… it becomes like home and family. I also enjoyed many of the staff at Alternative to Meds Center.
I am female, 70 years of age. Before I came to Alternative to Meds Center, I was on Xanax and Zoloft off and on for 25 years. Then two years ago, after a major anxiety attack, my family doctor instructed me to take larger doses whenever I felt badly.
I did not know anything about drug tolerance and had to keep taking more and more to get the same result (the doctor had me up to 8 mg. per day of Xanax). Then I became really sick because the medication had turned toxic on me. My doctor then sent me to a psychiatrist after I was comatose in bed for 3 weeks.
The psychiatrist said I must be detoxed immediately or else I would be dead in two days. I was sent to a 30-day AA rehab program and was detoxed from Xanax to Librium with the intent to put me on an antidepressant. I could not tolerate any of the meds and was sent home on 35 mg. a day of Librium which was a very high dose. However, the AA program did not have experience with people getting off of “benzos,” as there were mostly alcoholics and people on meth, pain meds, street drugs, etc.
Once home, I went through five psychiatrists and they kept putting me on different medications. One psychiatrist had me on four medications (benzo, antidepressants, sleeping med, etc.) I was switched from Librium to Valium at this point as a method to begin tapering from the benzos.
Then I went to my doctor in California to try holistic methods and spent a month there. He did acupuncture and had me eating a mostly soy diet. I went from 20 mg. to 13 mg. of Valium and began to feel “crazy.” When I came home from California, I went to my psychiatrist and begged him to put me into the psych ward, as I thought I was going crazy. He refused and instead, upped my Valium back to 25 mg. per day.
I spent the next six months trying to taper myself and went up and down between 23 to 19 mg. During that time I mostly laid on the couch too sick and weak to do anything. I tried another facility in California (Pure Detox) that did not work out. They recommended trying Alternative to Meds Center.
I went through the program but was unable to participate fully because by then I was very weak and had lost 20 pounds. I had severe anxiety attacks and was sensitive to noise, surroundings, people, etc. Because of my health condition, I was unable to do the sauna; instead, I did foot baths. I was also unable to tolerate many of the supplements because of my debilitated condition. From Sept 2010 to January 2011, I went from 18.5 mg. to zero mg. of Valium, tapering 1 mg. every 4 – 7 days.
I had a very difficult time through the withdrawal process and I developed severe stomach problems caused from benzodiazepine medication withdrawal; I was in pain a great deal. At this time, I am still having withdrawal symptoms, although my mind seems to be clearer and I am getting stronger. I am elated that I am finally off the benzos, but have good days and bad days.
During my stay at Alternative to Meds Center I became friends with many of the other residents. I was here for 5 months and it becomes like home and family. I also enjoyed many of the staff at Alternative to Meds Center. Most are truly dedicated individuals who are very good at what they do. I will probably stay in contact with some of them.