Yeah I concur with most of your advise. Basically I am rx'd both opiates (hydrocodone) and benzodiazipines (Klonopin, upon my own request)
It was just hard for me to decide between xanax or klonopin the only two benzos I can tollerate, besides valium which I find weak. Ativan I can't take.
Anyway. I still have somewhat of an affinity to xanax but only on occasion, I don't like using it everyday, hence why I switched to klonopin. But I still would like to be able to take it once in a blue moon (it gives me a nice relaxed feeling and takes away any anxiety FAST, it also has a nice muscle relaxer effect for me and goes well with my opiate medication in moderation), however I don't want to mess with benzos because of the horror stories I have read about people taking one xanax and it showing up three weeks later. Benzos are very unpredictable from the info I have gathered and take far more time generally speaking to exit ones system than other drugs such as opiates. So, If I must take a xanax, since I am too scared it will be stuck in my system for a long time, I will do it after my next urine test because it will not be another 3 months at the minimum if they ever get around to testing me again. I have taken only one with them so far and that was over six months ago so who knows when they will test me again if they ever do end up getting around to it.....
I get nearly the PERFECT amount of hydro per month, 120 10/325's. But I find some months when my pain spikes I come up just a little short and would like to have another opiate to supplement but my doctor at the moment seems to not be interested in rx'ing any additional pain medicines, he believes in keeping it at that level for me at this point. Hence why I take an occasional other opiate to help supplement my regular legal prescription. I use tramadol for the most part, occasionally, when my pain levels are not soo high, and just those few days of using tramadol allows me more than enough of my regular medication for the month, heck even I have a fair amount left over sometimes depending. The amount I need to take fluctuates greatly as does my pain levels. I also use oxycodone as I have easy access to it on occasion for the same purposes of supplementation. I use very few, perhaps 30mg of oxycodone twice a week max for the first two weeks, then stop completely to allow my system to clear.
To me this seems like a safe plan as I am not an abuser or over-user of either alternative pain medicines I have access to, so I doubt there could be that much in my system to have clean out before an appointment. But I feel it is always best to play it safe, and thats why I give myself the two weeks break I feel this allows me to be definitely on the "safe side"
As you suggested, tramadol is definitely my go to if for some reason the hydro is just not enough or not cutting it on its own; interestingly, I find the synergy when conventional opiates are taken along with a tramadol tablet to be very effective for pain. I don't know if anyone else has the same experience but they both seem to amplify one another when taken together.