View Full Version : Brother - Xanax addict

08-15-2011, 11:20 AM
Right, nobody has seem this problem before. :dizzy:

Why is it so many doctors are still prescribing this stuff like candy?? It's harder to get vicodin for pain vs xanax. My brother goes from doctor to doctor getting 3 month's worh of 1mg xanax. I don't get it!!

He is doctor shopping again because he said his latest doctor would not renew and wanted him on other meds. He refused claiming he tried other meds in the past and they failed and cost him a job. He says he cannot function without Xanax and hystical now because he can't find a doctor to prescribe it. He will eventully within the week I am sure.

How can one get help for someone who is addicted?

08-15-2011, 02:56 PM
He is doctor shopping again because he said his latest doctor would not renew and wanted him on other meds. He refused claiming he tried other meds in the past and they failed and cost him a job. He says he cannot function without Xanax and hystical now because he can't find a doctor to prescribe it. He will eventully within the week I am sure.

How can one get help for someone who is addicted?

Hello Flutterbye77,

Whether or not he has insurance,it will eventually catch up to him.

If he is in denial,then wanting help is not an option for him.

He is falling but has yet to reach the point that forces him to look at both himself and his drug-seeking behavior

You can direct him but can't force recovery on him;he has to want it.

His addiction will catch up with him and I just hope it isn't meant with extreme circumstances.


08-15-2011, 02:57 PM
Hello Flutter

Welcome to the board, although I am sorry we are meeting under such circumstances with your brother. I am sure his latest doctor is wise to your brother's Xanax problem and that is why he has cut him off. My biggest concern is that coming off cold turkey from a benzo (like Xanax is) can cause seizures at the least and more serious problems at the worst. Actually, a prescibing doctor has obligations to help a patient wean off any drug prescibed. However, if the patient is not willing to do so, there is not much else a doctor can do.

Sadly, there is not much you can do, either, if your brother does not recognize his problem. Xanax is a terribly addicting drug. I uised it myself for years for off-label nerve pain. However, a point came that I crossed the line and started using it for mental angst. Not good at all. My primary care doctor helped me work out a tapering plan and together, with his help, I did finally get off of it. It was a slow, slow taper and it took a lot of discipline for sure. The withdrawal causes anxiety that lasts until the end and we must learn how to cope with it. However, it can be done.

My suggestion would be for you to attend some Nar-Anon nmeetings in your area and find from others dealing with this what might work and what absolutely will not. Try calling Social Services in your area also and ask for some guidance. The most you can do is offer information to your brother and offer to attend some NA meetings with him for support.

The impetus to resolve his issues is going to take a great deal of determination and it can only come from him. You are a loving and caring sister. That goes a long way as a support, but only he can truly make the decisions concerning his life.

Wishing the best

08-15-2011, 04:27 PM
My brother is an alcoholic as well, he has been on Xanax that I know of for over 14 years. He tells me now he can take up ot 3 or 4 1mg xanax a day and it doesn't affect him at all. He says he cannot drive or work with out it, yet right now he has been unemployeed and has no insurance for the past 10 years. He gets little jobs here and there but nothing lasts long with him.

He tried to get the number to drr my doctor, I told him he would not prescribe Xanax, so he told me ^*%^& dr. ^&^&%^ and hung up.

He is 54, what happens to someone eventually that is addicted to xanax for a long time?

08-15-2011, 04:47 PM

Friend, the combination of alcohol and Xanax is a deadly one. Deep, severe depression will set in and the thinking become even more clouded. Others on this board can testify to some of the outcomes of mixing Xanax and alcohol and not stopping.

He really needs a long term inpatient treatment program. Ideally, like a year; realistically, no less than 90 days with out-patient follow up. IF and WHEN he decides to commit to sobriety, he can find help through a hospital.

Flutter, this can not consume your life or your own life will spiral down. Please seek out those Nar-Anon meetings for yourself and a private counselor if that is feasible. You need coping strategies. As you well know by this pont, alcoholism and addiction affect far more than just the abuser.

You can offer him information and support if he decides to get clean. Other than that, you must learn how to let go... not stop loving him, but letting go of HIS problem. It is hard, but necessary.

With hugs and hope

08-16-2011, 01:07 PM
Thanks, but it's frustrating and scary for me. My brother has no medical insurance so there is no way he can afford an in patient treatment program or even out patient.

I am the youngest, by many years of my brothers. My mother is dead, my father is 83 with failing health. Both my brothers are in their mid to late 50's. My oldest brother I never see, so my other brother is all I have. If he dies, I will feel totally alone even though I have 2 girls 3 and 5 and a husband. ( that should give you an idea of the extreme age difference)

This is why I have been trying to help him, but it's useless.

08-16-2011, 06:48 PM
I have no doubt your brothers cannot function without the xanax at this point. Once on it this long and at high doses, trying to rapidly reduce their intake, or worse yet cold turkey is extremely dangerous, as Reach has already pointed. It can cause seizures, horrid withdrawals, extreme angst and anxiety, very vivid nightmares, insomnia, the list goes on and on. The safest and most sensible way off is to reduce their intake with 10% cuts, once every 2 weeks and even then it will be a difficult road, but much safer.

Xanax has a very short half-life which makes it one of the harder benzos to taper off of. Because it metabolizes so quickly the inter dose withdrawals when it wheres off are far more intense. Until your brothers realize for themselves that their dependencies have gone too far there really is not much you can do for them. I am sure they already know they have a problem, but don't know how to get off of it. I have seen this countless times, sadly. One gets in too deep, can't cope without, and cannot stop due to the withdrawals because they have to function to survive, work, support their family.

Eventually, if they do not take control of the situation themselves their CNS and bodies will start to shut down and they'll end up in detox anyways, like it or not.

First, get them to admit they need to get off of it. Then find a doctor that will support a slow taper. Once you find one determine the lowest dosage that they can function at, stabilize for a week or so, and then start to reduce by 10% once every 2 weeks. Too they CANNOT drink alcohol nor should they consume any other recreational drugs while tapering. Even coffee is detrimental. All of these and more will only exasperate the withdrawals certain to be experienced throughout the taper.

Tapering is an extremely difficult journey, though much easier to accomplish than trying to just quit all together. I personally tried to cold turkey 6mg of Ativan and ended up in the hospital ward for a week. Once out I did a slow taper, taking close to a years time to complete, and have been benzo free for over 7 years now. I have also helped support hundreds of other individuals to successfully get off of their own poison as well, so it IS doable. Not everyone makes it the first attempt and end up reinstating, and some never do get off. One has to be extremely determined and must endure. It is this route, or detox, and finding a Center that will support a slow direct taper is going to be very difficult to do.

A strong and understanding support team is also essential for success and they are going to need it for sure. It is hard for loved ones to witness their beloved go through both what they are enduring now, as well as trying to beat the demons so be prepared. It may get ugly. I ended up locking myself in my house for a whole winter, never answering the phone or door and shopping only at night because I became so arrogant and I did not want to hurt my friends or family.

Convince them to do the taper, it is their best chance at getting free.

I wish you and yours complete success :angel:

08-17-2011, 09:29 PM
Hi, hope your finding some help in all of this. Just couple things to add....in just about every county in every state there is free or reduced cost addiction/mental aid, all you have to do is call your local Social Services office and ask. These places are specifically there for folks who don't have insurance or can't afford private treatment.

As for WHY???? well unfortunately psych drugs unlike narcotics are not as carefully monitored. The FDA doesn't ride Pdocs like they do pain management docs. Unfortunately this creates a vast open window for Benzo abuse to be rampant in our society. The other problem is that docs/pdocs no matter how hard they try to be "rule" compliant, they are often dealing with a patient who is not completely honest about his/her full condition. You say your bro. is an alcoholic, but I highly doubt his doc has any idea of that, unless you've told him? You say your bro. doesn't have insurance, this also facilitates in the abuse of the med., he's probably using multiple pharmacy's as well as multiple docs to keep his supply open, thus making it difficult to monitor his med intake.

Xanax is one of those drugs that unfortunately if at a correct dose and used short term as these types of drugs are meant to be, it can be very helpful in controlling mental illnesses. A big problem is, people don't stop when they should, because they like the way it makes them feel, then you cross the line into addiction and having to have more and more of it as time goes by and tolerance increases.

Have you considered contacting the docs that he goes to and anonomously letting them know of what your bro. is doing? Until someone steps in and does something about the situation, he has no reason to change his current behavior. He's getting away with it, has his pills...so why should he willingly put himself in hell to stop the med.....there's no system of checks and balances to monitor folks like this, at this point in time. You should be able to take heart somewhat in the fact that eventually he will screw up and get caught. Personally, I would have already notified the local pharmacies and doc offices, so that he can be stopped. But that's just my opinion.

I sincerely hope that he falls in the well sooner rather than later, because once again, unfortunately he's not going to look UP and OUT, until he hits rock bottom and realizes it.

Take care,