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    Old 10-19-2006, 11:37 PM   #1
    MsMinn
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    alcohol, ultram and xanax...

    Hi everyone,
    I have posted here before and read the posts quite a bit. I think there are a lot of brave folks here who are taking this stuff on and trying to change.

    ok, so here's where I am at. I am on my 14th day free of alcohol. I went a year sober that ended in March, then tried moderation for 6 months. Gradually I went right back to my old drinking levels (about 750 ml wine per night, more on w/e)The bad thing is that I also added on an ultram habit a couple months ago, thinking it would "help" me moderate...lol. I was addicted to it once before when I was sober from drinking. I only took it for less than 2 months but was up to about 10 pills/day. I decided I wasn't doing justice to my sobriety so went cold turkey and spent a weekend in hell because I had no idea it would be so bad. My doc said it wasn't addictive. ha.This time, I am tapering on the ultram. I am down to 2.5 50mg pills a day starting yesterday, down from 3 per day....sometimes going over by 1. Oh and I also take lexapro for depression and anxiety. I think this is why the ultram was a bit of a high for me because it does boost the seratonin. My doc gave me a script for xanax for my anxiety a couple weeks ago. I have been taking .25 or .50 mg of it only at night to take the edge off the alcohol and ultram detox. Am I playing with fire here and just putting myself in danger of yet another addiction on my already full plate? I'm not tempted to take it during the day...I just feel like I need a break by the end of the day and I'm trying to avoid the pain I went thru last time when WD from ultram. I already feel the headachy WD stuff from tapering. REading the post about the xanax WD taper and withdrawal scared me though.
    Thanks for listening...any advice is appreciated
    Minni

     
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    Old 10-20-2006, 07:18 PM   #2
    MsMinn
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    Unhappy Re: alcohol, ultram and xanax...

    anyone here?
    I guess my problem is not relatable to anyone here. Oh well...

     
    Old 10-20-2006, 09:32 PM   #3
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    Re: alcohol, ultram and xanax...

    Hey Ms. Minn,

    I can't comment on your specific condition, but I have in the past had an issue with hydros and alcohol. I have also been on and off of SSRI's such as Lexapro (and then some) for anxiety, and I am still on Buspar, which isn't an SSRI but it is for anxiety, and Clonazapem, and now Trileptal, an anti-seizure med they also use for mood imbalance, that has replaced the SSRI's.

    In short, everything you take will play with the homeostasis of your body. Homeostasis (so I was told) is the process your body goes through to even itself out. We feel like crap when we take drugs or drink, or even take prescribed meds, because all day your body is trying to do what is needed to feel normal and balanced. I was waking up every day and, within an hour, would have high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate. My regular Doc started playing with my anxiety meds, but did refer me to another Psych doc to manage the RX's. She explained the homeostasis of the body and it really hit home. Whether you are taking hydros, alcohol, smoking, eating poorly, anything...your body is going to try to even out. I am no scientist, but it really made sense to me.

    Every day, even after I stopped the hydros, I was still drinking, moderately but frequently, and I am still on certain prescribed drugs. My body all day is fighting to be normal. So, I just wanted to post this as a general comment that until you eat right, exercise, quit any substance, prescribed or not, you will feel the effects of your body trying to balance itself. That's why for a few hours a day you may feel OK or normal. It's at that time your body may feel balanced. I know this doesn't answer your question, I just found the information I got this week applies to many things I was/am doing. I guess we forget what we were taught to get the right food and water, vitamins, and exercise. Substance abuse, prescribed or not, makes the body work harder to feel normal.

    I hope you do what you need to do to get your body in better shape. I am trying my darndest to do it, and it is hard, but knowledge is power and I kind of get it now. The hard part is getting there for many of us.

    Good luck Ms. Minn, and I'll pray you have good night's sleep and a good day tomorrow.

    Lisa

     
    Old 10-20-2006, 09:36 PM   #4
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    Re: alcohol, ultram and xanax...

    One more thing...I am not suggesting you stop taking what your doctor prescribed to you. I got many benefits from some of the SSRI's that outweighed the problems. I just had other problems, and I am just uncertain of how to feel normal. Like my Psych said, don't go off of everything wandering around the earth sick if you really need help with an RX for anxiety or depression. But, for me, I need to start from scratch since I was being treated at the same time I was addicted to hydros and alcohol.

    Lisa

     
    Old 10-21-2006, 12:02 PM   #5
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    Re: alcohol, ultram and xanax...

    Thanks Lisa,
    It's so nice to be heard!! Thanks so much for your reply!
    What you said about the homeostasis makes sense to me. My goal is to get off everything except the Lexapro for now. I can't do it all at once on my own though. It's just too hard and I fear total failure and relapse back into drinking if I do.
    The thing that sucks about the xanax is that even though I don't take much and only at night. I think it's making me groggy in the morning so I am unable to do the natural things (like exercise) that will make me feel better. It's like being stuck in a loop.
    My priorities currently are to get off the ultram and stay alcohol free. I just don't want to get dependent on the xanax in the meantime.
    Perhaps I will try to take 1/2 of a .25 tonight and see if that still helps the anxiety but perhaps less groggy in the morning...
    Minni

     
    Old 10-22-2006, 09:07 AM   #6
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    Re: alcohol, ultram and xanax...

    MsMinn,

    It's a good idea to wean off of what you are on gradually. One thing I've learned is that, no matter how much you may like and trust your doctor, let a Psychiatrist manage the medications you are on. I just went to a new Psychiatrist to start getting off of some of the anxiety meds, and she was horrified at what my doctor has tried with the various SSRI's and said she disagrees with the majority of my care in the last four years. A Psychiatrist specializes in the management of these drugs, and can tell you how much to go up, down, the time schedule of doing so, and get you on the correct drugs for your condition (if you need something). Don't be emabarrased about any addiction you are struggling with, because they have seen it all and from all types of people. Heck, they treat their own collegues (doctors, nurses, etc.) for addiction. It can happen to anyone. The Psychiatist herself rarely does anything long-term if you need counseling (a therapist or group counseling), so they would refer you out to someone or some program if they felt you needed help with addiction.

    Sorry to go on; I only get on the boards occasionally and try to share all the information I've been given if I think it may help someone else. I read many of the posts and every little bit of information has educated me on this subject.

    Let us know how you are doing MsMinn. Have a good day, and I'll pray every day this week is better than the previous one for you!

    Lisa

     
    Old 10-22-2006, 07:20 PM   #7
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    Re: alcohol, ultram and xanax...

    I was addicted to opiates for a long time. At the same time the doc had me on klonopin which was to help my restless leg and anxiety. I never had a problem with those pills I take them as prescribed. All they do is knock me out at night and once in while if I feel jittery or nervous I will take one. I am clean from hydros which I had to have just to function for the day. I got that way towards the end. I tried three of four times to get off and finally had to go to detox because I would get so sick. Tapering is a good idea. I didn't drink to much while on the pills so I can't help on that part. I think if you start feeling like you need more of the Xanax then it is probably time to back off. I hope this helps.

     
    Old 10-23-2006, 05:01 AM   #8
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    Re: alcohol, ultram and xanax...

    To answer your question "Am I playing with fire...?"

    I think so. Did you get the xanax from the same Dr. that told you Ultram wasn't addictive? If so I would seriously consider looking for another Dr.

    Also, congratulations on your 14 days!!!!

    Al...

     
    Old 10-23-2006, 08:16 AM   #9
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    Re: alcohol, ultram and xanax...

    Thanks everyone for your replies and support. I slipped on Saturday and drank. I was tired of the xanax feeling and tired of the loneliness. Went back to my old friend wine. I drank a bottle and 1/2 of it and felt crappy all day yesterday which caused me to take more ultram to feel better...took 5. And I'd been tapering and was down to 2.5. ugh. The good thing is that it was a slip, not a relapse. I'm back off the booze..day 2 here again and will go back to my tapering the ultram. I seem to be "stuck" in this cycle of drugs or alcohol. What happened to trusting in my own strength? I did it before when I stayed sober for a year, not sure what is up this time. I just don't feel confident to take things on this time.
    Holing up perpetuates my loneliness and the loneliness gets me stinking thinking about drinking to ease the pain.
    To answer your question...yes, same doc, but she has no idea of my alcohol problem. I talk to my therapist about it but I just didn't want it on my permanent record.
    Minni

     
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