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Low dose xanax. Don't want addiction

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Old 06-14-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Michigan
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anxiousgal12 HB User
Question Low dose xanax. Don't want addiction

Hi. I've been having lots of anxiety lately due to an upcoming move out of state and career change. My therapist has diagnosed me as "adjustment anxiety" or something like that. I have a history of anxiety as well, off and on since I was a kid due to how I was raised. Long story I won't go into now.

My doctor has prescribed Xanax 0.25mg, up to 3 times per day, as needed. I haven't taken that much yet. Usually I get through the day with two 0.125 mg (one 0.25 mg pill broken in half). Can this be addictive over time? TIA

Oh, and at night to sleep, I either take melatonin, or Benadryl if it's allergy season (which it currently is at my house!)

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Old 06-14-2012, 10:43 PM   #2
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Re: Low dose xanax. Don't want addiction

Welcome to the boards

In the abstract, yes, Xanax in any dose is potentially habit forming / addictive. The risk increases with length of time using it, number of doses per day, size of dose, etc. Small doses prescribed for short periods of time are generally not severely dangerous with regard to precipitating addiction, but there is no magic cut-off of a non-addictive dose/time/regimen. Generally the "least addictive" benzodiazepine (the class of drugs Xanax belongs to) is considered to be Klonopin. When concerned with the possibility of addiction, most physicians I have known prefer Klonopin in low doses over short times.

Xanax is one of the most addictive benzodiazepines because it is considered a highly potent benzodiazepine, as well as a short acting one. The combination of short acting and potent are a key combination in precipitating addiction. I was first given Xanax 1 mg in my physicians office when I was 16 after my heart rate went up to 240 and my SpO2 (oxygen) went down to 78% from 99% during a panic attack in the waiting room. He prescribed two more for errant panic attacks, as well as meds for heart, bp, etc. Within 6 months I had gotten him to give me 30 Xanax 1 mg a month as well as 30 Valium 5 mg. At this point I was hooked, and to this day I am dependent on either Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin - though I long ago took control of my misuse and now take them for legitimate general / social anxiety as well as thanatophobia (debilitating fear of death).

My advice though would be if you stick to the lowest dose and the fewest doses per day you can manage, then stop taking them the minute you are able, you probably should be ok. For the past 4 years up until a few months ago I took Klonopin 1 mg two - three times daily and I wasn't and am not clinically addicted in the true definition of the word (if I stop taking them I don't experience benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, nor do I experience cravings or exhibit drug seeking behavior).
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:46 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2012
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anxiousgal12 HB User
Re: Low dose xanax. Don't want addiction

Thank you for the info and advice!

Old 06-15-2012, 03:47 AM   #4
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Re: Low dose xanax. Don't want addiction

Hi anxiousgal and welcome to the boards.

You sound like you have a pretty good deal of knowledge of why you are taking them. You also said you took them in the past off and on. In my own opinion, I think the fact that you take them as prescribed, and only when needed, is a sign of not having a psychological addiction to them. You are also on such a low dose that you are already breaking in half, so you should be fine. I do have to agree with everything recominant said about the addiction potential and potency/short acting effects of xanax. But again, I think you're fine. Just be careful now that you are aware. Maybe if you are really concerned about it, you could talk to your dr. about a longer acting, less potent klonopin. It's all up to you.

Good luck with the move and career. I know that this is a scary thing to a lot of people. I personally always loved a new place and new people when I was in the military. It was so exciting. Try to look at it as a chance to make new friends, start new chapters, make new memories, and the like. I think it's a wonderful opportunity!

Last edited by Tysmom1; 06-15-2012 at 03:48 AM. Reason: spelling errors

Old 06-15-2012, 04:00 AM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2012
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anxiousgal12 HB User
Re: Low dose xanax. Don't want addiction

Thank you very much! Yes, the move is a scary thing...I didn't realize how much until the past couple of weeks. Uprooting our lives is scary (moving with husband and 4 yo daughter), but we must keep looking forward and stay positive.

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