Manual
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Big jump from Clonazepam to Diazepam ( long, but important intro )
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2022, 12:30:08 pm »
My hope is you'll give the Valium time to build up in your system as you reduce the Clonazepam, going too quickly will leave you without coverage while making the transition.  I believe you're aiming for too low of a dose with the Valium, I understand there is a huge difference in suggested doses with the various calculators so why not shoot for the middle?

I feel tapering the Imovane first would be a better plan, the half life is so short it could be causing you interdose withdrawal.  I experienced this with Ambien when I became tolerant to it. 
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.