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    Old 06-19-2004, 03:00 PM   #1
    sweetums
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    Anyone addicted to xanax?

    My family doctor prescribed my alprazolam...3mgs aday along with 400mgs of Wellbutrin....my physciatrist is concerned about me getting addicited to the alprazolam...we wants me to cut back on them, but I just feel I can't right now...anyone addicted to this drug....should I be more concerned than I am? I've been on them for about 3 months now and my prescription goes through December.

     
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    Old 06-19-2004, 03:52 PM   #2
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sweetums
    My family doctor prescribed my alprazolam...3mgs aday along with 400mgs of Wellbutrin....my physciatrist is concerned about me getting addicited to the alprazolam...we wants me to cut back on them, but I just feel I can't right now...anyone addicted to this drug....should I be more concerned than I am? I've been on them for about 3 months now and my prescription goes through December.
    Are you abusing them? If not, He is afraid of you becoming dependent NOT addicted, and yes, 999 people an this board are dependent to the drug Im one of them.....


    CADE

     
    Old 06-19-2004, 06:38 PM   #3
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Twist Of Fate!
    Are you abusing them? If not, He is afraid of you becoming dependent NOT addicted, and yes, 999 people an this board are dependent to the drug Im one of them.....


    CADE
    Sweetums,


    999... I never abused these drugs. Whether one calls it "abuse, "addiction," or "dependence," the results are still typically the same. The dose one is put on by the doc stops working at some point. This is called tolerance. Then one is "dependant," "addicted,"
    "hooked." They need the drug and more of it just to feel normal. Call it what you will, the bottom line is you are trapped. So what does one do? There are several scenarios, outcomes vary.

    1. Some increase their dose on their own, then go to doc who then increases it for them. Or they find another doc to do so. Or they start obtaining the drugs through shady means. Is one reason why they are such a hot item on the street and on the net.

    2. The doc cuts them off, perhaps while accusing the patient of "abuse," and they cold turkey off the drugs. Many go through a withdrawal syndrome far worse and longer than herion. Some are blessed and get off easy.

    3. The doc pins another label on them out of the many of 100s of various "disorders," available from our modern pseudo-scientific medical manuals, then add new chemicals to the mix. A cocktail where the patient is left having no idea what is wrong or what is causing what. All the while the patient keeps coming back to have the stew adjusted. Where this ends is anyone`s guess, possibilities, endless...

    4. The patient adds others drugs on their own, boosting the effects of their available benzos (Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Valium, etc.) with alcohol or opiates. These will almost invariably be accused of abuse as well, and if they want detox, they are forced to accept this label.

    In the final analysis, however, the only "abuse" that has typically gone on involves the fact that these highly addictive drugs were prescribed in the first place. Doctors put patients at real risk prescribing them for longer than a few weeks. This should never be done.

    P.S. 3 mgs of Xanax a day is a lot of dope, equal to 60 mgs of Valium a day. I say "dope" because that is exactly what it is. If you are interested in freeing yourself from these drugs I can offer some suggestions. Say the word.

    Last edited by howard678; 06-20-2004 at 08:49 AM.

     
    Old 06-21-2004, 12:22 PM   #4
    sweetums
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    Howard678
    Well your number 4 pretty much describes me....I don't ever take more drug than prescribed, but I feel I really need them...and even then I feel I still need more so I have turned to alcohol as well.
    I would like your suggestions on how to get off this drug...

     
    Old 06-21-2004, 03:21 PM   #5
    howard678
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    sweetums,

    It is possible you are not addicted yet. I quit after 9 months regular use of Xanax, for three months and had no withdrawal symptoms. I was on .5 mgs a day. Then though, I was entirely ignorant of the addictive nature of these drug and the potential for horrible withdrawal symptoms. I asked for more at a routine doctor visit, for sleep, and the rest is history.

    I suggest making an appointment with your doctor asap and tell them you want off of the Xanax. They may support you in stopping cold, but I would request an anti-seizure medicine to take the first week just in case... If you are going to go into withdrawals, considering the short half-life of that drug, you should know it within a few days. What are withdrawals like? High anxiety, perhaps panic states, bad muscle tension, tremors, believe me, you`ll know about it. Or, the doc may prefer a fast taper off, over about 6 weeks. If either strategy produces high anxiety or distinct physical symptoms the verdict is clear, you are hooked. If not, walk away, never look back, consider yourself lucky.

    If withdrawals do hit, I suggest quickly going back to your original dose and looking up the Ashton Manual on the net. Search the net under "benzo, support," and you`ll find others like you to help guide you. Plus I`ll be around. The strategy from here is to cross over to a long half life benzodiazepine, Valium particularly, and slowly wean off. You will be looking at a long journey, 6 months to a year of slow tapering. It is a pain at times. Some may suggest you go right to this plan but I personally see no need to unless you are truly hooked. I`d find out for sure first. Keep talking. :-)

    Last edited by howard678; 06-21-2004 at 03:27 PM.

     
    Old 06-26-2004, 01:13 PM   #6
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    I had been taking Xanax and other benzo's for the last five years, and abusing them to and all i can say is they are harder to quite than cocaine, for me any way, if you are having a problem with ainziety try Pamalor or Nortriptaline, i finally got off Xan's and am taking Pamalor and im just fine. i was one 6mg a day with an extra 2mg if i needed it, i had been trying to quite for years, until i found a great doctor and he helped me quite. he also said that Pamalor is as closest thing to Xanax thats not a benzo.

     
    Old 06-26-2004, 01:45 PM   #7
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    After ten years of taking Xanax on a regular basis, sometimes six, sometimes eight, sometimes two and then down to one half, I would say that I am an addict. The first doc had no problem prescribing them and told me that it would have no harmful side effects. I already knew about addiction, I was just afraid of liver damage.

    Because they are so addictive, and yes, I have read the Ashton manual on line, I asked to be taken off, using Valium as a gateway to withdrawls. This doctor told me that I could just stop cold turkey, no probem. Then, the last time that I saw him for a refill he tells me that he is uncomfortable with me taking them and wants me off. That is what I went to him for in the first place, two months ago, to get off. He is sending me to a med rehab. All I want is off and to be able to sleep.

    Before the Xanax I never had an anxiety attack. I was put on them when my finace' died along with Prozac. The Prozac gave me anxiety attacks. When I gave up the Prozac I was still having anxiety attacks so continued the Xanax. I would love to get off of them if only I could sleep. Each time that I taper down I don't sleep for days on end.

    If I were you, and I just started, three months end, I would walk away from them. They are a deep hole. There are other meds that are not benzo's.

    As soon as my grandson goes home after the summer, I am going off of them. I may go whacky, not sleep, even have to check into a hotel room for a month to save my husband the mess, but I am going off. If I had to do it all over again, I would have thrown then in my doctor's face. That is what I did with the Prozac, eventually.

    There is a lot of material on the net concerning the benzo addicton. Great reading.

     
    Old 06-26-2004, 03:28 PM   #8
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    Injured Betty,

    What is your plan, rehab? Or getting off the Xanax at home? I can tell you that a quick 7 day or less medical detox in all probabilty will leave you in worse shape that you entered, a gross waste of money. And I`d think twice about tossing in any other meds that may well complicate matters and slow recovery. Many doctors want to do this.

    What dose are you at now? I can tell you that withdrawals can get a lot uglier than sleep deprivation, many manifestions... If truly hooked Valium is the best tapering medium by far. Or if you choose to just come straight off Xanax fast, is risky, but many seem to get away with it. I was a Xanax user. Switched to Valium, have cut form 25 mgs down to 10 over the last 5 months. Has not been painless, but I am working toward what I hope will be a soft landing...

    Last edited by howard678; 06-26-2004 at 03:30 PM.

     
    Old 06-26-2004, 03:33 PM   #9
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    Hey Ya'll,

    Howard's done it both ways and he knows a lot about tapering is that is the way you want to go with it. I jumped off with medical supervision and was fine, some of my friends did the same and were fine, some folks like howard jumped off and had a bad time with cold turkey. He's been through the tapering madness and is still going through it.....listen to what he says if you want to taper. He's done a lot of research...to put it mildly...LOL. If you wanna just kick it make damned sure you are medically supervised and have anti-seizure meds on hand.

    good luck

     
    Old 06-26-2004, 06:28 PM   #10
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by windysan
    Hey Ya'll,

    Howard's done it both ways and he knows a lot about tapering is that is the way you want to go with it. I jumped off with medical supervision and was fine, some of my friends did the same and were fine, some folks like howard jumped off and had a bad time with cold turkey. He's been through the tapering madness and is still going through it.....listen to what he says if you want to taper. He's done a lot of research...to put it mildly...LOL. If you wanna just kick it make damned sure you are medically supervised and have anti-seizure meds on hand.

    good luck
    Windy good seeing you in here. Hope you are having an excellent weekend. I ditto what he says about the anti-seizure meds if you are determined to come straight off, for about a week. After that the chances of seizure greatly diminish if they exist at all. Xanax has a short half-life. The tapering for me though has not been madness, just tough at times, and real tough during one 2 week patch. Tapering at a rate of about 10% a week is the most recommended way of coming of these drugs, by pharmacists. I have been going a bit slower. What was madness for me was the detox center, paying $1000 a day for blood pressure checks, Phenobarb, and AA meetings, all while being treated like a child. And when discharged, withdrawals were just starting to really crank up. Ignorant and greedy people I consider them, my poor insurance company. Considering my case, which they were well aware of beforehand, I had been sold a lemon used car. One size fits all, sign on the dotted line. It`s big business. However, Windy`s situation was different. Tapering was not for him, and he very much needed to be in a hospital setting. I will leave it to him to tell his story if he wishes.

    Last edited by howard678; 06-27-2004 at 11:05 AM.

     
    Old 06-27-2004, 01:42 PM   #11
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    I'll have to save that one for another day....way too long and insane(LOL). If you have some discipline with your intake then work with Howard and try to get a copy of the manual. Find a doc who will work with you.....or you could just kick and be done with it....but make damned sure you get under a doctor's care if you kick it cold cuz you could die from a seizure.

    howard -- weekend in the quarter....whew!

     
    Old 06-27-2004, 02:23 PM   #12
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    Hey Windy,

    Have fun, eat good. Not sure I could handle a weekend in the Quarter at this point. lol Is funny but quite often on this board people post with a need and are never heard from again. I am always curious what became of them. But in any case, these threads get a lot of views so it is worth the effort regardless.

     
    Old 06-27-2004, 05:42 PM   #13
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    Howard,
    I have had several plans for qutting, everything from cold turkey, which sent me into a gran mal seizure to slowly tapering down. I went to see an addiction psychiatrist and he told me that I needed to check into a rehab center for just a little over $30,000. My insurance only pays once in a life time and then only a small percentage so you have to pick carefully.

    I have been totally off of it in the past, gone through the half life of the drug but then hit menopause and took a few and bam, back on.

    My main problem while tapering off is the sleep factor and shaking. I have tried everything to get sleep during a slow withdrawl but start hallucinating, racing thoughts, pains, and next thing ya know, I am back to addiction. I could make it without sleep as I am not working right now, but the shakes are really bad. If a slight breeze comes my way when I am tapering down I jump. If my husband accidently brushes against me when passing or a leaf falls on me, any movement that I am not expecting and I have this strange reaction. Then my body goes into spasms. I think that this stuff has whacked my nervous system.

    Right now I am taking two MG a night. I have tapered down to this in the last month. I would say that ten years of use and doing up to eight MG at at time without even blinking, is a serious addiction to the benzos. I also have a shoe box of meds that the docs have tried to help me to switch.

    The other day I was at the doctor's office. He asked me if I was suffering from social anxiety disorder instead of anxiety attacks. That must be a new buzz word. He wants me off of the meds as much as I want off of them.

    I tried to explain psychotic breaks to him but he said that he was a medical doctor and not a psychiatrist. It is so hard to explain these to someone who has never had them. Sometimes when I am out in the world I feel like I am on acid. Flashbacks? I am not sure. But psychotic breaks, I am sure. I have to pop a Xanax under my tongue and leave the store.

    I have suggested the switch to Valium to him but he wants me to do this with a drug counselor. I have even offered to buy the Ashton Manual for him so that we can do it through him and not rehab. He is not open to it.

    I am beginning to think that all of my back pain is just my body tricking me into taking more Xanax. It used to be my shoulder. I think that old pains come back to haunt us when we try to stop Xanax.

    One day I had to get an MRI and took six. I felt NO pain at all.

    If I could just get off of the meds altogether.

     
    Old 06-27-2004, 07:11 PM   #14
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by injured betty
    Howard,
    I have had several plans for qutting, everything from cold turkey, which sent me into a gran mal seizure to slowly tapering down. I went to see an addiction psychiatrist and he told me that I needed to check into a rehab center for just a little over $30,000. My insurance only pays once in a life time and then only a small percentage so you have to pick carefully.

    I have been totally off of it in the past, gone through the half life of the drug but then hit menopause and took a few and bam, back on.

    My main problem while tapering off is the sleep factor and shaking. I have tried everything to get sleep during a slow withdrawl but start hallucinating, racing thoughts, pains, and next thing ya know, I am back to addiction. I could make it without sleep as I am not working right now, but the shakes are really bad. If a slight breeze comes my way when I am tapering down I jump. If my husband accidently brushes against me when passing or a leaf falls on me, any movement that I am not expecting and I have this strange reaction. Then my body goes into spasms. I think that this stuff has whacked my nervous system.

    Right now I am taking two MG a night. I have tapered down to this in the last month. I would say that ten years of use and doing up to eight MG at at time without even blinking, is a serious addiction to the benzos. I also have a shoe box of meds that the docs have tried to help me to switch.

    The other day I was at the doctor's office. He asked me if I was suffering from social anxiety disorder instead of anxiety attacks. That must be a new buzz word. He wants me off of the meds as much as I want off of them.

    I tried to explain psychotic breaks to him but he said that he was a medical doctor and not a psychiatrist. It is so hard to explain these to someone who has never had them. Sometimes when I am out in the world I feel like I am on acid. Flashbacks? I am not sure. But psychotic breaks, I am sure. I have to pop a Xanax under my tongue and leave the store.

    I have suggested the switch to Valium to him but he wants me to do this with a drug counselor. I have even offered to buy the Ashton Manual for him so that we can do it through him and not rehab. He is not open to it.

    I am beginning to think that all of my back pain is just my body tricking me into taking more Xanax. It used to be my shoulder. I think that old pains come back to haunt us when we try to stop Xanax.

    One day I had to get an MRI and took six. I felt NO pain at all.

    If I could just get off of the meds altogether.
    God I feel for you and you will remain on my heart and mind. Keep posting here. Yep the ole pill under the tongue, dissolve and swallow. Relief at last. It all goes away. What a frickin nightmare. I relate to all your symptoms except the hallucinations and flashbacks, but the worst stuff was when I cold turkeyed. Are you taking anything else besides Xanax?

    I really do not think that rehab is the answer unless there is no way you have the discipline to taper. Apparently you do, seeing you have cut to 2 mgs of Xanax a day and stayed there. In a word, forget these doctors you are currently dealing with. We unfortunately have to take charge of these situations ourselves as there is so much ignorance out there. Dr. Ashton is the best source on this. If anyone else has any research to rival it I have not been able to find it. Valium has a very long half-life. Switching would eliminate the ups and downs you are experiencing during the day. It stays smooth in the system. 2 mgs of Xanax = 40 mgs of Valium. I suggest getting the Ashton Manual and finding a doctor to prescribe the Valium. Then taper off over 6 months to a year. I suggest looking into internal medicine specialists rather than psychiatrists. They are some of the best trained physicians. Their specialty is exploration and taking on the tough cases that baffle the rest. IMO, you need Valium. That is about it. You got taper schedules and there is some decent support on the net. Search under "benzo, support." Do not give up fast and do not panic. What you need most, IMO, is a doc to write Valium scripts and they are out there.

    P.S. Your nervous system is "whacked" but it will re-adjust itself as the drug is gradually removed. But Xanax is by far the toughest benzo to taper. Testimonies abound of people that switched to Valium and had a much smoother go of it.

    Last edited by howard678; 06-27-2004 at 07:22 PM.

     
    Old 06-28-2004, 09:32 PM   #15
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    Re: Anyone addicted to xanax?

    Xanax has to be the worst drug ever prescribed to the human race. Kids are taking it like candy and can get it sooooo easily. These kids (18-25) think it's so cool to take because it numbs you. This world has become a very scary place to live. The more I look around at these youngsters and what they do on a daily basis is frightening. If doctors who prescribe these deadly drugs had to spend a week in the re-hab centers with their patients, they would never prescribe Xanax again. If anyone takes it.........STOP!!!!

     
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