I've got a friend who I've known for a few years now. She has an anxiety problem that I've known about for about as long as i've known her. I also found out that she is taking medication for her anxiety. However, I just recently discovered that she's been prescribed to take valium for her anxiety. She was apparently taking another [unknown] medication before that she was off for a couple months. This had me concerned because i know about the chance of addiction in any anxiety medication. What is really worrying me now is the fact that she is taking much more than her prescribed dosage (1 1/2 tablets per day). She is taking somewhere along the lines of 3-4 per day instead. I was with her one day that she had taken 4 tablets and noticed an extreme difference in behavior. I've told her multiple times about how dangerous it is for her to take this medication, much less overdose on it. She's replied each time by saying it's ok because it makes her feel better and "there's nothing wrong with doing something that feels good". This is a girl who is extremely against conventional substance abuse (marijunana, cocaine, etc) but apparently does not see the connection when it comes to abuse of prescription meds. I've tried to talk to her several times about this issue with her reassuring me that "it's fine" and "I don't have any problems". I really care about this girl and i would be devestated if anything were to happen to her because of this. I'm doing as much research as I can on this drug and will be talking with some of the EMT-I's and Paramedics on the Department to see what else I can learn.
Anyways, my questions are these:
How can I convince her to stop overdosing on Valium
How can I help her if she's addicted?
Are there any reliable alternative methods to help with anxiety that do not require prescription meds?
well, first off welcome. A lot of times people who take prescription meds do not see themselves as addicts because the are "PRESCRIBED" by a physician. For this reason alone they do not believe that they are doing anything wrong to themselves or otherwise. So first and foremost in order for you to help her she needs to understand where this is heading. The consequences of her behavior and the effect it has on the people around her. ONly than will you be able to help. Then she has to "WANT" to change. Convince her to stop? ?That is a tough one. If you figure that one out please let me know. Convincing anyone that they have a problem can be tricky which is why many times interventions take place. (NOt to say that' is what you need) Alternative methods? Absolutely. Her anxiety is most likely caused because of the "addiction". Most people do not walk around anxious 24 hours a day unless they are an addict in withdrawl or suffering a form of crisis. So perhaps she needs a new activity, i.e. excersise, take a class, join a volunteer group, run a marathon...i don't know. Or take the pills only when absolutely necessary...i.e. when she feels she is having an anxiety attack. If she is in fact ALWAYS suffering from serious anxiety than a doctor should guide her. I believe people are too quick to automatically take a pill for every small inconvenience in life. People a thousand years ago had anxiety ten times worse and functioned without prozac, valium etc. Help her find peace in the life that surrounds her. ALl the best..brit
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