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LilLilly
01-29-2003, 02:00 PM
I think my boyfriend has a problem with xanax. He goes on what I call “benders.” He will miss work and take several mgs of xanax in a short amount of tine. I know he has taken 8 “bars” at a time but usually takes four. I’m not sure what to do… or even if he has a problem. He must get a prescription for a reason.

We were engaged and split for this reason… I was under the impression he was now sober. He will got a few weeks and seem to be fine then a “bender.” When we split I know he had 3 different perscriptions for xanax and would lie to hide the drug use. That is what he is doing now… lying to hide the drugs.

Today he admits he has taken 20 fiorcets (sp) in less then 24 hours. I’m so afraid he is going to hurt himself! I don’t know what to do….

I’ve been considering calling his mother… but she hasn’t liked me since we reconciled. Any advice? At this point he has been so drugged his speech is slurred, he doesn’t make sense, passes out mid-conversation, and isn’t making sense when he talks.

Today is Wednesday and this started on Sunday!

PLEASE HELP!

ChinaCatSunflower
01-30-2003, 07:50 AM
Hi http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/redface.gif)

i can tell by your screenname that we hang in the same kinda crowd..

i, too, see people around me taking WAY too much xanex and it is becoming more and more scary to me, enough so that i have cut way back on my partying, and have started to worry some about my own boyfriend, too...it is very easy to get xanex even if you don't have a prescription, and people mix them with other drugs, alcohol, etc...not thinking of the repercussions at all..

i'm not really sure of any advice to offer you, i'll leave that up to others who are more qualified, but i just wanted you to know that you are not alone in this "scene" of ours, if you will, in feeling this way...

p.s....wsp spring tour dates are up! yay!! :)

LilLilly
01-31-2003, 10:16 AM
Thanks for the reply! He still has slurred speech, slow motor skills, blurred vision. I haven't figured out what to do :( My heart hurts...

CadeFoster
01-31-2003, 12:17 PM
I had/have a problem with Benzos my self, Xanax/Valium. I'd usualy stack them with morphine derivatives though. The hardest part was getting off. The worse withdrawal of my life. Now im stuck on Klonopin until I can taper my self off. I'd have to admit when I started seeing how it's was ruining my relationships and withdrawing me from my family I called it quits. Just keep bugging him that "not only is he hurting himself he's hurting you also", and educate your self, this way he can't dominate you and tell you that you don't know what you're talking about. Good Luck, Hope things get better =0)

ChinaCatSunflower
02-05-2003, 09:27 PM
Hi...just wanted to let you know that you're in my thoughts...

How's it goin'?

karloff
02-05-2003, 10:52 PM
Opiate withdrawl is tuff but can be done in appox. 5 days..it feels like a bad flu! Withdrawl from Xanax is a wholr different story!! Very very dangerous! You can go into convulsions or coma! You'll need to be hospitalized under a Doctor's care! Good luck to your friend!

enriquecito
04-08-2003, 08:33 AM
Just wanted to offer some advice to whomever might come later on and read this. When I read the first post, I knew I had to reply, because it was so close to my own life. My own relationship was really affected because of a severe addiction to Xanax that I had. My fiancee stayed with me and we worked through it together, but it was extremely tough. She didn't know what to expect, and neither did I, and honestly if she knew how bad it was going to be, she probably would have left me at the beginning phases. But she didn't, she stuck with me through multiple ER visits and one hospital visit, and we're still together today.

I was taking 8mg of Xanax about 3-4 times a week. It was nothing for me to take 3-4 bars at once, and then throw 4mg or so of Klonopin on top of it, just for an additional buzz. It started because I began ordering these drugs off the Internet and taking a little bit for recreation, maybe once or twice a week. Well, within two years, this amount built up to a really high amount, and I couldn't get off. When I was on the drugs, I had the same symptoms you describe: slurred speech, falling asleep unexpectedly, and so on. Just the amount that I had to take to stay "normal" was enough to put anyone else to sleep for hours. Once I convinced my fiancee to take just one Klonopin, and she slept for 24 hours straight.

There were a number of things I didn't know about being addicted to "benzos" (benzodiazepenes, or drugs in the same family as Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin) that I learned the hard way. I will share some with you. I apologize for this being so long, but it's the only way to convey the full scope of the problem.

First, benzos stay in your system for quite a long time, so it may be a while before the addicted person even realizes what's going on. You should do some research on "half-life," or the amount of time the body takes to metabolize the drugs. Each benzo has a half-life that varies considerably, and Xanax has one of the shortest -- which means it's withdrawal symptoms kick in fastest, and hardest. When I first started trying to come off (because I ran out, not because I wanted to) it took nearly 10 days for the symptoms to really hit me. Apparently there was enough Xanax and perhaps Klonopin in my system to last me that long without feeling anything. It sounds similar to your boyfriend's problem. Anyway, when I did start to feel it, it was horrible. I had all kinds of mental and physical withdrawal symptoms.

This leads to the second thing. I had a previous addiction a year earlier, to hydrocodone, which I was able to come off of with about a week of bed rest and lots of fluids and ibuprofen. It was mostly physical pain. The Xanax withdrawal was something entirely different, and far worse. It began with muscle tension, sweating, loss of appetite, and digestive problems, and then progressed into muscle spasms. Later I had pressure headaches and a feeling that my field of vision was shrinking (and other sorts of visual disturbances). Then I had mental confusion, paranoia, and extreme fatigue. Later I had several very scary episodes of delirium in which I forgot who I was, where I was, and began doing crazy and dangerous stuff. I was so tense and my mind was racing with so much stuff that I couldn't form a sentence. I was hallucinating people who weren't there, running around wrecking my fiancee's apartment, and even tried to get behind the wheel of a car at one point. Luckily I wasn't able to drive. I had about four of these episodes before I decided that I had no choice but to go to the hospital via the emergency room. In the detox unit, I went through severe withdrawals and hallucinations, during which every second seemed a horrible eternity, and childhood memories, traumas, and things like that welled up and came back. Later I had more delirium, began wandering around the halls to the point where doctors and nurses could not control me, and was given medications to calm me down. I couldn't even take anything orally because I was so confused, so I had to receive an injection first of Haldol, and then I could swallow pills, so I was given a cocktail of antipsychotics, anti-seizure, and anti-anxiety medications. I was in the hospital 5 days, and it made my hydrocodone withdrawal seem like a cakewalk.

Third, I didn't realize that the recovery was so long and that I would have to be under such close medical supervision for months. I will echo ChinaCatSunflower's advice to see someone, please! I can tell you from experience that it is the only way when you are really addicted. The hospital did not follow up with me after my release -- in other words, I didn't receive any medications to take home -- so within two days my withdrawal built back up to the point where I had more delirium. My fiancee was about to snap because she had been through so much with me, and then it seemed like I hadn't made any progress at the hospital. I knew from this point that I needed the "titration protocol" for benzos. You can also read about this on many Internet sites. I began seeing a psychiatrist who was willing to put me on that treatment -- it's hard to find a doctor who is willing to do that, and insurance doesn't always cover it, but coming off any other way can be very, very dangerous. The first goal was to stablize so that there was no withdrawal, and for this he used Tranxene. I think Tranxene is specially developed for gradual weaning off of or transition from either benzos or alcohol -- hence the name. Based on the amount of Xanax I was taking, he calculated an equivalent dose of Tranxene. After feeling horrible, I was feeling well within a few hours of my first dose; it's a great drug. Once I was stable, then we began reducing the doses slowly, over a period of weeks. It's been about 10 weeks now, and I have been off of Tranxene for 1 week and counting.

The last thing I wanted to mention, which I also hadn't thought too much about, is that benzos like Xanax fundamentally affect the brain's ability to manufacture certain chemicals. So it takes a while for the brain to "re-learn" how to do this, and there is somewhat of a gap between stopping the drug and feeling 100% better again. During this gap it is very difficult NOT to take Xanax (or whatever) because you know it will make you feel good. I hate to say this, but if you are taking care of someone with a problem, you have to be vicious in making sure they don't get more drugs. Check everything they own for pills. Watch everything they do. Check their credit card statements or checking accounts for evidence that they have bought pills. Tell other people to do the same. Given the fact that your boyfriend might have to go to the hospital -- or at least see a doctor for several months -- I don't know if it will be possible to hide it. I've been through it myself, and I really wanted to quit badly, but I still felt tempted to have "just a half a bar" if I could get it. This cannot happen if the person is going to get better. If they are placed on a titration, as I was, they should be watched to make sure they aren't taking more pills than they're supposed to. My fiancee at first had to regulate my doses of Tranxene; otherwise I would have taken them all at once.

First thing's first, get him to read up on the addiction and see how serious it is. It really takes a big effort to stop taking, but the sooner you start, the sooner he will be healthy again. Having your parents find out is small potatoes compared to having a grand mal seizure and/or dying from withdrawal. I am completely serious that this is a real possibility.

One more thing: I am not sure what the body's tolerance for various substances is. You could check some credible Web sites for toxicity, or look for posts where the issue has been addressed by doctors. I will say that, in my heyday, I took 54 Klonopins (2mg each) in 24 hours, and similarly high amounts of other stuff -- such as 30 10/500mg Lortabs in 12 hours. It sounds like the thing he should worry about is liver damage from the tylenol contained in Fiorcet. If there are signs of internal bleeding (such as blood in the toilet after using the bathroom) then you know that the tylenol amount is toxic.

Please get some help! This needs to be taken seriously.

gle56
04-14-2003, 03:57 PM
You have really scared me to death. I am almost sixty.
I have a heart problem and diabetes as well as panic disorder. A doctor started me out on xanax when I was about 35. I was teaching inner city middle school. I helped my mother get though withdrawl on Phenolbarital when I as about 23 and I swore I would never take any tranquilizers. This doctor told me this drug was out new and you could not become addicted to it. I began with .5mg three times a day. I saw on TV that it was a difficult drug to get off of. It scared me to death, but the doctor said ?is it doing what it is suppose to do?" And the answer was "yes". I was not having any panic attacks. About nine years ago the doctor increased it to 3mg/day. I didn't want to do it, but my blood pressure increased and my panic attacks did also. A few months ago I had a panic attack. I didn't know what was going on because I had not had one for so long. I was told I was xanax intolerant. I have a new doctor, and he has told me to try not to increase it. So I haven't. I am only told to take an extra one if I have a PA. I have had one more bad PA about one month ago. I have all of these other problems and I do fine. I don't drink or smoke. I exercise. Years ago a I saw a Phychiatrist who said I could stay as I am or working with her would take about two years. She told me many people led lives taking xanax for life, just as many alcohoics do. I remember watching my mother go through what she did and it almost killed her. I wish I had not have read this. It really shook me up, but you have done a service to many people.