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Old 05-25-2004, 04:47 PM   #1
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CindiLynn HB User
Xanax

I need some opinons of some of you who may have been (or be) in my present situation. I am 29 and have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and often suffer from panic attacks. My PCP prescribed Xanax about 16 months ago and I have been taking on a regular basis (as prescribed)-never have gone over prescribed dosage or felt the need to. This medication just seems to work for me. However, I keep hearing "horror" stories of the withdrawals. I work in the medical field so I am well aware of them. My ? is why can;t someone who does not abuse this drug (and I do not get a "high" off of it like I have heard some addicts describe). It simply keeps me calm and funtioning. Also, it's the only med I need to take. When I took Zoloft I also had to take a sleeping pill as well as klonopin prn. Any comments?

 
Old 05-25-2004, 05:24 PM   #2
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upatnite58 HB User
Re: Xanax

hi cindy...i used to take 1 mg. of ativan every couple of nites for sleep. i never abused it in any way but after a year of use, i was definetely dependant. may i ask you the dosage you are taking and how often? xanax is most often prescribed for the disorders you mentioned. however, it is habit forming even at prescribed doses. especially for people who use it daily. Are you looking to cut down and stop or do you still require it? might be able to give you more insight upon knowing a few more details...

 
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Old 05-25-2004, 06:00 PM   #3
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Twist Of Fate! HB User
Re: Xanax

Hi Cindi, Xanax works with a receptor in the brain called GABA, A lot of medications do this as well, like seizure meds like the classic barbiturate Phenobarbital. Now GABA is what makes ABRUBT alcohol withdrawal potentialy fatal. Now that's not the case with everyone, ive known people who were taking .25 at night for a years and just stopped with minimal side effects. But it's not really a good idea to take Benzos unless you are taking them for acute panic. For some people who's anxiety is a crippling issue in their life, or people who were taking them too long or abusing them at high doses, they usually stay on them or start a very very slow taper. Klonopin is usually used while tapering, it has a longer half life.

 
Old 05-25-2004, 09:10 PM   #4
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John 808 HB User
Re: Xanax

CindiLynn,

I have the same questions as you and have asked before but I don't think they were ever really answered.

About two years ago, I went to a psych doctor and he said I had generalized anxiety disorder (which I already knew) with the potential of panic episodes as well as agrophobia (fear of being "outside your little safe haven"). He came me a script for Xanax and directed me to take 1mg 3X a day- mind you, I have never had to take that much!

It has been two years now of me taking as needed (maybe 1 one day, 2 the next day, and then go several days without....). It just varies so much and I have never had any problems (with the exception of mild nausea) stopping the Xanax whenever I want. They do not make me feel "high" just normal. I have never wanted to take one "just for the heck of it."

I admit all these stories about how addicting and terrible they are, scare me! But, when I have "one of my spells" Xanax works wonders!

Am anxious to hear more people reply to this.

(PS Strange how some people came take them daily for a couple of weeks and then seem to have a good week and realize they never took their Xanax and had no problems????)


Good luck,
M

 
Old 05-25-2004, 10:13 PM   #5
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greymatter HB User
Re: Xanax

(hey michelle - no making fun of the smiley face or i'll never forgive you)

As far as Xanax is concerned, many people on this board post horror stories about their experiences w/ Benzos - Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin etc.. - and I am sure they are all true for those people. Only you know your own experiences. However, different drugs affect different people in different ways. For instance, I recently read where some DR. posted on his website that Benzos were the HARDEST drug to withdraw from. That is a pretty blanket statement and pretty irresponsible as far as I'm concerned. They maybe for many people, but certainly not me, and I am guessing others as well. But I'm not going to try to degrade someone's horror experiences with this post. What they felt or feel is true I'm sure and no should be able to dispute that. It is the stereotypes and blanket statements I have a problem with.

Again it has to do with the person, the dosage, and how long you have been abusing the meds - whatever meds they are.

My opinion, and mine only (I'm no M.D., but I certainly have experiences using and withdrawing cold turkey from high doses of everything like H, OC, Percs, Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Vicodin and a few more) is that my hardest time was with OC, Percocet (same active opiate in both) and Vicodin. That said, most tell me H is the hardest and many say Ecstacy or Meth or any of the Benzos top the list.

If you find Xanax works for your problem, you do not abuse it, take more than prescribed and don't do so to get high - you do not feel it beginning to take over your life, or begin to become obsessed with it, etc.. you should be ok.

There are horror stories with every drug, especially during withdrawal. One of the worst drugs I had to withdraw from was Paxil and it is an anti-depressant that you become physically addicted to, but the drug itself is not habit forming (it doesn't get you high). Still coming down from that was just as bad, even through tapering with a Dr.'s assistance, as a C.T. withdrawal from any # of opiates. Go figure.

So everyone is different, but I suggest you be upfront with your Doctor, if you already are not, and if you want or plan to get off Xanax, do so under his supervision. He might prescribe Klonopin like another person above mentioned to help the taper.

But being somewhat a veteran of drug use, the best advice is be honest with your M.D. or whomever is prescribing you these meds and if you feel you are getting bad or unhealthy advice from them, don't hesitate to see someone else and get a second opinion.

All of these drugs - save street drugs - are out there for a reason. To help people. But many can be abused. It is your responsibility as an adult to understand when something is getting out of control or you are taking things not because they medically help you, but because you want to, and to seek help ASAP and nip any problem in the bud. However if you are an addict this is almost impossible - I know, I've tried - but you don't seem to be and that's a whole other issue.

Don't be scared, just be honest with your doctor. Most of them are there to help you, not hurt you. Good luck.

grey

 
Old 05-26-2004, 09:00 AM   #6
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John 808 HB User
Re: Xanax

Hey grey :

Just kidding- I swear!

I have voiced my concerns about the Xanax to my doctor after reading some of the problems people have had with them (on the boards) and he said he had no intentions of taking me off the Xanax and if I was comfortable with how I used it (he knows of my opiate addiction) then things will be fine!

This has been well over a year! It is just scary to read some of these stories, but, I just have never had any problems there? In fact, haven't had to take any (now, I half them even) for about a week (and that's amazing because all three little ones are home for summer vacation- no more Mother's Morning Out during the summer- you'd think I'd be pulling my hair out by now)! Just staying busying with the pool and exercise, etc!

There are opinions here though that I will eventually become addicted to these because I became addicted to pain pills????? I just don't see it????

Anyway, gotta get this house cleaned up! Talk later!

 
Old 05-26-2004, 09:22 AM   #7
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upatnite58 HB User
Re: Xanax

hey michelle...how wise of you to voice your concerns to your doc. i hope he has alleviated your stress over this hotly debated topic. i am no doc and this is just my opinion, but i do believe that there are times when benzos have TRUE therapeutic value. this is the up side. you seem very well aware of the down side, so i won't be redundant. if you are going up to a week without needing them, then i would say you're fine. troubles for some usually occur when they are taken daily (for whatever reason) and suddenly they loose their effectiveness and a dosage increase takes place. this is not the scenario for you at all. i only wish that i could've said the same....

 
Old 05-26-2004, 09:36 AM   #8
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Twist Of Fate! HB User
Re: Xanax

hardest is not the issue.... it's "potentially fatal outcomes" and neurology by far proves that. In this Order.....

1. Benzodiazepines - GABA Receptor, C4 Drug, rarely abused alone, DT's and grand mal seizures can occur and can be fatal.

2. Alcohol - Abuse potential right next to nicotine, and same withdrawal symtoms as benzos for the same reason, works on Gaba and mu receptors also but binds weaker than benzodiazepines.

3. Opiates - Number one abused drug that is not readily available to public, Stimulates mu-opiate receptors and DA, but usually never fatal and if so, in most cases, it's suicide.

By a doctor saying "the hardest" is extremely unprofessional, Benzos have been underlooked for the last 50 years because the withdrawal symptoms are the same as acute anxiety, %95 of the people who take them every day for acute anxiety are taking them to treat withdrawal, not "bad brain chemistry" and dont even know it. The horror stories are very true, delirium can put one in a state of ptsd even after continuing the drug. MOST psychiatrist are not going to tell you this, why? well, that would be like a crack dealer saying, "I dont think it's a good idea to use cocaine for more than a week."

I hope this makes sense.....

CADE

 
Old 05-26-2004, 09:55 AM   #9
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mouse62 HB User
Re: Xanax

I skipped my Xanax yesterday and this morning took my crumb, approx. .08 (1/6 of a .5 pill). And have not had any noticeable withdrawal. Just posting that to give some hope to anyone who is wondering -- I did an extremely slow taper, starting last winter, from 1.0 a day. About a month at .75, then at about .63, then at .5, then about .37, then .25, then .125. At this point I could probably quit completely . . . maybe I will.

Michelle, I would guess that you never got physically dependent because you did not take them daily.

"Addiction" and "physical dependence" are, medically, two different things. I have been addicted and physically dependent on opiates, addicted to cocaine (but no physical dependence), and physically dependent on Xanax (but not addicted).

I went with Prozac three times for depression and had no withdrawals when I stopped. Not every SSRI causes withdrawals.

In my humble opinion, the worst withdrawal is from a medium to high dose of methadone. Then again, I know you don't go into a seizure and die from it as you can from benzo or alcolhol withdrawal.

 
Old 05-27-2004, 09:44 AM   #10
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John 808 HB User
Re: Xanax

Cade,

Are you talking to me? About what my doctor said to me?

M

 
Old 05-27-2004, 04:27 PM   #11
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greymatter HB User
Re: Xanax

Just to clear up any possibe problem with my earlier post when i said that a dr. - any dr. saying a certain drug (not just benzos) was 'harder to withdraw from than herion' (i believe that was a direct quote from an earlier post) - many seem to have tremendous problems with benzos and i am in no way discounting their experiences or saying what they went through is not real. but to make an absolute ascertion like that when many abuseres i know have experienced just the opposite or nothing of the sort (i.e. withdrawal from opiates was hell for them while high benzo dosage withdrawl wasn't nearly as bad), i feel is just improper to say. our bodies are different and react differently to withdrawal from different meds. sure benzos - especially in high doses - can at times lead to seizures which, in turn, can lead to death. you can't get much worse than that. but is not a rule for all people and when a certified medical professional makes a blanket claim that it is, well i just find irresponsible. i for one withdrew - and this is not recommended and an usual case - 10 mg of Xanax a day cold turkey and felt litle to no effect after doing that amount for several months. on the other hand i withdrew (c.t. as well) from h and oc, felt like i was dying. benzos, especially in high dses, should be withdrawn from under a dr.'s supervision, but then again - just about any drug benzo, narcotic or otherwise should as well.

different drugs effect different people in different ways. all i was saying was that saying something is 'the unconditionally the worst to get off' and apply that statement to everyone is wrong, because it is simply not true in all cases. and to have a doctor say that only leads to more misinformation.

all drugs should be withdrawn from carefully. to me, that is a much more appropriate statement. if you want to include that benzo w/d can sometimes lead to seizures, fine but that does not apply to everyone and it certainly does not make benzo drugs the hardest of any to get off of for everyone.

it depends on the person, the amount of drug they were abusing, the length of time they were on it, how they choose to get off of it, and the drug itself. for example c/t w/d from 10 mg of valium a day vs c/t w/d from 400 mg of oxy a day really shouldn't be compared to one another. different drugs, diff. people, different just about everything.

that's all i was trying to say, and i didn't mean to offend anyone. just stating my opinion through my own experiences. stay strong everyone.

grey

Last edited by greymatter; 05-27-2004 at 04:31 PM.

 
Old 05-27-2004, 05:47 PM   #12
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CindiLynn HB User
Re: Xanax

Am I correct in the fact you posted you took 10 mg of Xanax a day?????

Please tell me it was a misprint. If not, be thankfull you are still on Earth. I take .75mg a day. I have had an anxiety disorder since childhood. When I was 10 my Father would wake up at 4:00am to go to work (he worked downtown Chicago and took the train from the suburbs into the city) and would find me wide awake (on a School night) staring at old movies. I was an insomniac since I can remember sleeping. Panic Attacks galore throughout my life. Xanax is the only thing that really helps me! But if I ever felt I was abusing it I would seek help right away.

Last edited by CindiLynn; 05-27-2004 at 05:51 PM.

 
Old 05-27-2004, 06:53 PM   #13
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SusanGene HB User
Re: Xanax

Is this not an addiction forum? .75 mg a day is not an addiction, right? and if you'd seek help if you felt addicted, with no problem, then you're not an addict.
Plus, you think that people just die off if they take 10mg? That wasn't a misprint, was it?
Maybe I'm not on the addiction forum after all. sorry.
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:59 AM   #14
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greymatter HB User
Re: Xanax

Quote:
Originally Posted by CindiLynn
Am I correct in the fact you posted you took 10 mg of Xanax a day?????

Please tell me it was a misprint. If not, be thankfull you are still on Earth. I take .75mg a day. I have had an anxiety disorder since childhood. When I was 10 my Father would wake up at 4:00am to go to work (he worked downtown Chicago and took the train from the suburbs into the city) and would find me wide awake (on a School night) staring at old movies. I was an insomniac since I can remember sleeping. Panic Attacks galore throughout my life. Xanax is the only thing that really helps me! But if I ever felt I was abusing it I would seek help right away.
This is an addiction forum, but you don't have to be like me, a stupid f'ing idiot taking 10mg of xanax a day for 3 months, just to get a buzz because i couldn't get my hands on any narcotics, to post here. granted .75mg is a very small amount, but if you feel like you have a problem or are scared you might develop one, post here. there are no guidelines that say you have to be taking a certain amount of drugs per day to post on this forum. this board is here for support and the people should be too. i wish i only took .75 if any xanax at all. i wish iwasn't an addict, but i am. i wish i didn't feel the need to post here, but i do. but post away about your experiences, regardless of whether they are outlandish like mine and others or not. you don't have to meet a drug 'criteria' to post here.

and yes, i am thankful i am still alive after taking that much benzos. but if you think that is a lot you should here how much narcs i was taking at one point. i was beyond the word helpless. then again, even my experiences don't compare with some of the real veterans of this board.

but rest assured you don't have to be 'as far gone' as any of us, to post. if you have questions, need answers, or just want some reassurance or support, ask away. most people on here are kind, understanding and more than willing to help in any way possible.

grey

 
Old 05-28-2004, 01:20 AM   #15
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Twist Of Fate! HB User
Re: Xanax

Michelle...... No, I wasnt alking about your post

10 mg of Xanax would make me cold and clammy, in the other hand, it would kill my mother, I take 4mg Xanax XR and 10mg Valium in the morning and 10 at night, she takes .25 xanax at night, tolerance is a big issue.

Greymaker, yes, peoples chemistry work different. You are right and kicking 2-3 grams of heroin or 600mg of OxyContin will make you feel like Father Merrin was throwing holly water on you and saying "I cast thee back to hell!" In that case, Opiate withdrawal hurts BAD, especially when you're knocking off a good amount. Pain, Vomiting, The sh*ts, cold sweats... For off the Benzos, a fog hits me by day 3, after 7 or so days, Ill start by putting my laundry in the microwave and the milk in the pantry. By day 10 I have no clue who I am and became very nervous, violent, turn pure white, shake and hyperventilate until I pass out and wake up in the ER.

Last edited by Twist Of Fate!; 05-28-2004 at 04:43 PM.

 
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