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Severntiger: coming off Valium any advice useful

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Moderator note - link to Severntiger's benzo thread: Severntiger: Tried Valium Cold Turkey - Evil side effects - Now Attempting Tapering



I am 39. I have had chronic insomnia and anxiety all my life. From age 14 I have had drug and alcohol addiction and dependency problems.


In 2014 I discovered, through a friend, an illicit source of good quality Valium where I could get as much as I wanted when I wanted through the post.


I started off using them as "occasional use" to help me sleep when there was an emergency situation the next day, e.g. job interview, having to move home but then it quickly turned into using them for stressful situations, e.g. noisy flatmates, stress at work etc. and that of course turned into most days.


So for the last 2 and a half years I have been taking Valium more days than not with an average dose of 52mg a day. I started to get seriously worried about my sleeping pill consumption end of 2015 and so in 2016 and 2017 I have recorded my Valium (and other sleeping tablet) consumption every single day. Therefore I have been able to work out each month how many days I took Valium and what the average dose is.


Oddly my Valium consumption has been sporadic, e.g. not every day or the same amount every day. e.g. my latest record before I decided to try cold turkey.

06/07/2017 – 30mg

07/07/2017 – 30mg

08/07/2017 – 30mg

09/07/2017 – 1 Nitol

10/07/2017 – 60mg

11/07/2017 – 90mg

12/07/2017 – 1 Nitol     

13/07/2017 – 80mg

14/07/2017 - Clean

15/07/2017 - Clean        

16/07/2017 – 1 Nitol

17/07/2017 - Clean

18/07/2017 - Clean

19/07/2017 – 30mg

20/07/2017 – 30mg

21/07/2017 – 120mg

22/07/2017 – Didn’t sleep as too much Mephadrone

23/07/2017 – 90mg

24/07/2017 – 60mg

25/07/2017 – 60mg

26/07/2017 – 80mg


I then tried to go cold turkey, using Zopiclone to help sleep, until I ended up taking 75mg of Zopiclone on 02/08/2017 and 03/08/2017 and hallucinating and going AWOL and not being able to function at work or outside work.


Last Friday 4th August, 5 days ago, I then threw all my Zopiclone in the bin and decided I was going to come off everything.


And its here that the nightmare has started


For 4 days I didn’t sleep a wink, apart from 3 hours passing out after necking a bottle of wine at 3am one night. I had the worst anxiety/panic attacks I have ever had. I felt that my skin was crawling, apparantly. My flat mate said I was wide eyed, on edge, jumpy and acting crazy. Sunday night after 3 Nitol I still couldn’t sleep a wink and Monday (2 days ago) I tried to go into work but couldn’t function properly ( I am trying to hold down a Management Accountant job) and after another sleepness night and rising panic I had to admit defeat, phone in sick yesterday (Tuesday) and look to the internet for help where I learnt that going Cold Turkey was the worst thing to do and that Valium was worse to come of than herion. So I panicked big time and went to the doctor.


Thankfully the doctor was very nice and agreed that tapering off was the best solution and he would help me come off them legitimatly so no need for the black market. I am now on 20mg a day for 4 weeks then to go back to him and see where I am and try to reduce the amount. He hopes I can get off them by Christmas.


I took 20mg last night and immediately calmed down and slept for 5-6 hours and feel shattered but much better today.


My question is: Do I now go onto 20mg every evening before bed?


Or do I try to go without any Valium every now and again and see how many clean days I can get before any side effects kick in in which case I can just take 20mg again before bed?

Edited by Shep
added moderator note with link to benzo thread

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Hi Severntiger, welcome to SA. 

I am saddened to see that your doctor believes he can have you off such high doses of valium for so long by christmas. The rate your doctor is tapering you, you will be back on them in no time with terrible withdrawals.  You also need to look at the mephadrone use too. There is no point tapering one drug while creating dependency on another. 

There is no judgement here, we want what is best for your wellbeing and help you to taper at a rate that will be successful and see you off the drugs for life. I am not an expert on benzos but I am sure that you will need divided doses though the day to keep the plasma levels steady. 

It would be good if you can post a topic in our benzo section where the benzo mods can help you. Just copy your post and paste it into the benzo forum just like you did here.  It is good to have both threads, you can update this one when you like and get support from the whole forum and post in the benzo section for the benzo experts to help.  I think you are doing great to take control like this and taking that first step is the hardest one of all! 



It will help us if you can fill in your signature with your drug history, you can find instructions here.. 



Edited by mammaP

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Thanks MammaP. Yes I used to recreationally use "chems" (e.g. mephadrone, ecstasy, speed etc.) every now and again but now that my goal is to come off Valium/Diazepam I will not touch them. Those and alcohol and any other mind altering drugs for that matter. I want to promote a healthy mind and good sleep as much as possible.


My doctor is trying to help and at present the 20mg he prescribed has given me a decent nights sleep Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights (today being Friday) and I have been able to go to work yesterday and today also so that's good. I think the "legit" valium from the doctor may be stronger than the stuff I was getting from the internet, hard to tell, but the last 3 nights I have slept OK so I am feeling positive that I can cope on this level for now.


I shall update that post and post it in the Benzos section as you say. Thanks for the advice. The average 56mg a day was for the days I took them, which was roughly every other day. So on average it was really 28mg a day if you see what I mean. My usage was random as you can see from my sample. I often went several days without taking them so convinced myself that I wasn't addicted. I didn't realise that at such high doses the Valium remains in your system for several days, hence why I could never go more than about 3-4 days without getting desperate for them again. I see now.........


Thanks again for your advice. Take care now.

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I see, that makes sense. I am concerned about the speed in which your doctor will taper you off and hope he will support you needing to go slower. Taking it every day with regular doses will keep a steady state in your blood and help you to stabilise. Skipping days will cause interdose withdrawal. I am glad you are sleeping well, that is huge! 

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Cheers. Yeah I think the fact I was taking such huge doses and then having days off then huge doses again etc. didn't help. My landlord also reckons that I should stick to the 20mg a day and not skip days. That's now 2 people that back up the doctor so ta for the advice

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