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Phil

Inpatient center, clinic, or retreat for detox, rehab, recovery?

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Phil

I was just browsing and came across this. Amongst the drugs on their list they mention antidepresants.

A lot of the things they mention are problems I suffer and can relate to, such as "anxiety sensitivity".

Although I dont agree with all of the information, it's good to see there is somewhere out there that acknowledges ADs can cause dependency.

 

http://www.clinical-partners.co.uk/how-can-we-help-you/addictions/treatment-for-prescription-medication-dependence

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Altostrata

Can one of our UK folks phone them and see what they do for weaning folks off psych drugs? Do they understand tapering?

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Phil

I wish I could myself Alto, unfortunately my phone anxiety is too bad :(

Could try emailing them I guess.

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Altostrata

I e-mailed them.

 

Their site includes this information http://www.clinical-partners.co.uk/component/content/article/13-rta/224-residential-treatment-for-prescription-medication :

 

What is Prescription Medication Addiction?

 

Prescription Medication includes drugs or medicines that are obtained through a doctor's prescription, over the counter at a pharmacy or from the Internet. This includes tranquilizers, anxiolytics (anxiety-relief), sleeping tablets, pain killers, sedatives and anti-depressants. These medicines are legal, however, they are just as open to abuse and potentially as addictive as illegal street drugs, such as heroin, crack or cocaine. The physical health risks of using prescription medication are much greater where medical instructions are not followed, for example, exceeding recommended doses or using additional substances. Typical side effects can include 'drunken' demeanour, uncharacteristic aggression, violent behaviour and confusion, depending on the type of medication.

 

Users may take prescription medication either orally (swallowing), dissolving under the tongue, through the anus or by injecting into muscles or veins, depending on the type of medication. The way in which it is used affects how quickly the drug takes effect, with injection being the fastest method. Different medicines produce their effects at varying speeds but the shortest-acting variety produce the quickest effects and are therefore more addictive than medium- or long-acting drugs. Abuse of prescription medication develops tolerance to the drug which results in physiological and psychological dependence, as users need increasing amounts to feel OK.

 

Physiological dependence means that a person develops withdrawal symptoms when they are not medicated. Depending on the type of prescription medication used, these can include loss of concentration, impaired memory, mood swings, anxiety and depression. Psychological dependence means that the individual develops cravings for medication which become progressively stronger as the addictive cycle begins to take hold. This is why the urge to use medication becomes overwhelming for an addict, as it may temporarily prevent withdrawal symptoms and satisfy their increasing cravings.

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Barbarannamated

Will be interesting to hear what they say. The last few lines of the quote about dependence/addiction/craving don't apply. This is such a different bird. It seems to fall more into medical toxicology or something. I like how G Fava compared it to antibiotic resistance in his one article. Use it too often or for too long and worsen the problem.

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Altostrata

This sounds like an addiction medicine clinic. Many of them say, "sure, we take people off antidepressants," but they don't have any specific knowledge.

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mattinsmom

I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with inpatient medication washouts? My questioning is partially because I'm impatient and partly because my therapist brought it up as a consideration. 

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Meimeiquest

Would you be an impatient inpatient? :). GiaK and Lexicon on our list have done it...not good. The author of Death Grip did it. Not good. But that's all I know of personally. It must work for some, or it wouldn't exist. If you are someone who has problems regrowing neuroreceptors and whatnot, that won't happen in 15 or 30 days. I think they can only wash the drugs out. Hopefully more experienced people can add more.

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mattinsmom

Yes. I think I would be an impatient inpatient. Thank you for that chuckle :) I am interested to hear others experiences and will look into the book.

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Barbarannamated

MM,

 

How was this described or presented to you by your therapist? I do have some thoughts, but want to be sure we're referring to same thing.

 

B

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Altostrata

What the heck does "inpatient washout" mean???

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mattinsmom

B

 

My therapist was presenting it as something we could explore together. She's never been a part of one and has only heard that its inpatient for 2-weeks to flush every med completely out of your body with a 6-week med-free time following. Then everything is re-evaluated. Supposedly that is enough time to let the body adjust and see what happens. I'm enough of an a** that I wouldn't go back on meds at 6-weeks regardless of what a "team" thought. I'd wait it out for months/years

 

She also said that she thought of it because she would feel better if there was someone medically trained keeping eyes on me. She's worried that she'll miss something, some warning sign that I'm in trouble. She's afraid that I am going to have a dangerous reaction to a drop and that instead of reaching out for help, I'll try to wait it out or make impulsive (dangerous) decisions. Its a fair enough concern. I should have gone to the hospital with the whole Trazadone thing (I couldn't even stand up). I didn't even call anyone because I knew she was w/ family and my friend was at a training all week. I also refused help when I was becoming toxic on Lithium years ago. I was dragged to the hospital for that.

 

I have a history of not reaching out for/refusing medical help when I probably "should" but so far I've made it through. I refuse to go to hospitals and would only consider this because I want off my meds just that much. If I thought I could lock myself in my room for 2-weeks and go off everything and not die I would have done it already. 

 

I understand that the w/d symptoms can last a long time when tapering but wonder how long they last once everything is out of the body. I kinda already know the answer to this question and don't want to hear it, I think I am looking for a magic method to speed things up. My support system is crashing and my life doesn't allow for things like mom being too sick to drive or mom exploding over unpredictable and small things. My temper scares me. I'm not worried that I would hurt anyone, I worry that I would run out of the house, jump in my car, and who knows. I don't drive well when I'm not upset.

 

I'm just scared. I'm slowly losing my biggest support, I don't think I can do this on my own, and I just want it done before all of my supports are completely gone.

 

Its been a rough day.  

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Altostrata

Well, if you want an institutional experience with a near-cold turkey by doctors who don't have a clue about withdrawal syndrome, followed by heavy medication to deal with withdrawal, go for it.

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Meimeiquest

Ummmm, we deal with those things by SLOWING DOWN our tapers. You need to reread the things Rhi has written you. Unfortunately, being strong, persistent, and stubborn does not trump. This forum IS the strong, persistent, and stubborn.

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mattinsmom

What the heck does "inpatient washout" mean???

Inpatient washout is a fast taper w/ medical supervision, They can alter doses, switch meds, deal with things like seizures, etc. Because they have you 24/7 they can immediately address anything that comes up. The idea is to get off all meds in the fastest, least painful (not pain-free) way. This study explains it better than I can.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215520/

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mattinsmom

I'm not trying to be strong. I'm scared

I'm not trying to be persistent. I'm scared.

I'm not trying to be stubborn. I'm scared. 

 

I don't think I can go this alone and I think my circumstances are headed in that direction. I'm looking for a way to get off these meds while I still have access to some support (friend/neurofeedback). When I'm on my game, I'm good. I'm real good. I have all kinds of wonderful coping skills/techniques. When I'm not on my game its ugly and I can think myself into places that noone should ever be. I used to teach yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. I'm a reiki Master-Teacher. I did shamanic healing. My meds left me dam-near housebound from agoraphobia. I used to be active and social and now I don't even have friends anymore. I "know" what I need to do but sometimes I just can't do it for myself and I don't think I can do it alone. I feel like I need to hurry before I lose everything. 

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Altostrata

mattins, if this "medical supervision" of "inpatient wash out" worked, we'd be referring everyone to it.

 

Read a few of the Intro topics where people have gone through this.

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RebelMaven

Disaterous idea.

 

Scroll down on this page and read it or even just read my signature:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2605-rebelmaven-gabapentin-neurontin-withdrawal-taper/page-12

 

When Altostrata said....

 

Well, if you want an institutional experience with a near-cold turkey by doctors who don't have a clue about withdrawal syndrome, followed by heavy medication to deal with withdrawal, go for it.

 

....she is totally correct on this.

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Barbarannamated

I tried to add my experience to this, but was going to a very dark place just recalling the trauma of a 3 day detox attempt (left AMA). It was HELL and most people leave on more drugs than they went in on.

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mattinsmom

ok, so the idea of an impatient washout seems like a bad one :/   I'll buck it up and take it as it comes.

 

Alto - hearing that if washouts were successful people would be referred for them should have been obvious to me. Sometimes its the simple things that skip by me.

 

RM, I did some reading on your thread. I am so sorry to hear what meds have done to you. I can relate on many levels and hope that mania does not come to you this time. 

 

B. I'm glad you stopped and didn't go to that dark place. Your AMA explained enough for me.

 

Thank you all for your feedback. It helps to hear from people, real people, what their experiences were.  

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Jemima

Amy, the thing I think you need to understand is that SSRI/SNRI antidepressants cause physical changes in the brain and other areas of the central nervous system. When the drugs are withdrawn abruptly, it's like yanking a crutch away from someone with a broken leg--BOOM! Down she goes!  The purpose of a slow taper is to give the CNS the chemical support to which it has become accustomed while the CNS heals itself. That healing takes a long time and there is nothing that we know of that can speed up the process. The "washout" sounds like a version of cold turkey to me, and IMO, it's not a good idea at all for anyone. That leaves you with the changes and a lot of slow-moving repair work ahead, or in other words, withdrawal.  I "tapered" off Lexapro way too fast (doctor's advice) and it's taken me nearly two years to get almost back to normal.  Not there altogether yet.

 

May I ask why you're taking Prilosec?  If I remember right, regular use causes one or more vitamin deficiencies.  Don't just stop it abruptly, though. If memory serves, it also needs to be tapered. Ah.  Here's an article: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/09/15/common-hidden-cause-of-low-energy-brain-fog-and-blindness.aspx  Apparently Vitamin D is also affected. (If you decide to try vitamin supplementation, try one at a time and only a small amount until you know how you'll react.)

 

I wish I had some magic to offer, but slow and steady seems to be the only way to win this race.

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Ks1994

Hi, just wanted to chime in, I've Ct'ed myself off meds before and ended up inpatient as a result of a manic episode and wound up in an infinitely worse state than I went in, with about 5x more meds.  In fact that is the reason I am in the worst state of my life right now.  I know you want to get it over with but that is kind of the same mindset that the psychiatrist probably used when he wanted your depression (?) symptoms to go away in the first place, right?  Desperation leads to regret...

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mattinsmom

Amy, the thing I think you need to understand is that SSRI/SNRI antidepressants cause physical changes in the brain and other areas of the central nervous system. When the drugs are withdrawn abruptly, it's like yanking a crutch away from someone with a broken leg--BOOM! Down she goes!  The purpose of a slow taper is to give the CNS the chemical support to which it has become accustomed while the CNS heals itself. That healing takes a long time and there is nothing that we know of that can speed up the process. The "washout" sounds like a version of cold turkey to me, and IMO, it's not a good idea at all for anyone. That leaves you with the changes and a lot of slow-moving repair work ahead, or in other words, withdrawal.  I "tapered" off Lexapro way too fast (doctor's advice) and it's taken me nearly two years to get almost back to normal.  Not there altogether yet.

 

May I ask why you're taking Prilosec?  If I remember right, regular use causes one or more vitamin deficiencies.  Don't just stop it abruptly, though. If memory serves, it also needs to be tapered. Ah.  Here's an article: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/09/15/common-hidden-cause-of-low-energy-brain-fog-and-blindness.aspx  Apparently Vitamin D is also affected. (If you decide to try vitamin supplementation, try one at a time and only a small amount until you know how you'll react.)

 

I wish I had some magic to offer, but slow and steady seems to be the only way to win this race.

Hi

Thanks for your feedback. I don't take SSRI/SNRI so I sometimes I feel like I don't quite fit. The w/d from those seems so much different.. There is information and there are stories from people here who take or have taken the meds that I take and that helps me. It helps a lot.

I took Nexium for a number of years because of damage to my throat and stomach from Lithium. Once that was healing/healed I was able to discontinue it and stayed off for about a year. Things were good but then my voice changed and I now have trouble swallowing. Its been since starting the med taper. Dr. is concerned about Barretts esophagus. We opted for the generic version of Prilosec (omeprazole) because it isn't as strong as Nexium. It is not intended to be a forever med. As I decrease my meds and things settle I can decrease this but very slowly. His recommended taper will take about 7mo if I don't have any reoccurring symptoms. I wish he was my pdoc.

 

At the moment I still have the burning ball in my throat, voice change, and trouble swallowing. I've changed to the GERD-friendly diet already. Its emotions that get me the most and I'm having a lot of them right now. I have been on D before (last winter) so I'm comfortable with that if need be. I'd start it slowly tho since my meds have changed since then.

 

Its my behavior that needs to change the most (yoga, meditation) but I am rebelling. Not sure why.

 

But really, Thanks for your concern and I will go to the link you posted. Hopefully tonight.

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mattinsmom

Hi, just wanted to chime in, I've Ct'ed myself off meds before and ended up inpatient as a result of a manic episode and wound up in an infinitely worse state than I went in, with about 5x more meds.  In fact that is the reason I am in the worst state of my life right now.  I know you want to get it over with but that is kind of the same mindset that the psychiatrist probably used when he wanted your depression (?) symptoms to go away in the first place, right?  Desperation leads to regret...

I've never thought about how aggressively I went on meds. Interesting perspective. And, it was out of desperation. And, I do regret it. Thank you for that point to ponder. That one really slows down my desire to speed up. 

 

I am sorry that you are at such a low state in your life at the moment. Hopefully this is temporary and not a permanent result.  

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Altostrata

There really isn't much different in withdrawal between people who have been on antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs.

 

If you've had a prior experience labeled as mania or psychosis, you may want to be extra careful when tapering not to trigger that again.

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Rhiannon

Amy, what Jemima describes happens with ALL drugs that change neurotransmitter expression. It's not whether or not it's an SSRI or a benzo or lamotrigine or what.  If it messes with your neurotransmitters, your brain responds by remodeling itself around the new, artificial chemistry.

 

This requires the turning on and off of genes, the making of proteins and removing of others, killing off some cells and growing others, lots of pretty extensive and complex changes, which cannot be reversed quickly.  

 

I liken it to a plant growing around, in and through a trellis (the trellis being the chemistry caused by the drug).

 

You can yank the plant off the trellis (which is what a cold turkey does) if you want but it's not going to be a pretty sight, and it's going to take that poor plant a long time before it's healthy and strong again. Or you can snip bits of the trellis away slowly while encouraging the plant to regain its own self-sufficient, natural shape.  

 

It turns out this is a very apt analogy that correlates well with what people experience in getting off psych meds. That's probably because brains are living things, and trellises are not natural parts of plants but something that is induced from outside, so it works in many ways.

 

When I say "you need to grow a new brain" I am NOT kidding. This isn't something to fool around with, unless you for some reason want to experience a lot of pain, incredible suffering and chaos, and end up on more meds. It's up to you.

 

I have lots of other posts around this forum on neurophysiology, neurochemistry, biology, neuroplasticity, what's happening when we take these drugs and when we quit them.

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Aria

When on the various psych drugs I experienced severe GERD/reflux and had to sleep upright in a recliner. After I tapered off the drugs the GERD was no more. I had to conclude the psych drugs caused me to have GERD; nausea, vomiting, gastric upset (causing my throat to burn from reflux) and burning in my stomach and lower abdomen. My gastroenterologist did his best to help treat my horrid symptoms with various gastric medications but he didn't realize the psych drugs were the culprit. I basically was adding more drugs to my already overwhelmed system to help control side effects from other drugs.

 

Sudden stoppage of any psychiatric and other drugs can be disastrous and make any symptom worse. Be careful whatever you decide to do.

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mattinsmom

I am not going to do a washout. After the past few days I'm not going to be doing anything other than trying to catch my breath (figuratively...mostly). I'm getting my butt kicked with emotional instability. 

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GiaK

here is my story of a medically supervised withdrawal:  Many existing detox centers for psych drug withdrawal are dangerous http://beyondmeds.com/2012/01/21/benzodetoxdangers/

 

it's about a detox center, but a 6 week withdrawal in the hospital is totally comparably dangerous. 

 

these drugs should never be come off of quickly (except in life-threatening emergency, and then disablity from the withdrawal is still a possibility) ...supervision or not

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Needmylifeback

Oh my goodness Gia!!! I am feeling horrified for all you and others have endured at the hands of "professionals" in this field!!!

 

I have been using opiod pain killers beginning in 2002 for a bad car accident and just as my symptoms began to be alleviated jan/feb 2008 and I began to quickly wean away from all oral meds (to do the fentanyl patch last) I was re-injured May 2008, resulting in a shattered hip, broken back and pelvic ring (the hip could not be replaced until the shattered shards of bone had fused enough to be able to safely remove them in larger pieces. This did not happen until more 2 1/2yrs post injury). During the first treatment period spring 2002-jan 2008, I recall a vast array of psych meds (of which I knew nothing at the time! Including what they were). I DO recall that I had many negative reactions and he rapidly pulled me off or did direct switches over to another drug. I can't be sure but I believe I was on and off more or less than three dozen different psych drugs .... I do recall climbing the walls at times and feeling out of touch with life and feeling no joy, etc .... However my entire world had been pulled apart and placed in a fiery furnace all at once, outside of the physical injury. And nothing lasted long enough for me to do anything but mention it only sometimes to my neuro dr. I can't recall anything lasting an entire week even. But prior to any meds in my system at all, I had an underlying GI disorder every dr and ER dismissed as "tummy bug" or "intestinal flu". My background is biochemisty. There is no such virus that last for years. I ended up malnourished due to their negligence. I don't know but maybe since my gut was literally dumping everything (yes I was dx with that but it was also wrong) perhaps I never had the drugs full force on board?? Or it was clearing my system faster than normal??

 

Whatever the reason as I read stories like yours I feel like I dodged a bullet at a time when one more thing would have had me in my grave.

 

How long ago was this incident?? What protracted issues have you dealt with? Have you felt like you have been able, with a slow taper, to restore yourself to some level of normal function??

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GiaK

hi needmylifeback

 

that was 2009...

 

I managed to get drug free on my own in 2010...

 

Since then I've been recovering from a severe protracted withdrawal, but I am definitely getting better all the time even if I'm still challenged...we are incredibly resilient if we can give ourselves the chance...I'm very grateful to have a home and when I needed it a husband that gave me the 24 hour care I needed.

 

thank you for asking. I'm glad you didn't have to go through such extremes...it's not something I wish for my worst enemies. 

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Marie

I didn't go through a "wash out," but I did make a switch from Xanax to klonopin. And because of the difference in half life, the klonopin had to build up in my system while I dropped some of the Xanax.

 

So I went slow and out of 3 mgs of Xanax, I dropped .25 mgs and replaced it with .25 mgs of klonopin.. Buildup time varies for people with klonopin from 3-14 days as per MedHelp. I would have thought I could withstand this relatively small substitution, but it was not to be. On day 6, I was still waiting for the klonopin to "kick in." By that time, I was starting to feel pretty antsy and nervous. The following day, I began to have "irrational fears" that I could not even explain to my husband. I was just wracked with terror.

 

By day 10, I went to a mandated work training, was spotted by close co- workers as being shaky, and they took me out quickly. From there, they got my husband and drove me immediately to the ER as I was mentally collapsing and so shaken up.

 

The ending was ok in that I had a good crisis worker who explained this process to my family and friends and did not order benzos, but I left there still in crisis mode.

 

I think a washout of all my benzo would look like this 1,000 times worse and it's frightening to contemplate. Just that day alone is something I will never forget as I was definitely in such bad shape that I could not have made it without help, and I was still a fruitcake until the klonopin took effect.

 

Marie

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nycdreamer

Hi All,

 

My mom was saying it would be great to get some fellow withdrawers together and go someplace cheap like the Dominicsn Republic for sunlight, peace, peer support, so we can help eachother through this time. It's so hard being around others who don't understand. I was looking on airbnb and prices are low. If anyone is interested, please let me know and a little about you.

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nycdreamer

My mom was suggesting that it would be great to get a group of females together who are going through antidepressant withdrawal and go somewhere tropical and cheap, like the dominican republic, to recover together and offer peer support. Its hard when loved ones dont understand. Would anyone be interested?

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bluebalu86

I'd love to do that but I don't have the money... But I think it's a great idea. I really need a vacation...

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nycdreamer

I saw there are places on airbnb for like 400 a month. I know, funds are always tough when going through this...

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