Discussions that mention xanax

Addiction & Recovery board


I've been researching self detox with benzos on the internet for quite some time. It seems a little scary (ok, a LOT scary) but I'm hoping some of you have any tips or advice.

My story: I drink about 10 to 12 beers a day for the past two weeks (since being laid off my job). Before that I was drinking about 6 or 7 beers a day, everyday. Right now my last beer was about 14 hours ago. I felt fine this morning when I woke up about 5 hours ago. I had something to eat and became nauseated to the point of throwing up. I feel a little shaky (although not too bad - I can still type pretty well).

I took a 1 mg xanax about an hour ago and it helped tremendously. I'm also drinking lots of water.

Has anyone detoxed themselves in this way? Any thoughts or tips...any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have GOT to get my life back and begin looking for a job (something I havent' had to do for at least 4 years).

Thank you in advance,
Angela
1 mg of Xanax is a lot. May want to cut that in half and dose every 12 hours for alcohol detox, but as was said, only for a few days. Xanax is an effective anti-seizure med. Do not drink while taking them under any circumstances. Do not fall in love with them and get addicted or you likely will be wishing to God you had stuck with your alcohol... See a doc if you are in bad shape, surely.
I thought xanax is an anti-anxiety med?
Quote from zandy:
I thought xanax is an anti-anxiety med?

Hen/egg situation!
Generally now considered not to be used for anxiety - as one of the side effects of xanax is anxiety. Much stricter guidelines now on xanax (and other benzos) and now not considered at all suitable as anti anxiety medication. Anything but. Pre-med in surgery, anti seizure............ not much else ..........
Very well worth avoiding if there is an alternative.
Mise
Quote from zandy:
Thank you, good explanation.


I agree with all the above. Benzos can be worse than alcohol. Proceed with caution. At least you aren't detoxing from hard liquor or your situation would be much worse but you really shouldn't have drank so much beer everyday like that!

Use a very small amount of Xanax as needed for only a few days if you feel you must, but no more or risk a worse addiction.
Quote from Jennita:
I agree with all the above. Benzos can be worse than alcohol. Proceed with caution. At least you aren't detoxing from hard liquor or your situation would be much worse but you really shouldn't have drank so much beer everyday like that!

Use a very small amount of Xanax as needed for only a few days if you feel you must, but no more or risk a worse addiction.


I am afraid it truly makes no difference whether its hard liquor or beer. One 12 ounce beer has the same amount of alcohol as an ounce of 80 proof hard liquor. 12 beers a day, 12 mixed drinks a day, makes no difference. Except as to the number of times you have to go to the bathroom...
Quote from howard678:
I am afraid it truly makes no difference whether its hard liquor or beer. One 12 ounce beer has the same amount of alcohol as an ounce of 80 proof hard liquor. 12 beers a day, 12 mixed drinks a day, makes no difference. Except as to the number of times you have to go to the bathroom...


Well, I'm no expert on alcohol but I have to disagree as I've seen more people become alcoholics and end up in AA who drank the hard stuff than beer/wine drinkers I know.

And as I understand it, a glass of wine, a bottle of beer and a shot of whiskey have the same amount of alcohol, only as we know, a shot glass is pretty small. So, I'm assuming if you drank a wine-glass full of whiskey you'd be alot more mashed up than with one wine-glass full of wine.

But whatever, all I'm saying is the guy probably has a better chance of less severe withdrawals but he is definately consuming alot more beer than a person should and seems to have a problem with addictive behaviors. He should probably be just cutting the beers down slowly but surely rather than becoming a player in the Xanax horror show.
[QUOTE=Bart Garrabrant]Hey, Hope you are doing well. I have been off 15-20 Hydrocodones a day now for 7 days. My doctor prescribed a patch called Clonidine. It got me through with no withdrawls at all. As I did research on it I found that they use it for people who are addicted to alcohol also and that it will get you through just as it did me. It isnt a narcotic at all. It is used for high blood presure and for some unknown reason it helps just about anyone who may need to be off any kind of medication that creates addiction. Cigeiettes, depresants, alcohol, Opiates.etc... So check it out on the web and talk to your doctor. I hope the best for you.

P.S. Your Doctor should be willing to help you if you just be up front and honest with him.

bart

That's because it lowers blood pressure and heartrate, slows down the nervous system in general, which is helpful for alchol rebound effects when withdrawing.

It also should be weaned off of eventually too, no cold turkey, however...but certainly I vote for it over Xanax for sure!
Quote from Jennita:
Well, I'm no expert on alcohol but I have to disagree as I've seen more people become alcoholics and end up in AA who drank the hard stuff than beer/wine drinkers I know.

And as I understand it, a glass of wine, a bottle of beer and a shot of whiskey have the same amount of alcohol, only as we know, a shot glass is pretty small. So, I'm assuming if you drank a wine-glass full of whiskey you'd be alot more mashed up than with one wine-glass full of wine.

But whatever, all I'm saying is the guy probably has a better chance of less severe withdrawals but he is definately consuming alot more beer than a person should and seems to have a problem with addictive behaviors. He should probably be just cutting the beers down slowly but surely rather than becoming a player in the Xanax horror show.


Of course a wine glass of hard liquor would contain more alcohol than the same of wine. The point though is that alcohol addiction is just that, and this person is here saying they are addicted I believe. ;) It makes no difference if it be Barcardi 151, wine, beer, Niquil, or after shave lotion. It is a matter of one`s preferred means of consumption. As to taste, cost efficiency, avalilability, how much they mind frequent trips to the bathroom, whatever... A.A. is full of alcoholics that prefer beer, and there are many social drinkers that prefer hard stuff. It is like saying that someone is going to have an easier time with benzo withdrawals if they come off a daily habit of taking 20 .25 mgs Xanax tabs as opposed to 5 1 mg tabs. The issue is alcohol intake and addiction, not the type of beverage. My objection is that this person may be led to believe that drinking beer instead of hard stuff may in some way make things easier on him. Or that he could get the idea that drinking some beer is okay. Very risky if an alcoholic.

As to the benzos for alcohol detox, fully appropriate. Fast detox is the way to go for alcoholics so sunk in the mire of symptoms and cravings that they can hardly stop. But a hospital setting is preferred for those that can get in them. Three or four days of moderate benzo use to make withdrawals more comfortable, prevent a seizure, the DTs (can be fatal) and the rest of the short term craziness that can go on is appropriate. Let us not become so anti-benzo that we deny legitimate very short term, and in some cases, life saving uses. Same goes for a coke or meth addict that shows up at the hospital with their heart jumping out of their chest. A shot of Valium has surely saved many a life. So I have to object to the "anethesia only" argument that has been promulgated here (not by you) as it could cause someone to refuse needed treatment as a result of being scared unnecessarily on the net.

P.S. He was already told to not use the benzo past a few days. I would more suggest taking a regime of the benzo those few days as if they wait until it is "needed" they could already be heading into a tailspin. Alcohol withdrawal, though brief, can be serious business.
Quote from howard678:
Of course a wine glass of hard liquor would contain more alcohol than the same of wine. The point though is that alcohol addiction is just that, and this person is here saying they are addicted I believe. ;) It makes no difference if it be Barcardi 151, wine, beer, Niquil, or after shave lotion. It is a matter of one`s preferred means of consumption. As to taste, cost efficiency, avalilability, how much they mind frequent trips to the bathroom, whatever... A.A. is full of alcoholics that prefer beer, and there are many social drinkers that prefer hard stuff. It is like saying that someone is going to have an easier time with benzo withdrawals if they come off a daily habit of taking 20 .25 mgs Xanax tabs as opposed to 5 1 mg tabs. The issue is alcohol intake and addiction, not the type of beverage. My objection is that this person may be led to believe that drinking beer instead of hard stuff may in some way make things easier on him. Or that he could get the idea that drinking some beer is okay. Very risky if an alcoholic.

As to the benzos for alcohol detox, fully appropriate. Fast detox is the way to go for alcoholics so sunk in the mire of symptoms and cravings that they can hardly stop. But a hospital setting is preferred for those that can get in them. Three or four days of moderate benzo use to make withdrawals more comfortable, prevent a seizure, the DTs (can be fatal) and the rest of the short term craziness that can go on is appropriate. Let us not become so anti-benzo that we deny legitimate very short term, and in some cases, life saving uses. Same goes for a coke or meth addict that shows up at the hospital with their heart jumping out of their chest. A shot of Valium has surely saved many a life. So I have to object to the "anethesia only" argument that has been promulgated here (not by you) as it could cause someone to refuse needed treatment as a result of being scared unnecessarily on the net.

P.S. He was already told to not use the benzo past a few days. I would more suggest taking a regime of the benzo those few days as if they wait until it is "needed" they could already be heading into a tailspin. Alcohol withdrawal, though brief, can be serious business.


My point was that hard liquor is more potent, which may cause alcoholism more promptly and easily than weaker stuff, and have higher tolerance/withdrawal issues.

Benzos are not all created equal either, as some such as Ativan and Klonopin are more potent, targeting more receptors than let's say, the weakest which is Valium. Most would agree(including experts) it is harder to get off Ativan than Valium, thus the preferance of Valium taper. Potency does have a factor in all drugs/alcohol.....

....but I'm not disagreeing with you in the fact that this guy does have a problem! Twelve beers a day, everyday, is alcoholism and must be dealt with! I'm not sure if benzos are the best treatment, as the other poster mentioned Clonodine and since his doctor used it, I think it may be a viable alternative to benzos for detox.

Now, since he has used the Xanax already, perhaps continuing very small doses may help short term to get him out of the woods with the beer situation and seizure/delirum tremors free, as long as he doesn't forget to respect it and keep it small doses/short time on.

Now, I'm not real sure about the shaving lotions, but I think Old Spice aftershave, being an earlier one, is less potent than ones like Aramis but who knows, that old fisherman looked way too clean and fresh after a day of fishing so the Old Spice may be pretty strong stuff. :D
Quote from Jennita:
My point was that hard liquor is more potent, which may cause alcoholism more promptly and easily than weaker stuff, and have higher tolerance/withdrawal issues.

Benzos are not all created equal either, as some such as Ativan and Klonopin are more potent, targeting more receptors than let's say, the weakest which is Valium. Most would agree(including experts) it is harder to get off Ativan than Valium, thus the preferance of Valium taper. Potency does have a factor in all drugs/alcohol.....

....but I'm not disagreeing with you in the fact that this guy does have a problem! Twelve beers a day, everyday, is alcoholism and must be dealt with! I'm not sure if benzos are the best treatment, as the other poster mentioned Clonodine and since his doctor used it, I think it may be a viable alternative to benzos for detox.


Alcohol and benzos are essentially all created equally, respectively, but it depends on the dose. 10mgs Valium = .5 mgs Xanax. Xanax is 20 times more potent, according to Ashton`s potency equivalency chart, but in each instance one pill delivers the same, though the Valium has more metabolites and exits the system slower. But alcohol is just simply that, blended or not blended in whatever. One shot of tequila = one beer. Downing a beer is just as "potent" as downing a shot. This is elementary, no "experts" needed. If an "expert" can come up with a credible study to show that those that prefer mixed drinks over beer are more prone to becoming alcoholics, I`d look at it. Again none of that matters as the person that started the thread appears to already be alcoholic. They need to stop and stay stopped.

The reason Ativan is viewed as tougher to come off than Valium relates to the much shorter half-life of Ativan, not to the strength or weakness of either drug. Concentrations of the chemical in the system will drop faster creating more sudden, frequent, intense withdrawals. But as concentrations of Valium drop over time, it can all catch up with the addict coming off quick, and in the end, could be viewed as just as ugly. I watched a young woman once, cold turkeying off a 5 blue Valium a day habit, jerking so bad that she could not hold her cigarette.

None of this is relevent however to alcohol as half-lifes are not an issue. It all expells from the system at the same relatively rapid rate. Drink a 6 pack over an hour, 6 shots over an hour, one is in the same spot. If that does not get the point across then one will never get it... Though once hooked it makes sense to go with the hard stuff as drinking a case of beer or more a day involves alot of work and bathroom breaks. Though many go that route and are no better off than the whisky drinkers. Even though their beer only drinking feeds their denial. "Hey, I drink only beer." They typically have beet red faces and very large bellies. I have known many. The issue is abuse/addiction, and maybe in some cases heredity, not the beverage of choice.

I highly suspect no "expert" is arguing that hard liquor targets more "brain receptors" than beer! That is not relevent here. With benzos, Ashton claims that the notion that some benzo types target receptors that others don`t is "nonsense." But I doubt there is any true expert on that issue, or the issue of precisely how benzos effect the brain. Though one could find plenty of confident assertions complete with diagrams off the net to cut and paste, the doctors often do not agree. Many get the impression that medicine is an exact science, far from it, and brain science is now in it`s infancy. Though some scientific theories deserve more attention than others, what is heralded today might be laughed at in 100 years. Such is history.

Clonidine sounds great for fast alcohol detox if affective as benzos, but as far as I know it is simply a BP med, not a seizure med. It also would be interesting to know how effective it may be at curbing the often deadly "DTs" that can accompany alcohol withdrawal. Until we get much more than a post from one that used Clonidine to come off opiates, I`d say stick with the benzos for alcohol detox. There has been no problem with their use in this medium.

P.S. The reason Valium is preferred to the others for tapering relates to half-life, not potency. In fact, matching potencies is essential when doing a crossover and starting a taper, eg. 2 mgs Xanax = 40 mgs Valium. Valium has more metabolites and thus has a half-life of 24-100 hours. This makes for steadier concentrations of the essential chemical in the bloodstream. To the contrary, Xanax has a half-life of 4 to 9 hours which creates the need for frequent dosing, peaks and valleys, much tougher taper. No good analogy for alcohol here either...
Hey, it's not just the half life but since they are low potency with the availbility of low dosage pills, they are easier to cut down! A 3 mg. Valium is like a quarter potency of a 1 mg. Ativan. Easier to reach those low, low dosages when cutting up pills!

In referring to receptors, benzos are not all created alike. They do have different chemical compounds, and effect the brain a bit different although basically alike; for example, Klonopin is the one which has anti-seizure benefits and is prescribed for such, Ativan and Xanax are more for panic/anxiety, and ones like Restorial and Halcion are strictly hypnotics. Ambien is only slightly able to pass for non-benzo, missing one receptor activity. But it bites just like the benzo.....it's sort of that obnoxious 2nd cousin always horning in on family events.

See, although in the same family, benzos are different chemically and how they effect the brain; I'm guessing alcohol, since there are so many different types, might be sort of like that too?

But both share the same effect of being absolutely no good for anyone on a regular basis.

Anyway, I agree with you basically on all counts. Hopefully this guy/gal (where?) in the meantime, while we are chatting, is getting himself off the booze safely and being careful to avoid getting hooked on Xanax in the process.
Quote from Jennita:
Hey, it's not just the half life but since they are low potency with the availbility of low dosage pills, they are easier to cut down! A 3 mg. Valium is like a quarter potency of a 1 mg. Ativan. Easier to reach those low, low dosages when cutting up pills!

In referring to receptors, benzos are not all created alike. They do have different chemical compounds, and effect the brain a bit different although basically alike; for example, Klonopin is the one which has anti-seizure benefits and is prescribed for such, Ativan and Xanax are more for panic/anxiety, and ones like Restorial and Halcion are strictly hypnotics. Ambien is only slightly able to pass for non-benzo, missing one receptor activity. But it bites just like the benzo.....it's sort of that obnoxious 2nd cousin always horning in on family events.

See, although in the same family, benzos are different chemically and how they effect the brain; I'm guessing alcohol, since there are so many different types, might be sort of like that too?

But both share the same effect of being absolutely no good for anyone on a regular basis.

Anyway, I agree with you basically on all counts. Hopefully this guy/gal (where?) in the meantime, while we are chatting, is getting himself off the booze safely and being careful to avoid getting hooked on Xanax in the process.


Jennita,

Internet benzo brain science and recovery is a world of it`s own, complete with it`s own creeds and terminology, and a wide range of claims and testimonies. I`ve done my homework. I`d say I believe about 25% of it, take 50% with a grain of salt, and reject the other 25. I told you my source on the receptor binding, check it out. I do not necessarily buy it myself. Ashton concludes her manual by saying that more research is needed and, in so many words, that she is not claiming to have the final word. That is responsible of her in my estimation. Unfortunately, many that have spring boarded from her are far more sure of themselves and engage in much embellishment, somtimes to the point of the bizzare. What I do buy for sure is that Valium is the best benzo to taper, that I need to minimize stress, and come off these drugs. That is all I need to know.

On the alcohol, as far as I know, ethyl alcohol is ethyl alcohol, produced through fermentation. I doubt there is much of an analogy between this and certain pill types within a family made by chemists in a science lab. But if you come to believe there is, feel free to affirm it here without challenge from me. But do not expect me to accept it uncritically or invest my attention with it. IMO, there comes a time to get on with one`s life and stop fuming at drug companies, doctors, and world economies, stop reading internet horror stories that often may be totally unrelated or only partially related to benzos, stop analyzing brain theories, and stop reading the posts of a minority that remains around the net overtly or invertly promising others long term doom and gloom. This is a disease all it`s own. I am closing that chapter.

To those with the drinking problem, I`d say A.A. is probably your best source. They have been at it 60 some odd years. They can help you decide if you are alcoholic and give good guidance about how to get and stay sober. And you may just find a good home among these many fine people. But like anything else, you got to want it...
Thank you for all your input Howard!!! I actually got the idea of benzos from my therapist. I recently lost my job (not realated to the drinking....my company was sold and many positions elimiated....mine included).

BTW I am female and am having a really hard time with this whole thing.

I also have depression (go figure) and chronic pain from multiple surgeries.

I am trying to taper off the alcohol with the benzos as they affect the same neurotransmitters that the alcohol does. I am afraid to not take the benzos and die of DT's.

I am a professional systems analyst recently working in e-commerce. I know that both the alcohol and the benzos are addicitve. I've done plenty of research (it's in my nature as it is my profession).

Jenna....duh...I am awary that I shouldn't be drinking so much. That's why I posted here and it wasn't easy for me to do it. To admit I have a problem. You have not walked in my shoes but I do appreciate your input.

I get that both alcohol and benzos are addictive. I was just trying to get some advice. At least with benzos I can function.....after a six pack I cannot. I am a professional single mother in a difficult situation. Since I lost my job three weeks ago I have no health insurance. Any detox I enter will want to detox me from my pain meds which would be unbearable. I take strong pain meds according to how my doc prescribes them. I DO NOT abust them. I have had gastric bypass surgery for weight loss. It worked beautifully until I had to have my gallbladder removed. I believe the surgion nicked a nerve. I have since had three additional sugeries and am still in chonic pain. It's almost more than I can bear......I'm only still on this planet because of my daughter. If not for her I don't know what I would do.

The only thing I'm looking for is a way to detox from the beer without dying....thus the benzos. I know neither is an absolute answer but at this point I'll take the lesser of the two evils.

I have to be honest...AA is not for me, and I'm sure this will make a lot of you mad but I've been there, done that. I really made a huge effort to work the program but I just can't justify that my addiction is beyond my control. I'd rather seek the Rational Recovery program but unfortunately I live in a small town and those groups are not available to me.

All I know is that when the shakes happen, if I take .5 mg of xanax it calms them. When I feel sick to my stomach .5 mg of xanax helps me. I'd rather be drugged with benzos which I can function on than be drunk as a skunk because I can't turn my mind off from all the crap that's happening in my life right now.

I'm 38 and this is the third time I've had to start over....as I said, I live in a small town and am facing bankruptcy, IRS is breathing down my neck, I will lose my car....I made upper class wages and now I will be facing a "start over" career. It's not all bad tho, I hated my job and now I'm ready to get back into a non profit helping people positiion.

Thru this all, I've recognized that I need to make a contribution to society. I need the satisfaction that what I am doing is helping others.

If benzos help me then so be it. It's better than not being able to function at all after a six pack, or six shots, or worse or whatever. I agree that beer is just a toxic as hard alcohol (just more bathroom breaks as Howard mentioned).

Thank you for all of your help. It is much appreciated.

Angela
Quote from GlindaWitch:
Thank you for all your input Howard!!! I actually got the idea of benzos from my therapist. I recently lost my job (not realated to the drinking....my company was sold and many positions elimiated....mine included).

BTW I am female and am having a really hard time with this whole thing.

I also have depression (go figure) and chronic pain from multiple surgeries.

I am trying to taper off the alcohol with the benzos as they affect the same neurotransmitters that the alcohol does. I am afraid to not take the benzos and die of DT's.

I am a professional systems analyst recently working in e-commerce. I know that both the alcohol and the benzos are addicitve. I've done plenty of research (it's in my nature as it is my profession).

Jenna....duh...I am awary that I shouldn't be drinking so much. That's why I posted here and it wasn't easy for me to do it. To admit I have a problem. You have not walked in my shoes but I do appreciate your input.

I get that both alcohol and benzos are addictive. I was just trying to get some advice. At least with benzos I can function.....after a six pack I cannot. I am a professional single mother in a difficult situation. Since I lost my job three weeks ago I have no health insurance. Any detox I enter will want to detox me from my pain meds which would be unbearable. I take strong pain meds according to how my doc prescribes them. I DO NOT abust them. I have had gastric bypass surgery for weight loss. It worked beautifully until I had to have my gallbladder removed. I believe the surgion nicked a nerve. I have since had three additional sugeries and am still in chonic pain. It's almost more than I can bear......I'm only still on this planet because of my daughter. If not for her I don't know what I would do.

The only thing I'm looking for is a way to detox from the beer without dying....thus the benzos. I know neither is an absolute answer but at this point I'll take the lesser of the two evils.

I have to be honest...AA is not for me, and I'm sure this will make a lot of you mad but I've been there, done that. I really made a huge effort to work the program but I just can't justify that my addiction is beyond my control. I'd rather seek the Rational Recovery program but unfortunately I live in a small town and those groups are not available to me.

All I know is that when the shakes happen, if I take .5 mg of xanax it calms them. When I feel sick to my stomach .5 mg of xanax helps me. I'd rather be drugged with benzos which I can function on than be drunk as a skunk because I can't turn my mind off from all the crap that's happening in my life right now.

I'm 38 and this is the third time I've had to start over....as I said, I live in a small town and am facing bankruptcy, IRS is breathing down my neck, I will lose my car....I made upper class wages and now I will be facing a "start over" career. It's not all bad tho, I hated my job and now I'm ready to get back into a non profit helping people positiion.

Thru this all, I've recognized that I need to make a contribution to society. I need the satisfaction that what I am doing is helping others.

If benzos help me then so be it. It's better than not being able to function at all after a six pack, or six shots, or worse or whatever. I agree that beer is just a toxic as hard alcohol (just more bathroom breaks as Howard mentioned).

Thank you for all of your help. It is much appreciated.

Angela


Well, no wonder you drink. So sorry, it all does sound very hard for you. Hope you can get on your feet again. Did you take AD's for the depression? I do know those can cause people to want to drink for some reason, perhaps because AD's are actually sometimes too stimulating (serotonin is an excitatory neurotransmitter) and alcohol is a depressant, effecting the inhibitory neuros so it calms all that down. Whatever the cause is, I guess you are making a good effort to quit and that's admirable. I agree with windysan in the temporary use of the benzos. Benzos will not help you function forever as they are drugs that the brain develops tolerance to sometimes quickly. But I do agree the DT's can be a problem plus the seizure danger, so it makes sense to take the benzos for a short while. Don't increase the dosage even if you feel it's needed because that may be a sign of tolerance.