Citation: Nina. "Withdrawal & Detoxing: An Experience with Quetiapine, Cannabis, Benzodiazepines & Alcohol (exp114286)". Erowid.org. May 15, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114286
Iím a college student, F, 22 and Iíve been taking Quetiapine for over two years now. My dose started at 25mg and got to 100mg, when I found out that my medication for insomnia was actually a potent antipsychotic. Thatís when I decided not to upgrade the dose but to just maintain it. I mean, I build up a quick tolerance to quetiapine, but itís also true that it helped with my insomnia. I was prescribed quetiapine to help reduce the anxiety and insomnia of the drugs I was already taking like weed and benzodiazepines. But to be honest, I never quit taking any of the drugs, so I was basically high all day with the weed and the benzos, and at night quetiapine knock me out in a few minutes. The more tolerant I was getting, the more it took me to fall asleep.
The more tolerant I was getting, the more it took me to fall asleep.
Anyway, after two years of psychiatric medication plus all the drugs I was taking, I started to get depressed and lonely. I lost most of my friends I used to hang out with and fins myself getting high alone everyday. I was always thinking about the next hit and the pill or beer. I found myself in a non-ending cycle. I decided to cut off my drug intake. I was 22 years old but I already spend 8 years binge drinking, 5 years smoking weed and 3 years taking meds. I started with the benzos. I remember being really psychologically addicted to them since I was popping them like candy. It took me a month or two to tapper off the dose until I finished all the pills. I struggled sleeping at first, but I quickly recovered and the fact that I was still smoking weed and taking quetiapine, it made it easier for me to not have any withdrawal effects. Later that year I quit drinking alcohol. That was easier than expected and since I had weed I had nothing to worry about. This new year's I quit weed. It took more some time to take that decision and a lot of mental preparation. It was not easy, the first three days where the worst, then my cravings went on and off for like 3 months. Since I was taking 100mg of quetiapine, I was able to sleep every night. Even though I had a lot of vivid dreams, I was able to get my night sleep and keep going with my college classes. Quitting drugs is always easier when I have a back up med to help me quit. But after all, I was just changing one addiction with an other.
I already read that quetiapine withdrawal was not a pleasant one. Itís basic effects went from headaches, insomnia, dizziness, irritability, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. I read some reports from people who were tapering off the medication and already were feeling strong withdrawal effects. I got a little freaked out reading internet reports, but that just motivated even more to stop using it.
I started by tapering off the dose, I went from 100-75-50-25. I did this for around 1-2 months and I finally decided I was ready to stop taking quetiapine. I was only taking one dose at night before going to bed. So, the first day without the pill was fine. But the first night is when the fun startedÖ that night I started to feel tired and a little sick. I was already expecting not to sleep for the whole night, but I was able to fall asleep at 5am until 10am. I woke up the next day feeling like total shit. I felt so sick. It was like having strong hangover, my mouth was dry, my stomach was swollen, my body hurt and felt tired, I had a strong headache. I also had nausea, but I was lucky not to throw up.
My second day was the worst day ever. I remember I was in such bad mood, it was like a constant hangover feeling all over my body. I read that quetiapine can last for 24 to 48 hours on your blood system and that withdrawal effects could last for 1 to 2 weeks. I low-key panicked and hope for the best. That was the worst withdrawal I had from any drug Iíve ever taken. And the fact that I didnít back up with any other med, just made it worst. But I had to do it if I wanted to be clean and sober for the first time in years. What helped me go through that day was eating plant based and drinking a lot of tea and water. I wasnít really hungry but eating healthy definitely helped me feel better throughout the day. Also, I didnít do much that day but staying in bed and walking my dog. That night I was feeling so sick I was able to fall asleep a little earlier around 3am, and I was able to sleep for 10 hours to my surprise. I really thought it was going to be worst with the insomnia, but I was actually able to sleep pretty faster than expected. On my third day I was feeling better. I was still feeling tired and shitty, but that sickness feeling faded away and I was able to go through my day without yesterdayís struggles. I did realized that the sickness feeling came and go through the day, but at least it wasnít like the second day where I was feeling like shit every second, minute and hour of the day. The withdrawal symptoms started to soften every day that went by.
Iím now 5 days completely sober. And I have to accept itís been a journey. I havenít been supervised by any doctor or rehab facility. I do believe in the power of the mind and the fact that if you want something you can do it. I realized that a life with drugs was not really a life. And so I decided to quit alone, drug by drug and pill by pill.
I decided to quit alone, drug by drug and pill by pill.
Itís not easy, but itís also not as hard as it seems. Itís always more complicated in my mind than what it is in real life. In my case, meditation, yoga and self-hypnosis has helped me go through the worst.
A year ago I was high all day, mentally unstable, tripping on shrooms and smoking weed, drinking from the bottle, taking uppers and downers. And this year Iím clean and sober. My mind is still a little crazy, but Iím feeling more grounded and stable than ever. Iím glad I took the time and the courage to get clean. Iím living proof that no matter how down you fall, you can always get back up. I really encourage those people who want to get clean to fucking get clean. Nobody is going to do it for you, only you can choose to choose you over anything else. Iím glad I chose myself over the drugs and pills, Iím finally finding myself again. Paradoxically, I started taking drugs to find myself, but it only made me feel lost. Now that Iím sober, Iím finally able to be myself again. Iím no longer thriven my addiction and desperation. Itís a miracle Iím still alive, and every day in this world is a blessing.
Thank you for reading and have a good day!
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