My Benzodiazepine Recovery: An update on my benzo taper and current status

My time spent using etizolam was nearly a complete blur. It was one of the darkest holes I had ever found myself in to date. When I finally realized what I had done to myself, I knew I had to find a way out.

For those of you that don’t know, etizolam is technically a thienodiazepine. Regardless, it acts on your benzo receptors much like alprazolam does (xanax). It is a very short-lived chemical and the total duration of prominent effects is typically anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. Due to this and it’s incredibly short half life, if taken in an abusive manner for months on end, it can create a grip on your life like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.

I don’t know the exact date that I committed to tapering off of etizolam by using diclazepam, but if I had to guess I think it was in early January. Again, for those of you unfamiliar with diclazepam (chlorodiazepam) it is basically a super jacked version of diazepam (valium); Valium being the most commonly prescribed benzo for tapering programs. It has a potency of 1 to 10  when compared to valium, so roughly 1mg of diclazepam is equal to 10mg’s of valium.

Being at the point I was with my etizolam addiction, I found diclazepam to be my best option because it is unregulated in the USA and I could legally buy it online. Also, as stated above, it is basically valium just a bit stronger per milligram.

I honestly don’t know how much etizolam I was taking daily because it had gotten that bad, but when I began my taper I was taking 12mg’s of diclazepam at one time daily; the equivalency of 120mg’s of valium. By the time I found a medical professional that was willing to work with my drug addiction and recovery counselor, I had tapered down to 9mg’s of diclazepam a day using my own methods. The doctor I began seeing also prescribed me valium legally so that I could use it in conjunction with my diclazepam; after my first visit I walked away with a non-refillable prescription for 120, 10mg valiums.

The process of tapering off of benzo’s has been incredibly difficult, probably the hardest thing that I’ve ever done in my life. I unfortunately developed a very rare side effect from my abuse of etizolam; blepherospasms which is a condition in which your eyelid will twitch randomly. Throughout the day my right eyelid twitches uncontrollably at irregular times even after 4 months clean of etizolam. In the beginning I felt really sick when tapering down, but at this point I’ve sort of gotten used to it; or atleast as much as anyone going through the process can. My anxiety still sometimes gets out of control, but for the most part I can maintain a sense of calmness. And through using diclazepam I have fully regained my clarity. You see, diclazepam is very much so a background benzo as I like to describe it. It will definitely fuck you up if taken abusively, but therapeutically or for what I’m doing I can still mantain complete clarity and function normally, unlike when I was on etizolam.

In the beginning my depression and feeling of emptiness was very extreme, far worse than normal. Before my addiction I was already taking medication for depression; I took 40mg’s of celexa and 150mg’s of welbutrin daily. After doing some DNA testing (which I wrote a complete entry on several posts back) I found out that my body does not work well with SSRI’s, so my doctor took me off of the celexa and replaced it with pristiq, an SNRI. She also prescribed me L-Methylfolate because the testing additionally revealed that my DNA had a double mutation on the gene responsible for producing a chemical vital for the production of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. No wonder I was so prone to being depressed, anxious, and generally discontent.

Back to the relevancy of my topic, this taper has been hell; I have felt like complete shit, been extremely depressed and anxious, and hopeless feeling more times than I can count, but I am finally starting to feel better. I am now down to the equivalency of 55mg’s of valium a day. I currently take 2 and a half 10mg valium pills spread throughout my day and when I get off work I take 1, 3 mg diclazepam pill. Likely due to my progress and also my medication changes, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I realize that I still have a long ways to go, but by the time I see my doctor next I should be down to a daily milligram dosage in which I can completely stop taking the diclazepam and shift only to diazepam.

Benzo addiction and recovery is complete and utter hell, but with the proper motivation and support it can be achieved. If you or anyone you know is going through the same or a similar process, I wish them the best of luck. It is and will be a trying time in their lives, but it is worth it.

Until next time, my love and best wishes to you all.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.