• TDS Moderators: AlphaMethylPhenyl | Eligiu | deficiT

Can benzo's help with opiate withdrawal?


Oct 26, 2009
Somewhere up north
I'm prescribed 4mg xanax a day and recently picked up an opiate addiction. The withdrawals suck. I got high 12 hours ago and i already have this horrible feeling in my chest and this intense craving to do more. I've taken 2mg xanax and so far - no relief... Can benzo's actually help or do I really need to find a suboxone doctor?
i just recently got off opiates and xanax was my saviour, i had no benzo tolerance though, so a diet 2mg of xanax and a bottle of wine kept me in a virtual coma for 4 days or so, i guess this advice is not in the spirit of harm reduction, however it worked a treat for me
God yes, I can't imagine kicking without benzos to help!

From what I've experienced (and from other folks I've spoken too) your tolerance to them temporarily gets raised a LOT. When I was cold turkeying from OC I could take 3-4mg Xanax and i would knock me out for an hour at most (bare in mind normally 1mg would have me feeling sleepy, 2mg and I'd black out / wake up somewhere a few hours later :D

That said, please go careful!!
There is a temptation (especially when in WD and you desperately want some releif) to just keep taking them until you fall asleep, I'm sure I don't need to explain why that can be dangerous.
If your usual dose isn't working I'd try taking 1.5x your usual dose next time, followed by 2x etc. etc.

Good luck buddy, and just keep focusing on this:
In 5 days time you'll feel so much better, you'll be able to sleep (near enough) normally, everything that's making your current situation bad will be gone :)
Tricky as i can see how the xanax would help, but having an op8 habbit bare in mind that benzos are addictive little fuckers also and worse to come off. U picked up an op8 habbit after u got xanax yes? if that is the case id think on seein a doc for some sub maybe, esp if ur takin or start to take any more than ur perscribed xanax or take it every day. It ends up hellish you dun wanna have a benzo addiction aswell.
For me they didn't help with withdrawals, but they helped me sleep, which was a huge bonus. Nice, long, dreamless sleep, but I'm not prescribed them or do them a lot and I just had klonopins, but withdrawal is guaranteed anxiety, so it's going to be a relief in that way. If you really feel like you're not going to stop, and you're not going to change, then maybe get the suboxone to stay out of trouble, but you don't need it.
IMO all of these things just post-pone the moment of sober soul searching necessary to really get anything out of sobriety. Otherwise it's just another drug for another drug for another drug.
I think that it would depend on how you're using them. If you're taking them constantly to relieve withdrawal symptoms, then you're running a huge risk of transferring addictions. However, if you're just using them to knock yourself out to get an occasional sleep during acute withdrawal, then I think that they might be useful. I see that you're already taking them regularly anyway, so it sounds like you've already likely have a solid habit there. I'd be concerned with escalating the existing xanax addiction, which will wind up taking even longer to kick than the opiates.

I've never had to kick opiates though, so my advice is strictly academic.
^ Agree with this entirely.. a benzo addiction is not something you want to risk, as dave said it can take even longer to wean yourself off them and unlike opioid withdrawals benzo withdrawals can be very dangerous indeed..

They won't remove your withdrawals at all, but in the short term they can help ease some of the symptoms - I would tread very carefully though.

Loperamide (Immodium) is your friend! It's an opioid but it doesn't cross the blood-brain-barrier to any significant degree - however it can help with a lot of the physical withdrawal symptoms.

I came across this thread the other day, a guide to medications and treatments used for opioid withdrawal, which you might find useful :)

I would definitely have a think about what the best long term plan for you is, too. Some people can just quit, get through the withdrawals then manage to keep clean, but many people find that they relapse. Addiction is a complicated thing, there is more to it that just brain chemistry - have a think about how and why you became addicted in the first place; are the factors that were involved still present in your life? If your social situation is the same, or you have the same psychological stresses for example, it can make it harder to stay clean. How do you feel about managing without opiates?

I'm not saying you are going to fail, far from it - but if you are going to go through the uncomfortable withdrawals, I think it is important that you make sure it is worth it and that you can stay clean after. If not, the stability and support of a Suboxone/methadone maintenance programme might suit you better and allow for a more gentle taper, giving yourself time to adjust and adapt. Drugs counselling can help hugely with the question of why you became addicted, how to stay clean, and can give you tools to help support your recovery. If there are any social or psychological issues which might make things harder then being in a maintenance programme/taper gives you time to address those too.

Different things work for different people, it depends entirely on your individual situation, but it is something to consider :)

Good luck! <3
For short term... a benzo would be useful. Yes it can cause some of the worse long-lasting physical addiction... and if you are already using 4 mg alprazolam a day, I would keep using it through your OC withdrawals... you can keep using your Xanax after that but eventually you will run (have already ran) into tolerance w/d... I would see your doctor and ask to be switched to a diazepam (Valium) taper down... nothing too fast or too rapid... because benzo withdrawals are long-lasting and the most horrible I know... opiates are a piece of cake compare to them!... Benzo are just not worth the... rewards if I can put it that way ;) Check out benzo withdrawals on google and you will find some more valuable informations. Kick the OC and then kick the benzo... Good luck my friend!... Really kick out the benzo of your life or it will you kick you so hard in the arse! The cravings are easy to deal with because benzo are not fun... opiates will be your main problem in the long-term! I would not dare gaving advices with that because I have an issue with cravings myself... avoid at all costs or try once in a while?... Be careful... and you will succeed!
Careful, Xanax and benzos are not like opiates oxy and such. Not alike because when you withdraw from an oxy or heroin you will feel like dying but you won't, however, when you do withdraw from Xanax or benzos you can actually die. This depends how heavy of a user you are. Go to a rehab where they can monitor you. Not a joke. Just checked with my bro he is a Dr. at St.Judes. Good luck.
You will not get addicted to benzos if you are just using them, for opiate withdrawls. Opiate withdrawls dont last long enough to get hooked on benzos. Your fine.
come on read the thread people! guy has been on xanax for a year anyway!

OP if you just get "horrible feeing in chest" and craving just fucking quit ffs, you don't need suboxone, that is for when you shit your pants, throw up, don't sleep for 4 days and feel like every bone is broken.

jesus christ.
Lots of good info in this thread. Personally, I'm a week clean from kicking my Hydrocodone habit, and I'm feeling great. I didn't take any benzos or anything because as others have said, I was already addicted to one thing, I damn sure don't wanna start another one. If you're already taking the xannies, I guess keep doing it if it helps, and if not, I'll let ya know what I took to help me through my withdrawals.

I took all OTC stuff...a good multivitamin, Fish Oil, Advil/Advil PM to try to help me get a few hours of sleep, L-Tyrosine 500 (helps your mood, gives you some energy, and is all-natural), Excedrine when my head hurts, lots of hot showers or baths, and as much movement/activity as you can muster. Sunshine helps, even though it might not feel like it at the time. Exercise is wonderful! Good luck...kick your habit, and live a free live. Sober feels great.
Benzos help alot. The most annoying thing about opiate withdrawals for me was the restless legs and the inability to sleep (apart from the goosebumps). I would take 6mgs of xanax and my legs would be still, and I'd be able to sleep. But when I kicked oxy for the last time recently I didn't use any benzos and it was horrid.

Some side info.. I used to be prescribed 6mgs of klonopin a day, for 3 months until I cancelled the script cold turkey, and I didn't have any noticable withdrawals at all. I also used to have scripts to xanax, about 2-4mgs a day, and I never had withdrawals when I'd cancell the script (using that dose for over a month).
yes they will help, dont try and chase the high again or else those benzos will destroy you in long run
Benzos did a little for me in the sleep department when kicking heroin. But then I got dependent on the benzos from starting up heroin again while taking k-pins. Detoxing from heroin and benzos sucked really bad, I'll tell you that right now. You think you have bad anxiety now, try coming off both at the same time with little to no taper medication... Worse than death itself.
If you have a huge tolerance to them already they are definitely not as effective for opiate wd vs using benzos for the first time whilst in opiate withdrawal (aka low tolerance). Thats not to say they are not effective for people with a tolerance though.

I have a mild benzo tolerance and during detox and withdrawl from opiates i found a low benzo dose during the day got rid of the anxiety and even some cravings. Also the fact that I or one would have benzos makes it much easier to smoke weed in opiate withdrawal.
Without it, for some, smoking weed in opiate withdrawal would send them into a panic attack lol... Including myself. Even though when not in withdrawal, clean etc I'm a heavy user of cannabis with no problems in regards to anxiety. If anything it makes it better but not during opiate withdrawal - Its the opposite UNLESS i have benzos. The two together during withdrawal help tremendously.
...Especially with the kicking and restless feeling as well as both possess muscle relaxing properties. I guess this may be why they are both useful for many like myself.

They are also helpful at night as well mixed with a sleep aid. The sleep aid makes you hella drowsy while the benzos will stop the restless body feeling or like bugs are pinching your skin/muscles which makes you unable to stay still (those who have kicked opiates know what I'm talking about but i dont know the name for it.)

My sleep aid of choice is mirtazapine - Trazadone works well too but the drowsy feeling i find doesn't last long enough and therefore doesn't keep one asleep (maybe for some this doesnt apply though - I know for me and others this applies with Trazadone.).
Mirtazapine tolerance does build fast though as the histamine receptors sensitize after some use of mirtazapine.
Mirtazapine also seems to be the sleep aid with the least side effects and least addictive profile. If anything if you look on wikipedia theres a sentence in the pharmacology section which says that it may even be helpful for combatting drug seeking behaviours because of how it works in the brain.
But yeah thats ^ why i choose mirtazapine and why i decide to combine it with the lowest but most effective dose of benzos.

Lets not forget though that benzos are addictive, withdrawal is actually deadly if done wrong, it can be much harder than opiate withdrawal (especially with larger doses of benzos), its worse for your brain (have you see what your memory is like on benzos lol :p ) and body. And not to mention tolerance builds super duper quick if used regularly. Point here is just use them for the worst part of withdrawal, then don't take benzos again after that if you can...
... For the reasons i mentioned above along with the fact that you would possibly be replacing one addiction with another if you continue using benzos after the worst of withdrawal which is something I doubt you want.
Anyways. Good luck with the detox and staying clean buddy. You can do it.