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    Benzo tolerance after quitting long-term use 
    #1
    Bluelighter Cyanoide's Avatar
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    I'm interested what we know about benzo tolerance in people like me with a history of long term benzo addiction (approx 15 years), followed by detox. After detox I didn't touch any benzo for about 6 months, but when I did, I noticed that I required considerably higher doses than someone without tolerance. This was after being 6 months totally without benzos after detox.

    Does benzo tolerance ever disappear, if you have been physically addicted? Is the brain wired to instantly "recognize" benzos even long after you've quit using them (even many years after using them). Is the action of GABAA permanently altered by long term benzo use? In other words, is GABA receptor down-regulation from benzos permanent or reversible?

    Have there been studies done about this?
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    #2
    Bluelighter Cyanoide's Avatar
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    Sorry for bumping, but does anyone have any input to this? Would be greatly appreciated.
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    #3
    Greenlighter queensoup's Avatar
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    I have been using benzos daily for about 6 years and I clicked this hoping you experienced the opposite of what you did. I'm currently prescribed to 4mg a day (Xanax) and I suffer crippling physical and psychological withdrawals if I try to make it through 24 hours on just 2mg. Paranoia, panic attacks, spasms, the works. And I feel absolutely nothing when I take it anymore which is frustrating not because I want to get high but because I am prescribed 2mg to take at night with my sleeping pill and 2mg to take only if I need it (i.e. if I have a panic attack that day) so when I do have a panic attack and take the 2mg, it doesn't help anymore. And if I don't take the 2mg on days I have no panic attacks I get them anyway from the withdrawal. I feel like the only solution is to try to get my dosage increased... its a vicious cycle and I almost wish I was never put on them in the first place.

    Anyway I guess I'm commenting to vent/let you know you aren't alone/bump this because I'm genuinely interested as well
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    #4
    Bluelighter Cyanoide's Avatar
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    I've read some alarmist posts on another forum that the GABA receptor down-regulation is permanent, suggesting some kind of neuronal damage. Which in practice would mean a full recovery would be impossible

    Then on other forums people claim it is not permanent:

    I copied this clip from another forum:
    Downregulation of GABA through benzos is not permanent. Why some people never recover is because benzos are fat-soluble molecules therefore they are stored in body fat and are sporadically used by our body from time to time.
    This is the explanation to why some have a lot of difficulties to recover and why people on benzo withdrawal feel happy and recovered one day and crash 1 week after.
    The solution to that is make a lot of exercise so that cells can excrete toxins and lose weight.
    (That short text clip was written by renfr at longecity forum, just so the credits go to the right person)

    The more I read on other forums the more confused I become. Everyone seems to either disagree or talk about different things.

    Edit: What about Benzo PAWS? There seem to be more people agreeing it may be permanent.

    Edit2: This is a quite serious issue for us benzo addicts, and there are many of us here on BL too.
    Last edited by Cyanoide; 18-08-2013 at 12:53.
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    #5
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    ebola?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by some forum
    Why some people never recover is because benzos are fat-soluble molecules therefore they are stored in body fat and are sporadically used by our body from time to time.
    This doesn't seem particularly plausible. Long half-life, lipophilic metabolites will be released at a relatively stable rate, fat catabolism increasing rate of release only minorly. This is the case for only a few benzos, in particular Valium.

    I have encountered nothing suggesting GABAA receptor downregulation permanent, but it can be quite enduring indeed.

    ebola

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    #6
    Hi,

    this is from personal experience and I don't have any scientific backing for it. I've binged on benzos plenty of times, by the end of the binges my tolerances were huge. I don't think I was physically addicted because I could stop without any WD symptoms. Anyway what I've found is that after a few weeks tolerance drops a lot, not totally baseline but close. Waiting a month or two more lowers it even nearer to baseline. However bingeing on them again will raise it back up.
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    #7
    Bluelighter Cyanoide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycatman View Post
    Hi,

    this is from personal experience and I don't have any scientific backing for it. I've binged on benzos plenty of times, by the end of the binges my tolerances were huge. I don't think I was physically addicted because I could stop without any WD symptoms. Anyway what I've found is that after a few weeks tolerance drops a lot, not totally baseline but close. Waiting a month or two more lowers it even nearer to baseline. However bingeing on them again will raise it back up.
    Yes, however in my caes it wasn't a case of binging. I used benzos continuously, every day, several times a day, for almost 15 years. That's why you can't compare binging or "recreational" use of benzos every now and then, because we are talking about serious physical addicition and WD in my case. Not some tolerance that just goes away after a few weeks. In my case, I still had a considerably high tolerance even 6 months after quitting diazepam.
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    #8
    Bluelighter Cyanoide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebola? View Post
    This doesn't seem particularly plausible. Long half-life, lipophilic metabolites will be released at a relatively stable rate, fat catabolism increasing rate of release only minorly. This is the case for only a few benzos, in particular Valium.

    I have encountered nothing suggesting GABAA receptor downregulation permanent, but it can be quite enduring indeed.

    ebola
    I have read that GABAA receptor downregulation lasts far longer for benzo addicts than alcoholics, is there any substsance to such a claim? Could a possible explanation be that benzodiazepines target GABAA receptors more selectively than alcohol, which more "unselectively" targets GABAA but also affects other neurotransmitters like e.g. dopamine (benzos don't have much effect on dopamine at all?)
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by queensoup View Post
    I have been using benzos daily for about 6 years and I clicked this hoping you experienced the opposite of what you did. I'm currently prescribed to 4mg a day (Xanax) and I suffer crippling physical and psychological withdrawals if I try to make it through 24 hours on just 2mg. Paranoia, panic attacks, spasms, the works. And I feel absolutely nothing when I take it anymore which is frustrating not because I want to get high but because I am prescribed 2mg to take at night with my sleeping pill and 2mg to take only if I need it (i.e. if I have a panic attack that day) so when I do have a panic attack and take the 2mg, it doesn't help anymore. And if I don't take the 2mg on days I have no panic attacks I get them anyway from the withdrawal. I feel like the only solution is to try to get my dosage increased... its a vicious cycle and I almost wish I was never put on them in the first place.

    Anyway I guess I'm commenting to vent/let you know you aren't alone/bump this because I'm genuinely interested as well

    Get memantine - preferably brand name Namenda XR
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