The Ashton manual encourages to cross-over to Valium. That is not always a wise thing to do.

Ashton encouraged the move over to Valium because it has a long half-life, it comes in small doses and in liquid form. It would be easier to snap a 2mg tab to get small doses than to try to break a .5 Klonopin tablet for example. That part of the argument to move to Valium makes sense. But what Ashton didn’t take into consideration is liquid titration. Most benzos can be broken down into smaller amounts using this method. That means any benzo can be tapered effectively.

The action of Valium is different from the action of any benzo it is going to replace. It does not react on two  sub-GABA receptors that Klonopin acts on for example. That means Klonopin users who try to make the switch will have some withdrawal symptoms. Ashton recommended a slow cross-over time period of four weeks. But even this slow pace does not often help people who are on the more potent benzos such as Klonopin or Xanax.

Valium is also a prime suspect for causing severe depression. Many people say that the switch over to Valium brought on a deepening depression. Most of us struggle with depression in withdrawals. Valium can make it worse.

If you are comfortable tapering from your current benzo, why add more changes in your brain by doing a cross-over?

There are some people who feel their benzo is so toxic to them that they want to try to jump over to Valium. Everyone has to find their way and see what works for them. I failed my attempt to cross-over and the symptoms were so severe I would never try it again. But that’s just my story.

Before you decide to switch to Valium simply because Ashton claims it is the way to taper, consider that it may not work on all of the receptors your current benzo acts on,  and you may have worsening depression. If you can taper off of your own Benzo, why dance with a new devil?

I understand that Xanax users may want to find another benzo as inter-dose withdrawal is a problem. Some Xanax users move over to Klonopin with good results.

Ask your doctor what their experience has been with Valium cross-overs.

If you do try to cross-over, the same advice goes for all things benzos… slow, slow, slow!

Please feel free to share your cross-over success stories. There are enough forums that highlight the horrors of withdrawals. This site showcases positive stories, while being realistic of course, about the challenges of withdrawal.

Which leads me to another post soon, the pros and cons of joining a forum.

I hope you are having a day of joy, even amidst whatever symptoms you are experiencing. You got an invitation to another day of life today! Woot! Woot!

All the best,

Dr. Jenn

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