I am 27 and am also suffering from (severe) Xanax addiction. I am given 6mg to take throughout the day and depending on my stress level can end up taking up to 12mg. Needless to say I regularly run out. I cope by using my BF's Klonopin (I usually take 3 mgs to get me by but have taken up to 7mgs at a time) or I can get it from a friend. I came off this type of dosage in September and was miserable for about 3-4 weeks. I had maybe 7 during that time to get me by. The core of my addiction is a lack of coping skills. I have always had anxiety (even my father blames himself for not helping me when I was very little, as he and my mother had trouble with both my younger sisters that needed attention.) I was the eldest that "kept it together" but losses and failures never left my mind. I was obsessive about it and still obsess about things that I failed at 15 years ago. I first received Xanax to fly and had no problem. It was .25mg and only 15 pills. It worked but I kept the remaining pills. Fast forward 4 years and my mother dies after a 9 year battle with breast cancer and my work at a law firm was building. I went to a doctor and asked for Adderall and asked for him give me more and to up my dosage of Xanax. He now gives me 180 1mg pills. I lost A LOT of weight with the adderall and the combination of these drugs made me so crazy I ended up losing my job. The adderall only increased my anxiety. I would cut and hit myself to ease the anxiety and emotional pain even with taking Xanax. This is why I say I lack coping skills. I know this is rambling, but I have lost my job of 7 years, (only job I have had since I was 20) isolated myself from my friends, have put my family through so much that I am ashamed to talk to them and also quite frankly am still holding on to A LOT of bitterness towards my father. I never wanted to be that person that doesn't have family or friends, but this is where I have ended up. I did it to myself and although there were outside circumstances through abusive boyfriend....*I* let it happen, and *I* felt guilty leaving him and *I* feel guilty if HIS life isn't in order. Ugh, it's late and I'm rambling. I just need some support through the next week before I get my next script and then when I do...suggestions on how to taper down. I don't have insurance and I just need to do this myself. I'm not who I used to be. I have kicked the adderall...and now I just have to kick the Xanax. I'm thinking that when that "rebound anxiety" kicks in I am going to physically exert myself at the gym. I hope someone can help me because I am hysterically sobbing with how my life is at 27. I just want to not depend on an orange bottle, go back to school and have a happy life. I don't see that for me right now. Please help me.
Oh how I hate that drug...XANAX!! Son addicted, 7 yrs....took it for pleasure...it wrecked his life. coming off of this drug is hard and miserable. You HAVE to slowly wean off of it...or have a seizure and could die!!. I have seen this drug destroy so many lives. Please get your doctor to wean you off slowly...........you can do it, it may take time, but you've got that.....and don't ever take it again.
A SSRI antidepressant (eg Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa) can help deal with the underlying cause of your anxiety/panic attacks, which would then allow you to wean your self off of xanax.
To withdraw, it is best to change from Xanax, which is a short acting drug, to a long acting benzodiazepine, such as Valium or Librium.
Once you have stabalised after the change, you slowly reduce the dose - say you were taking 60mg per day of Valium, you might reduce the dose by 5mg per week until the dose was down to 20mg per day, then reduce the dose by 2mg per week until you arnt taking anything. The actual amount and speed that you redice at is individual, what matters it that you slowly reduce the dose.
Seeing a psychologist who is skilled in panic disorder and addiction would be a huge help - they can help you learn some coping stratergies, to help you cope without drugs.
Wow we are in such similar situations right now. Well sort of. I've become addicted to benzo - Xanax and Ativan. I went through a period of narcotic addiction more than a year ago and freed myself of that only to get myself into this mess. I hate waiting around in anticipation for my prescription to be refilled and I'm always afraid of going into withdrawals. It hasn't messed up my life yet but I'm well on my way. I've decided to make an appointment with an addiction specialist to see what he has to say/what he can help me with.
On a side note, I suffer from depression and my life was finally back on track regarding that as well. Since I started taking the Ativan and Xanax I can definitely tell a difference in my mood and level of functioning/desire/etc. I can't do this anymore. My problem is that I have a hard time facing reality - i.e. a day that I have nothing planned and I'm not "high" so to speak.
I wish you the best of luck in getting off xanax - that's a pretty high dose that you're on! But nonetheless, throughout my life I've learned that anything can be accomplished if we put our minds to it and want it hard enough.
Although I did end up getting a script of Xanax to hold me over, about 4 hours before I even knew I was getting the script I called a very well known outpatient rehab. I have an appointment on the 22nd. THEN later that day I found out I got a job!!! I think God works in mysterious ways. I guess that quote "God helps those who help themselves." is very true. I've found comfort in reading the Bible which is so weird because I haven't been into religion. My Mother's death brought me to thinking about religion because that gave me some comfort. I start my job on the 29th and am very blessed that I have found a job with such good benefits and pay.
Thank you for ALL your advice. I think that March 15th was my new beginning.
Welcome! It's a pleasure to meet you! I'm Secrets. I really hate to hear what you are struggling with but it sounds like things are turning around for you! That is so great!
Congrats on the new job and also for calling an out patient rehab! That is so great! You should be proud of yourself!!!!
I just wanted to let you know that I am here for you and I agree with the previous posters in regards to a very slow taper! It's dangerous to go thru a benzo w/d alone so please be careful and take good care of yourself.
Please keep us posted. You will be in my thoughts and prayers!
I never knew how my depression and anxiety could cause such problems for me. I've always been a "suck it up and deal with it" type of person. Do I "blame" a shady doctor for putting me on such a high dose without going over milder options? Somewhat. A previous poster mentioned being "high". I was so taken aback by that because I had never done ANY drugs (marijuana, coke...) and thought that because a doc prescribed it I didn't have a problem. I think that I have to tackle the depression and anxiety with a psychiatrist and not a primary care physician. I am getting a large lump sum of money sometime in the next few months and planned on escaping a bad relationship by moving to another state, but I think with a therapist & psychiatrist they can help me with my self esteem. I am so glad that I finally feel that there is hope. I know I wasn't born to be in this position. I think I was raised slightly spoiled and I needed this kick in the head to make me realize I'm stronger than I think and to show everyone I can do this myself and you're either with me or against me.
You guys have helped me more than friends I have had my whole life. You have no idea what that means to me.