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    Old 08-04-2005, 09:49 AM   #1
    NathanF41
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    Addiction to Xanax question

    I have heard that Xanax can be habit forming. I'm wondering how to reconcile this with the fact that xanax is prescribed to people twice daily. I know some people are on it daily for years. Does habit forming mean that people have to be weaned off of it? does it mean that some people can't be weaned off of it and have to always be on a small dose or their body will always have a reaction? or does it mean that they may start going over their prescribed dose because they like how makes them feel? I don't know what to make of this, but I'm skeptical to go on a med that I have to take daily that warns of addiction...

     
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    Old 08-04-2005, 10:01 AM   #2
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    you would probably have to take it for quite a while in large doses for it to become a physical addiction... i was on it daily a long time ago at 4-5 .50mg pills a day for about 5 months for panic.. and i was able to come off it no problems.. mental.. i am not sure i guess that could happen alot quicker then the physical addiction... i didnt like taking it in the first place so it never became a problem for me..

    i wouldnt worry to much about it because the fact you are worried about becoming hooked on it makes me think your gonna be watching yourself like a hawk to make sure you dont..


    oh and also just because it says "take 2 times a day" if it is the normal xanax and NOT the time release kind you can just split the pill in half and take as needed to test it out and see how it makes you feel..

    Last edited by Punkdizzle; 08-04-2005 at 10:06 AM.

     
    Old 08-04-2005, 10:38 AM   #3
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    Hi Nathan -

    I think that is the biggest misconception doctors give out when they prescribe Xanax. They make you feel like you need to take it every day (or don't explain that in detail) when you should really only take it when you are feeling anxiety so bad you can't control it on your own.

    In my opinion, when people talk about being "addicted" to Xanax they mean they have taken it for so long that their bodies build up a tolerance so they have to continue taking higher doses for the same effect. I'm sure there a lot of folks out there who may have experienced withdrawals when they stopped taking it, but my guess is those withdrawals were high levels of anxiety and that these people were taking fairly high doses very regularly for a long period of time. Their bodies got used to not feeling anxious and so when you quit, your body is probably experiencing the anxiety you were masking with the Xanax, hence the "withdrawal effects." This is just my theory, since I have never experienced any sort of withdrawal effects from Xanax I can't say for sure.

    I also think that when doctors do suggest you take two or 3 doses a day every day, their intention is that this should only be for a couple months, and the doses are usually very small, so there is little chance of addiction there too. I think doctors will often prescribe this way when they are prescribing an AD in conjunction, since the first few weeks of an AD can produce side effects that Xanax can counteract.

     
    Old 08-04-2005, 11:23 AM   #4
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    i've been on xanax for 2 yrs now and take about 3.5 mg a day spread throughout the day. i withdraw bigtime physically if i miss a dose or if i go too long without taking it. my body shakes, my heart races, my mind races, and my breathing quickins.

     
    Old 08-04-2005, 11:58 AM   #5
    NathanF41
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    I'd call that addiction (physical dependence), have you ever tried to wean off though? I wonder if you'd do okay if you wean off slowly?

     
    Old 08-04-2005, 12:07 PM   #6
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    I agree with Mj i think that is a good theory too it makes sense to me.
    what my doctor told me was that it is not physicaly addictive so basicaly you shouldnt just keep taking for some kind of "high". she also told me anything i feel comming off of it is from the anxiety itself and not the benzo.To be honest though I didnt feel anything weaning off of it .We are all different though and I have been told by some others they did feel things.I just think chances are what they felt was actualy the anxiety they had all along and not from the med itself.
    now some anti depressants are a whole nother story those do cause withdrawl symptoms not all and not for everyone though. paxil had me a mess weaning off and i went real slow too. zoloft i was fine weaning off and also prozac i was fine weaning off.


    take care

     
    Old 08-04-2005, 12:15 PM   #7
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gregftlaud
    i've been on xanax for 2 yrs now and take about 3.5 mg a day spread throughout the day. i withdraw bigtime physically if i miss a dose or if i go too long without taking it. my body shakes, my heart races, my mind races, and my breathing quickins.
    That's a pretty high dose though, and especially since you were taking it every day for two years straight. Did it take this much to work for you? Or did you have to gradually up your dose over time?

     
    Old 08-04-2005, 12:42 PM   #8
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    true addiction to xanax is very rare for anxiety sufferers, theya re usually too sensible
    xanax and the other benzos are, IMO best taken only as needed, not every day is an anxious day, it helps to always carry a few tablets with you when out

    its also very important to learn new ways of calming and relaxing yourself and reducing your stress levels
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    Old 08-04-2005, 04:52 PM   #9
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    i agree with hry33 if you dont think you need it one day dont take it.. just take it when the anxiety gets to be beyond the point where you can calm yourself down naturally.. on my last visit to my DR he gave me a script for .50mg xanax again and on the bottle it says take 1-2 pills four times a day..

    well guess what i have taken 1/2 of one so far .25mg and for the most part that was enough to give me the edge i needed to calm myself down..

    i was on xanax before as i mentioned and i know exactly what 1-2 pills four times a day of .50mg would have done to me...

    Last edited by Punkdizzle; 08-04-2005 at 04:53 PM.

     
    Old 08-04-2005, 05:24 PM   #10
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    punk that was a high dose lol wow I surely would of been zonked out out for all eternity.............clonopin 0.5 mgs twice a day had me tired with just that.

     
    Old 08-05-2005, 10:16 AM   #11
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    Xanax Is additive and you should come down slow when you are tring to come off of them . BUT I think that most people who suffer with anixty / panic disorders are affaid to take the meds anyway. BUt if you do as your doctor tells you and never take more than you need you will be fine. JUST make sure he is aware of your thoughts on it. ALSO there are meds that are not as addictive now days that are replacing xanax. SO ask your doctor FELICIA

     
    Old 08-05-2005, 12:26 PM   #12
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tnmomofive
    I agree with Mj i think that is a good theory too it makes sense to me.
    what my doctor told me was that it is not physicaly addictive so basicaly you shouldnt just keep taking for some kind of "high". she also told me anything i feel comming off of it is from the anxiety itself and not the benzo.To be honest though I didnt feel anything weaning off of it .We are all different though and I have been told by some others they did feel things.I just think chances are what they felt was actualy the anxiety they had all along and not from the med itself.
    now some anti depressants are a whole nother story those do cause withdrawl symptoms not all and not for everyone though. paxil had me a mess weaning off and i went real slow too. zoloft i was fine weaning off and also prozac i was fine weaning off.


    take care
    What your doc said isn't necessarily true but that belief is why there is a doubt about withdrawal symptoms from these drugs....if it is always assumed the symptoms are returning of anxiety then the "records" will show false "facts" of no withdrawals.

    I know of a guy who took Valium, another benzo like Xanax, who developed severe anxiety and insomnia upon discontinuing his normal dose after only 2 months on it. Your doc would be perplexed on this one because it couldn't have been "returning" anxiety because he was only on the Valium for it's muscle relaxing properties.....he was a bodybuilder who had hurt his back! He had no prior condition of anxiety or sleep problems. Yet his withdrawal symptoms persisted for a whole year...so yeah, these drugs are capiable of withdrawals alright.

    But to develop addiction, actually, it really depends on the person, the dosage, how often it is taken, of times it is taken, and the drug itself since benzos are all different in potentcy. ANd then, it's not really addiction but instead physical dependancy on the drug. Addiction itself has to include compulsive drug-seeking behaviors and other criteria to actually be pegged "addiction".

    It's true, smaller doses, shorter time spans of taking the drug and the periodic "as needed" dosing can help prevent withdrawals in some people. Some people's brain's are also slow to develop certain adverse effects like downregulation and tolerance. Those can also be dose/drug/time related.

    So between that and real withdrawal symptoms being re-labeled as returning anxiety, no wonder there are such small statistics on the very real occurance of the creation of the "accidental addict" to benzodiazepine type drugs.

    The free online Ashton Manual has more information.

     
    Old 08-05-2005, 01:05 PM   #13
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    Xanax can be habit forming, both physically and mentally. It's a great quick-fix that doesn't last long. I took it for awhile in low doses but became quickly aware that it made me feel 'normal' and calm so quickly I wanted to use it more. I talked with another Doc who put me on a non-addictive anti-anxiety drug made for long term use. The results have been very good. Bottom line, do what works for you.

     
    Old 08-05-2005, 02:59 PM   #14
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jennita

    The free online Ashton Manual has more information.
    The Ashton Manual can be kind of scary, I do think it is a good reference, but should be taken with a grain of salt as most of the patients Ashton worked with were people who had been on very large doses of benzos for several years. From what I have read on these boards, most people take anywhere from .25 to 1 mg maybe a couple times a day if that. That's not to say those people couldn't develop problems eventually, but just wanted to point that out. By the way, I didn't see alprazolam (Xanax) as one of the drugs in her withdrawal study

     
    Old 08-05-2005, 04:39 PM   #15
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    Re: Addiction to Xanax question

    Jennita
    I certainly didnt mean nobody comming off a benzo gets withdrawls
    It was just my opinion that in alot of cases it is actualy the anxiety comming back.As far as the doctor well possibly she was misinformed or didnt know as much about benzos as she should have.Thanks for that info though .Maybe I was lucky I had no withdrawl after 2 years taking it .The anti depressant I took at the time was somethiing else a nightmare weaning off.It is different for different people some have a good experiance with a benzo and some a horrible one. Same with anti depressants.
    I agree with one of the other posters though .....do what works for you.


    take care ...........Beth

     
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