someone i love is battling addiction with xanax and norcos. he's tried in the past to stop his norco addiction and has relapsed. i think it is because he was trying to quit for others and not for himself. this time around he is determined to quit because he does not want to live like this- being dependent on drugs to feel normal, spending thousands of dollars each month to replenish his supply, and for his own health and sanity. since he has quit cold turkey with the norcos, he knows exactly what to expect and how to help deal with the pain that comes along with the process. the xanax addiction, however, is something new. i have been reading so many forums about xanax addiction and over and over, everyone says do not quit cold turkey. i am worried, scared, and i dont know what to do. he ran out of xanax the other day and basically did not have a chance to even taper the amount he was taking. for two days he basically could not function, he couldn't work, couldn't sleep, couldn't do anything. i am afraid he might have siezures or even worse die from the chemical imbalance. i was able to get him some xanax and upon taking it, he was back to normal. he's currently taking 6mg a day which is a lot. he knows he cannot cold turkey the xanax, but he cannot go seek a professional about the issue either. all he can do is try to find a supply to allow him the time to taper off the meds. i have heard valium is a good substitute during this process, but like xanax, it is hard to get. i know he is determined to quit, but i am scared of what will happen if he cannot taper the xanax. what do i do? if i can get more xanax for him, is that enabling him to not quit? i just want to be able to have enough xanax or valium to help him wean off the xanax safely. i know a lot of people say its a big mistake to help an addict get more drugs, but i don't want him to cold turkey the xanax due to the negative side effects. what i was able to get will not be enough, but if there were a way to get more, or enough, is it a mistake for me to get it for him? i am not and never have been an addict and this is the first time i am dealing with a loved one with addiction so i dont know what to do. please help...
Hello and welcome. He should go to a detox center or hospital they can give him anti seizure meds . I wouldn't buy him xanax or valium. He probably wouldn't do the taper right anyway. It would takes months to taper down from 6 mgs.
Let him make the phone calls to find a place. If he has insurance let him start there. If not let him call social services and they can direct him.
Hugs and hope
I completely agree with Debbie. He needs professional detox help with the xanax. Your loved one doesn't want professional help because he still wants to keep his addiction a secret. It's all tied up with shame and guilt. Where addiction is concerned, secrets keep them sick. Keeping him supplied with xanax or any other benzodiazapine like valium only enables him to continue the same behavior and secrecy that fools him into thinking he can control his addiction by himself.
Detox is only the first step in recovery. Most addicts try more than once to just stop using and white-knuckle their way through sobriety alone. You already know through his relapse that his way doesn't work, but does he know that yet? If he's really ready for sobriety he'll be open to the idea of rehab treatment or at least working with AA or NA.
It's hard enough for sober people to admit that our lives are unmanageable and that we need help learning a new way to live. Imagine how much more difficult that epiphany is for an active addict with a very sick brain who is drowning in a sea of guilt and shame. Things that sound reasonable and logical to us just don't compute with an active addict.
Give Debbie's advice a try and encourage him to get real detox and recovery help. He might be ready and he might not be, but please don't continue to supply him with xanax.
thank you both of you for your help. it is nice to see things from other points of view. I have decided not to get anymore for him and have him manage the tapering on his own based on what he has. I hope he will be able to succeed in overcoming his addiction... i know it is a lifelong battle... but praying for the best. I truly appreciate the insights.
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