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    Unexpected Etiz w/d 
    #1
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    Hello Bluelight! It's been quite awhile since I've been active here, and I imagine few, if anyone, remembers me or my story. I'll summarize the background quickly. I was last active while trying to kick a 2-3 year opioid dependence (oxy--->rent--->subs), and found the board to be a remarkable support. I was able to taper from sub (<.01mg) to Kratom and then (pretty easily at that point) to the periodic drug use I prefer (I have not however, taken anything stronger then a post acute injury perc 5, in terms of opis, since). Life was good, and it's been between 3 and 5 years since I felt any w/d symtoms. I'm still thankfully clean of opis, but the title may have tipped you off that i fucked up.

    My best friend overdosed on PST and benzos not too long back, and it fucked me up. Lifelong, first friends, closer then family kinda thing, I'm sure many of you have buried the same, but to the rest, I hope you never suffer that pain. Met the kid in first grade, went into the mental health field because of the way he was failed by so called professionals. Regardless, I have never hesitated to take stupid risks for the sake of experience, and as such I began to abuse etizolam to understand the hell he had become trapped in. I suppose I told myself I didn't intend to take it very far, maybe a week or two, as I had often gotten massive rebound anxiety from single day recreational use and had not taken benzos in over a decade.

    It's been 2-3 mounths, and my best guess has me taking 110 1mg etilaam pills, from a highly reliable and trustworthy source (don't PM, both because its against the rules and because its pointless as they are done). I was not taking them daily, but the last week I was on vacation and took 8 etiz, and drank virtually everyday (only 1 etiz daily, 8 in the week). Now I didn't expect anything, so Monday when I had odd "shortness of breath" I figured it was random, and didn't even admit to myself what it meant when the etiz solved that problem. I didn't take any on Tuesday and woke up last night at 5:30am thinking the weed tea I drank was giving me a panic attack. I reviewed my symtoms and my clinical training forced me to accept the inevitable, benzo withdrawal. I tried to wait the panic attack out but work soon, and need to function for clients. So I took a small dose of Phenibut (200mg), and some tianeptimine (40mg), and feel 90% better. I am aware the risks of these substances, and highly familiar with their use. I've never had any issue with either of them, nor a strong affinity for them. I have a ton of etiz left, and will taper if it becomes really nessisary, but would prefer to cut this off here (I dont find them tempting, really don't enjoy them enough to prolong use and increae length of w/d symtoms, unlike opiates where I willingly pushed off quitting for over a year because I LOVE suboxone.)

    Mostly telling my story, open to input, but I'm an avid reader, so bring personal experiences, not research, as I've probably read it at some point, and mostly make highly informed bad decitions, rather then the opposite. This community has helped me during two very difficult periods, and I thank you for any support you may have for me now.
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    #2
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    sorry to hear about your friend man, and did you have a question though? like, do you need help with your etz dependence or something?
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    #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeping View Post
    sorry to hear about your friend man, and did you have a question though? like, do you need help with your etz dependence or something?
    Thanks, sorry, I was a bit fuzzy while typing this and failed to get to my questions.

    A. Does anyone have experience using these "comfort" meds for Benzo/Etiz w/d? (tianeptine, Kratom, Phenibut)
    1. Are there any unexpected elements of their use during the acute w/d period?
    2. What seems to be the lowest effective dose of Phenibut to relive acute symptoms during a panic attack (assuming it works for others, did the trick for me)
    3. Does tian seem to make anyone else far more energetic during w/d then it does otherwise (in similar doses), anyone know why this might be true from a neuo-chem stand point?

    B. Has anyone else experienced acute withdrawal symptoms from this period/dose (110 over 120 days), 1-2 most days, with 1-2 day breaks most weeks. I've found a small handful of stories confirming that others have, but would love the chance to ask more specific questions, especially about any post acute symptoms.

    C. Personal experiences regarding sleep during withdrawal, especially what helps (barring the obvious benzos and stronger opis).
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    #4
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    worst ever withdrawal was etizolam, 4 days of sheer horror, no sleep, couldn't eat and i was sweating buckets - never cold turkey benzos.
    i was taking etizolam everyday for around half a year, so a little longer than you but i did indeed experience acute wd symptoms;
    after i had the seizure the hospital gave me (along with midazolam) clonidine so i would say that you should consider stocking up on that.

    what do you mean by 'unexpected elements'?
    and i wonder if gabapentin or pregabalin would help in anyway, pregab is Rx for anxiety so... ༼ ༎ຶ ෴ ༎ຶ༽
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    Tikhil, I was taking benzos daily for a couple of years (I had been on and off them for over ten years before that, just not on a daily basis). Strangely, my doses never increased past therapeutically recommended levels so the physical addiction was mild compared to some cases I've read about.

    Worst withdrawal effect I experienced was last year when I went a couple of days without dosing, I was just over taking them and wasn't sure if I'd even get noticeable withdrawals as I never had before, I guess I wanted to gauge the severity of my habit, but I was pretty careless. I was fine for a couple of days but then it struck me quite suddenly, vertigo, jitters and panic which I could tell was going somewhere rather unpleasant. I took some valium and was fine within a few hours. I wouldn't be trying such a haphazard approach to quitting again.

    I first tried phenibut in March this year and noticed that with around a gram or two each day, I was able to go without benzos for days at a time.

    Days became weeks soon enough and I was able to avoid the most serious symptoms of benzo withdrawal. I was down to modest doses of diazepam when I made the switch though. On the contrary, I was chatting with someone who was prone to seizures during their benzo withdrawal, they said phenibut seemed to induce seizures for them.

    I would recommend giving phenibut a try for psychological symptoms but not physical. If you are experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms, which you very well may, then definitely get a proper muscle relaxant and do things by the book until they are under control.

    As manageable as I found my benzo use most of the time, the time I spent on etizolam last year was probably the most inconvenient because of its' short duration. It was the only benzo (not technically a benzo I know but close enough) it was the only benzo where I would need to re-dose more than 3 effective doses per day every day. It was impossible to ween off so I switched to something with a longer half-life and it was much easier.

    Not sure if any of this is any help, but in short, phenibut worked for me, etizolam is a bit crap and it's probably a good idea to get down to the lowest benzo dose you can before switching to something else and always keep some spare benzos just in case the other stuff isn't quite cutting it.
    Last edited by Kaden_Nite; 13-09-2017 at 18:06.
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    #6
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    I guess my thoughts on a taper are this:

    1. I feel I just pasted the threshold for w/d symptoms very recently, and am, at this time, expecting them to be very acute psychologically, but mild physically (i'm passing 60 hours since last dose, or just about, and have experienced limited physical symptoms). I mostly feel a taper will prolong the overall experience, with only the most minimal decrease in pain. I am pretty confident that I am well below the threshold for much of a seizure risk. Finally, breaking the pills up is very difficult, and makes accurate dosing a pain. A pure powder would be easier, but obtaining more etiz to quit etiz (or even a longer acting benzo for that matter) seems counter productive. If Valium was available to me, I may choose a rapid taper with the longer acting option, but it is not at this time.

    Keeping - thank you for sharing your experience, I was trying to remember clonodine before, I knew it was something like that, but couldn't place the exact name. Very helpful advice, especially because I may be able to get a script without mentioning my use given my ADHD diagnosis, and past treatment with stimulants. I know they would rather script clonodine then vyvanse, so I imagine my doc won't hesitate. Gabapenten and nuerotin would be difficult for me to obtain in a time frame that would make them useful to me, (given my use, and clinical experience, I don't much expect the physical symptoms to persist past 5 nights, though psychological may).
    Thank you for the advice.

    Kaden - physical thus far has been limited to some appetite loss, a bit of sweating at night (maybe a chill or two), and some stomach discomfort upon getting out of bed. Most seemed to be more caused by the anxiety (psychological symptom) rather then a direct result of not taking etiz. I'm guessing however, and perhaps the physical will get much worst, in which case I will heed both of your advice and find something to reduce seizure risk, or at worst take very tiny doses (sub .25) of etiz once a day to prevent. Phenibut has been fantastic thus far, at a pretty low dose, i'm impressed. It was near useless during the opiate w/d, and I mostly kept it around to soften come downs. It's long half life has me hoping itll make sleep less unpleasant. Thanks for sharing.

    Anyone use ketemine, or other dissociates (other then DXM) for/during w/d? I'm generally a fan, and remember it eliminating most of opiate w/d for well beyond it's acute active period, wondering how it does for benzos, but don't think I have any stashed away.
    Last edited by Tikhil; 13-09-2017 at 18:37.
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    #7
    Hello,

    I'm also in a healthcare field where I cannot be incapacitated and, just like you, I have "accidentally" found myself with a benzo dependence more times than I can count. The first time I did not expect WDs and as such had no comfort meds ready.

    Anyway the good news with Etizolam is that the acute WDs, while some of the worst I've ever felt from any drug, are short lived. If you've made it 60 hours I would say you're almost out of the woods. It lasted about a week for me. PAWS is something else, but that won't incapacitate you and you can function at work.

    The second time, I knew what was coming and was prepared. Despite having been an opiate addict years ago, I tapered my etizolam use as low as I could and then used extremely low-dose heroin (simply due to it's availability and my access to it). While the heroin did fuck-all for my physical symptoms and it didn't deal with all of my psychological symptoms, it *DID* attenuate my anxiety which was the biggest problem bar none. Discos were helpful for my physical symptoms, but ketamine is too short lived and too tempting for me to hole-out on. I found MXE a lot better because a low-dose had a decent duration.

    Best of luck!
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    #8
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    Thanks for the reply, good to hear from another dealing with this while staying in the field. The positive of this experience, from my perspective, is that I have a much better understand (or at least frame of reference) for my clients dealing with anxiety based disorders, and dealing with benzo (either medication or abuse). I often find my familiarity with opi withdrawal is able to inform my practice, but this experience had far broader implications beyond the substance use stuff.

    I recall my first opi withdrawal, before I had any knowledge of what to do, I thought I was losing my mind, if i hadn't gotten back to college where I left my stash (talking moons ago mind you) I would have ended up inpatient psych without question (not saying IP is always bad per say, but is a fear of mine, having disliked even working inpatient settings due to common lack of freedom/basic human dignity issues). The depression was heavier then anything id experienced at that age, beyond my coping skills. Thankfully it scared me enough to switch to subs, which I both preferred (oddly) and found easy to taper to next to nothing (many find otherwise).

    The right meds make a world of difference for me.
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    #9
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    I'll admit to being a bit confused today. I slept through the night, having taken only a cup of extremely strong cannabis oil tea and 250mg of Phenibut. I expected to wake up either uncomfortable or in another full blown panic attack given the sheer intensity of the panic attack that awoke me a night ago. I did not, in fact I woke up utterly drowsy, which is very normal for a high dose thc tea on a weekday, but remarkable considering yesterday I felt over caffeinated at all times (rebound effect, I drank no caffeine at all, which is highly unusual for me). I suppose this fits with the unpredictable nature of benzo withdrawals which I often hear people note, but it is much unlike any opi w/d i've faced, which tend to follow a clear progression. No craving for etiz at all, in fact I am very much craving a 20oz redbull, which yesterday sounded like actual torture with the inherent over-stimulation I was dealing with.

    Two questions:

    1. Given that I am not feeling any symptoms at the moment, how much would I be tempting fate (and the return of symptoms) by drinking my normal excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages?

    2. Is it possible my symptoms were more "rebound anxiety" at an extreme level, and less acute withdrawal. Or is it more likely that the small dose of Phenibut (less then i'd normally take for recreation, maybe 500mg over >24 hours) is holding all symptoms fully at bay today. I haven't added Phenibut to the equation since waking, and don't seem to notice any anxiety at all, nothing creeping, no negative physical feelings.

    I feel I should be at least mildly relieved, but I'm mostly confused.
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    #10
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    Be careful with Phenibut. I've taken it 3 times ever and had a bad reaction the last time. I had muscle twitching, ended up sleeping a long time, felt hungover, was in a state of confusion, and had memory problems. It acts on the same brain receptor as benzos. Your dose sounds really low but don't dose unless you must. It's a strange drug and unpredictable.
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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxygal View Post
    Be careful with Phenibut. I've taken it 3 times ever and had a bad reaction the last time. I had muscle twitching, ended up sleeping a long time, felt hungover, was in a state of confusion, and had memory problems. It acts on the same brain receptor as benzos. Your dose sounds really low but don't dose unless you must. It's a strange drug and unpredictable.
    I've seen people have similar reactions to what you decribe, but often when dosing over a full gram, which I find generally unessisary and even counterproductive for the senerios I find phenibut most useful for. I've been using Phenibut periodically for a few years, with nothing but very positive experiences with the substance. Your warning is important however, as it truly can be rather unpreditable for many. I don't plan to redoes today unless I have another major panic attack, which is starting to seem unlikely.

    Many of the subjective differences are likally related to it being a Gaba-b agonist, which, ime, tend to be more unpreditable then the classic sedatives (i.e. Benzos)
    Last edited by Tikhil; 14-09-2017 at 18:47.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikhil View Post

    Keeping - thank you for sharing your experience, I was trying to remember clonodine before, I knew it was something like that, but couldn't place the exact name. Very helpful advice, especially because I may be able to get a script without mentioning my use given my ADHD diagnosis, and past treatment with stimulants. I know they would rather script clonodine then vyvanse, so I imagine my doc won't hesitate. Gabapenten and nuerotin would be difficult for me to obtain in a time frame that would make them useful to me, (given my use, and clinical experience, I don't much expect the physical symptoms to persist past 5 nights, though psychological may).
    Thank you for the advice.
    no worries mate, never tried vyanase myself so couldn't comment on that but clonidine is a solid wd tool - really helps with the sweats and hot-flushes and stuff.
    thats the one you want, trust me (y)
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    #13
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    Vyvance would be a miserable option during benzo withdrawal, no question there.

    However, it seems I've gotten quite lucky, as the two panic attacks seem to be the extent of my termination syndrome, perhaps better termed rebound then withdrawal in this case. I woke up the next day at baseline, and have remained. My stomach was a bit odd for maybe another day, but has since returned fully to normal. My remaining etiz is stashed far away and I'm not planning on taking on save for very specific situations (none of which are in the near future).

    Thank you everyone for the advice and support, i'm really glad to have gained major insight into the subjective experience of a full acute panic attack without lasting symtoms. Though, I'll admit to finding the sheer intensity of the rebound panic attacks odd considering how quickly I returned to baseline afterword.

    I have certanly learned a new caution regarding gaba drugs, I'm not sure how I would have handled a few more days of panic attacks, they are really fucking unpleasant, gained a new level of empathy for my clients who suffer from such events by a cruel trick of genetics and biology rather then substance use.
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    #14
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    glad you're on the mend tikhil - as someone who suffered with panic attacks for years (luckily they've stopped for the minute) i empathize with you.
    was actually my own reason for becoming dependent on etizolam back in university - and yeah, that rebound anxiety, hellish ༼ ༎ຶ ෴ ༎ຶ༽
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    #15
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    Me to, me too.

    I'm sorry you've had to contend with that, it really is a nightmarish experience. I've suffered from extreme anxiety and suicidal depression in my past, but both came easily under my control when I began using self CBT (Cognitive Behavioral therapy). My panic attack had no logic, as soon as I'd accomplish breaking one anxious thought with cognitive restructiring techniques, I'd have a brand new and unrelated anxious thought. Reflecting on it, the experience was very similar to what I've heard from clients suffering from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). They would report that it didn't matter if they recognized a fear as foolish, because as soon as they did their mind would find a new fear.

    I would struggle not to heavily self medicate if I dealt with acute panic attacks on a regular basis, no question.

    I've had terrible rebound agitation while in HS and using xanex a few times. I made some awful mistakes as a result and stayed away from benzos for years. Etiz thankfully does not cause irrational agitation for me, but goddam those two panic attacks. The first was really strange, I was on Kratom and had zero anxiety but bad shortness of breath that was easily fixed by chewed at etiz (which is how I know it was a panic attack). The second was clear, as I was sober and the racing thoughts were textbook.
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    #16
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    so i was wondering, how does your training in the mental health field compare to experiencing what its like to have a panic/anxiety disorder? im very interested to hear your take on it.
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    #17
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    I was introduced to CBT by Aaron and Judith Beck, the founders of the theory, as a result of my professional training. As a result of feeling a great deal of personal buy in to the theory I began to visit a Cognitive Behavioral therapist, and spent about 10 weeks going through the treatment itself. These days I use the techniques of the theory in a self therapy style anytime I feel anxiety or depression, and find it highly effective. For those diagnosis, the cognitive conceptualization seems to represent a very accurate understanding, partly because it accepts that everyone experiences depression and anxiety differently and seek to understand the subjective experience rather then "explain" to the person what is happening. Having been on the other side of the couch with countless clients dealing with anxiety and depression, i'll be the first to say DSM diagnosis falls far short of explaining what is truly a highly subjective experience, and treating these symtoms requires a very open and questioing mind.

    The rebound panic attacks were a different beast and seemd to short circuit my techniques to control them. I fully understand why so many MDs script benzos for acute panic attacks, as most theraputic intervencions seem ineffective in the moment of the panic attack. I am not especially skilled with breathing techniques however, which research seems to support heavily in the tx of acute panic attacks, so I can't speak to that. If i dealt with them in the normal course of life, I would seek out a CB therapist who specializes in breathing techniques and see how it went if I geeked out on learning as many as possible.

    I am also the rare therapist who feels that some form of personal experience makes one far more effective on the other side of the couch, many will say that proffesional training solves the need for this personal experience, but that has not been my findings. Those mental health professionals who have not dealt anxiety or depression seem less able to truly understand what it is like, and why it is so hard to use most therapeutic techniques in those states. Much as I feel that those who have a history of substance use/abuse/dependence are more effective at helping others recover, though I do belive that the professional training PLUS personal experience is very helpful.

    In summery, I actually feel my training was very accurate, but I see many therapists who have had the same training fail to utilize it well. I feel this is because their bias prevented them from really taking as much as they should have from school. They only really integrated those elements of the training that fit with their beliefs. I'm not a psychologist mind you, I'm a masters level practitioner with extensive post grad training specific to CBT, I find many clinical psychologists have an old school perspective that lacks truma informed, person centered understandings. These days the APA seems so focused on research that some of the licesned PHD programs for clinical work are somewhat lacking. I feel those who grab a licensing masters and spend time doing post-grad work in a specific modality end up with a much better clinical perspective. Hope this answers your question generally, more then happy to address any specific questions you may have on the topic.
    Last edited by Tikhil; 17-09-2017 at 23:38.
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    #18
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    no that was great thank you! we're very lucky to have someone with your skills and experience not just on BL, but in the field of mental health as a whole
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    Thank you for the kind sentiment; I am lucky to work in a field that grants immense meaning to my otherwise primarily hedonistic existance.

    I only wish more of the MDs would take some time to really open their mind to what their clients say. I hear too many speak as if they base everything they do off textbooks, and assume that every pt is either lying or unable to properly decribe their experience. I find the key is assuming the client knows more about their subjective experience then any textbook or diagnostic criteria.
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Tikhil View Post

    Many of the subjective differences are likally related to it being a Gaba-b agonist, which, ime, tend to be more unpreditable then the classic sedatives (i.e. Benzos)
    Hit the nail on the head there. Gaba agonists in general tend to produce some negative effects when trying to w/d since your CNS now has lost it's brakes. With no CNS inhibition you end up with an excitatory nervous system hence the anxiety and seizure risk associated with Gaba agonists. Important to taper with these as acute w/d symptoms can prove fatal. You need to inhibit the CNS artificially until Gaba levels come back and can do it naturally. I know I'm a bit late to the party but I'm a medic who thought he'd throw his 2 cents in anyway having also gone through some of what you're mentioning.
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    Thanks for the solid advice, as it turned out my gut feeling that my use had not been enough to cause a full scale withdrawal episode was correct, and rebound symtoms quickly retreated. I agree with the sentiment that a waiting out a full blown withdrawal without a taper or other anti-seizure intervencion would be ill advised.
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Tikhil View Post
    Thanks for the solid advice, as it turned out my gut feeling that my use had not been enough to cause a full scale withdrawal episode was correct, and rebound symtoms quickly retreated. I agree with the sentiment that a waiting out a full blown withdrawal without a taper or other anti-seizure intervencion would be ill advised.
    Glad to hear you are well and one step closer to freedom, mate.
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