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Xanax Use
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Xanax Use

I would like a rational response to my question.  I have visited web pages dealing with prescription drug addiction and been told I'm in danger of becoming a criminal and will probably start having seizures any time now. I have been taking on a daily basis for 3 months 1mg of Xanax for insomnia due to menopause - not hot flashes, just being unable to fall asleep. I understand this is an addictive drug and want to know if I should continue to take it.   It has been very helpful and I have not had any side effects (I fall asleep, so I guess I wouldn't feel them) and tolerance has not increased.  When I do stop taking it do I have anything to worry about other than rebound insomina?
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Contact your doctor. I personally haven't ever taken this med but my father has. The thursday before Labor Day it is beleived he had a seizure from instantly stopping taking his meds. He had double dosed a couple of days on Biaxin, by mistake,and got very ill. So he quit taking everything. I spent two days trying to convince him he wasn't crazy (although I really wasn't sure at the time). He begged us not to take him to the hospital until Saturday night. Intially, it was beleived he had a stroke because the cat scan showed a spot on the frontal lobe. But evidently the tech who read it failed to info us he was thrashing around as they were doing it. My father's dr. finally came back from his Labor Day Vacation Tuesday, and cleared everything up. He didn't have a stroke, he'd lost all potassium from vomiting and diaharrea, and he was going thru withdrawl (withdrawal).They put him back on the lowest dose of Zanax and a high blood pressure patch. And he's doing great.                                                    So discuss with your Dr. your intention of stopping the Zanax.And he should be able to help you reduce your dosage. I also have had trouble sleeping for YEARS. I use a half of robaxin to help me(sometimes I have to take the other half). I'm not sure if it is very addictive(comments anyone?)but it helps me. My therory (am I putting my neck on the chopping block?) it's the lessor of two evil's.
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From what you say, it sounds as if you are taking the xanax as prescribed, and not abusing it.  After 3 months, you may or may not be physically addicted. My understanding is that xanax leaves the system in 8 hours, so you would have to take it two or three times a day to become physically addicted. I could however, be very wrong about that.

Talk to your doctor to get the facts about how physically dependant you may be on the xanax. If you are not abusing it, and it is working, it may not be a problem.  If you are thinking about it all the time, seeing several doctors to get other sources of it etc, that would indicate abuse and a deeper addictive syndrome. If you are physically dependant, and want to go off, you do need to taper slowly, since going off it suddenly can cause a seizure.

Xanax is most often used for short term relief of anxiety. Most docs won't use it as a first line medication for sleep, because of its addictive potential.

Chat with your Doc, be honest, and you'll be able to decide whether to stay on it or not.

WW
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Thanks for the fast (and rational :-) responses.  My doc thinks it's okay, but I personally have found that doctors are not always up to date on addiction or dependency information. My feeling, which my dr. echos, is that 1 mg once a day just isn't enough to form an addiction.  But the way I look at it, I drink two cups of coffee every morning and I'm addicted to that...I have withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms if I stop - headache, tiredness, etc. When I went to the other sites for prescription meds, everyone was going on and on about how dangerous it was to stop and how you had to taper off.  But they were taking 10-15 mgs and more a day.  So it's confusing.
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I forgot to mention that my doc prescribed Ambien initially, but apparently I am the one person in the US that has an adverse reaction to it.  It gives me horrible nightmares. Works otherwise.
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I think that some folks are of the opinion that anyone who regularly uses an addictive medication is automatically an addict.  

I don't agree with that point of view. Many people are able to take medications such as xanax appropriately, as prescribed. They never run out early, don't get it from multiple docs, don't plan their days and lives around making sure they have enough pills etc.  If you can honestly ask yourself whether you have psychological preocupation with the xanax, and the answer is no, chances are you are one of the lucky people who can take it appropriately.  I sure can't make that assesment for you, you have to just be very honest with yourself.  For ages, I told myself I wasn't addicted to vicoprofen because I needed it for pain, but deep down inside I knew I was lying to myself.

From what you say, it sounds like you are trying your best to be sure this med doesn't become a huge problem, and I commend you for that. But it is also really important to be cautious with xanax. Addiction does have a way of creeping up on us unaware.

keep us posted!

WW
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I agree with ww on the addiction part, you have to answer that one. The thing I have a personal problem with , as my counselor stated, is me being hypervigilant. I've got a prescription for ambien sitting for 2 months that I won't take because of fear. I've had some bad experiences with some med (Zocor and Wellbutrin I remember well). And you sound similar to me that you fear the what if. I always take half of what the dr. prescribe so if I feel I have a problem with it I don't have  so much in my system.I actually fustrate my dr. How can you expect me to help you if you won't take the med. But I say you have the ultimate authority, and erring on the side of caution is  not such a bad thing.So I guess the  nightmare part is good to know and the ambien can just sit in the cabinet.
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If you don't mind me asking, how old are you. My dr. also prescribed hormone replacement therapy for me. I am fourty and I've also been to scared to start that. I'm always worried they may be wrong.Lauren Hutton advocates it but what about the issues such as stroke. Oh and there's a good one on tv right now Baycol. Well, how do we know if dr.'s are diagnosing us correctly, ANYONE? Does anyone have some advice for me, I'm reading this and realize I sound paranoid, oh excuse me, hypervigilant as the counselor says.
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One Doctor told me that it takes 7 days to get xanex completly out of your system,I would stop taking it now,or you'll end up like me,been addicted for 9 years!!!!

Maybe Ambian would help you.
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Thanks, everyone for comments.  I guess I'll stop taking it just to err on the side of being safe, or "hpervigilant" :-) I really hate having insomnia.  

Shotsy, I am 48 and just started perimenopause about 6 mos. ago which means, according to my gynecologist, I could reach menopause anywhere from 6 mos. to 3 years. I have opted against HRT simply because I want to know when I stop getting my periods.  It's just a wierd thing on my part. I exercise diligantly so bone loss and heart disease are not a big risk.  Once I reach menopause, I may start it. I know women who swear by it.  They usually started because of hot flashes. Since I exercise in an unairconditioned gym, I'm used to feeling overheated and sweating buckets so although hot flashes are uncomfortable, I don't mind them that much.  As for the Ambien, as I mentioned, I am the only person I know who ever had nightmares.  And lots of people take it.  It is addictive though and it is a designer drug.  Also, it hasn't been on the market long enough to find out all the side effects, IMHO. It does work well and superfast, like in 20 minutes.  No residual effects the next morning either. I just wish TV was better at 3 am :-)
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Let me suggest a few other options for sleep.

Have you tried herbs such as Valerian, Hops, Passionflower?
They are not as strong as a medication, but they do work for some people.

I've been having horrible insomnia since getting clean. The thing that finally worked for me is a supplement called melatonin. It is a hormone that is naturally produced in the brain. Natural production of it increases when it gets dark out, and it makes us sleepy. You can buy it in a health food store. They recommended dosage to start with is 1mg, but I need the 3mg pills. It is not addictive, does not make you groggy in the morning.  Some people say that it has anticarcinogenic properties. It is considered one of the "anti-aging" nutrients by some.

I've researched it and I feel comfortable taking it, but I always suggest you run it by your Doctor first, just in case there is something about it that would not be ok for you.

let us know how you are!

WW
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How did you all determine perimenopause, blood test or symptoms? My blood work came back within normal ranges. Symptom wise he thinks it maybe perimenopause,how do you  know for sure? Although, I've had other problems healthwise, not major, but best guess on that has been fibramyalgia(sp). As far as your sleeping, I know there are different types of insomnia. Mine is easy to manage. I fall asleep fairly easily, but I wake up frequently thru the night. Mine is due to pain and discomfort. I feel like I've been beatin' and flip flop all night. Yours sounds more extreme like you can't sleep. Maybe that's why the dr. gave you Zanax treating it more like anxiety. Do you feel it's like that?
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hi everyone- i have the use of a computer for the evening- question about the ambien- i specifically asked the druggist about its addiction potential- and he told me that it was not addictive- i have enough other addictive problems without adding yet another one to my life-  ambien puts me to sleep quickly and as mentioned- zero groggy side effects in the morning- so i really like it- please tell me "it aint so"- that is that it really isnt addictive- where did the info about it being addictive come from?
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Hi there..nice to see you posting again!

I entered "ambien" into a search engine, and came up with several sites that said the drug does produce withdrawal symptoms if stopped suddenly after taking it for a few weeks.

I'll paste one of the paragraphs here:

"When sleep medications are used every night for more than a few weeks, some may lose their effectiveness. Remember, too, that you can become dependent on some sleep medications if you use them for a long time or at high doses.

Some people using Ambien have experienced unusual changes in their thinking and/or behavior. Alert your doctor if you notice a change.

Ambien and other sleep medicines can cause a special type of memory loss. It should not be taken on an overnight airplane flight of less than 7 to 8 hours, since ``traveler's amnesia'' may occur.

When you first start taking Ambien, until you know whether the medication will have any ``carry over'' effect the next day, use extreme care while doing anything that requires complete alertness, such as driving a car or operating machinery.

Use Ambien cautiously if you have liver problems. It will take longer for its effects to wear off.

If you take Ambien for more than 1 or 2 weeks, consult your doctor before stopping. Sudden discontinuation of a sleep medicine can bring on withdrawal symptoms ranging from unpleasant feelings to vomiting and cramps.

When taking Ambien, do not drink alcohol. It can increase the drug's side effects.

If you have breathing problems, they may become worse when you use Ambien. "

so, that's what I found.

WW



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Lots to relate...been researching on the web.  

First, shotsy, like you, I had a blood test when I was about 43 and it came back normal.  I didn't have any symptoms at that time, just wanted to check it.  My periods were so regular I figured I'd know when it started.  My diagnosis was made by my symptoms as I have hot flashes and irregular periods now.  Also, the mood swings and insomnia and the forgetfulness. I think for most women it's dramatic enough that you know.  Don't believe all this Oprah babble about this wonderful transition.  I haven't talked to a woman yet who didn't hate it. You feel like your body is acting all whacko. And the emotional ups and downs are a drag too, although not everyone gets them.  But, the forgetfulness is pretty universal.  You feel like you're developing Alzheimer.

ssfr, Ambien is not completely safe. And it is addictive. Check out this link: www.rxlist.com and type it in and read it for yourself.  The thinking is that it doesn't make you high so you won't abuse it.  Well, how many people get addicted just taking a drug medicinally, not to get high.  Quite a few.  There's a new painkiller out, Ultram, that my doc prescribed instead of codeine which I wanted because he said it wasn't addictive because you don't get high and it doesn't "induce drug seeking behavior."  I looked it up and it is addictive, so I have a whole bottle sitting in my drawer because I won't take it. It's some wierd designer drug as far as I'm concerned and they can test it on someone else.

Now to my research...I am flipping out because I think I have become dependent on the Xanax.  I think the anxiety I was blaming on my menopause is actually withdrawl (withdrawal).  It always comes in late afternoon, when the drug would be completely clearing my system.  This is what I discovered:

"Individuals who take only one pill daily for sleep or anxiety are not exempt from withdrawal problems. In my private practice during the last few years I have worked with several people who were unable to stop taking a once-a-day standard dose of Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, or other minor tranquilizers. In each case, the attempt to stop the medication led to a disturbing degree of anxiety or insomnia within twenty-four hours. The problem seemed to be caused by rebound anxiety or rebound insomnia (see ahead). In a personal communication in late December 1990, internist John Steinberg confirmed that patients taking one Xanax tablet each day for several weeks can become addicted. Steinberg is medical director of the Chemical Dependency Program at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and president of the Maryland Society of Addiction Medicine. He points to research that Xanax and other short-acting benzodiazepines can cause a reactive hyperactivity of the receptors that they block. The hyperactive receptors then require one or more doses of Xanax each day or they produce anxiety and emotional discomfort. Steinberg calls the impact of Xanax "a fundamental change in the homeostasis of the brain." After the patient stops taking the Xanax, according to Steinberg, it takes the brain six to eighteen months to recover. Xanax patients should be warned, he says, that it can take a long time to get over painful withdrawal symptoms. Since doctors frequently don't realize this, they, too, are likely to be confused and to continue the drug in the hope of "treating" the patient's drug-induced anxiety and tension."

I am stopping on thursday...got some stuff to do and need to get through the next two days without symptoms..and I will do it cold turkey which is probably safe as it was a low dose.  Well, I guess I'll say it "Hi, my name is Karen and I'm an addict." I guess I knew it all along or I wouldn't have been here looking for reassurance.

Sorry, I know this is a long post.


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I'm confused about the ambien also. I was told it was non-addictive also.  Although my sister took it twice and said that the way you feel so refreshed the next morn could be addictive. At any rate, can you be an addict if your taking something a dr. prescribed and your not abusing it(as in dosage)? Hope not, although I've wondered why we're all hung up about treating pain and such.
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There is a *huge* difference between physical addiction and psychological addiction.  If someone takes a narcotic round the clock long enough, they will get physically addicted. If they are taking it appropriately for pain, and are not preoccupied with getting high and finding sources for pills etc..they are not psychologically addicted.

Too many chronic pain patients unfairly go undertreated for their pain due to fear of addiction.

my two cents

WW
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I agree with you.But from the posts I've read you seem to me you have physical pain. So why can't you be treated and not labeled and addict because of it? That I don't understand. Several years back there was a young girl (12) that had a inoperal(sp) brain tumor.She was dying. Nothing anyone could do but the dr. was trying to slow the growth.She was on steroids I believe and balloned up. She was in a lot of pain, but was refused med because she would get addicted. SO WHAT! She was dying. Two of her ribs broke from the weight was my understanding. I just think that's unjust and cruel. I thought the dr. oath was to do no harm. I'm angry I know. Anyways, the tide has turned in America and if you not tuff enough to ruff it out something's wrong with you. I want to be able to  move around and get stuff  done with out worrying I might be labeled an addict or be in discomfort and pain
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Yes you are right, I do have chronic pain.
The doctors are willing to give me as much pain medication as I want.  

I went off the pain meds because I was severely abusing them, and my life was falling apart because of it. The Doctor did not cut me off.

If I went to my Doc today and asked for a refill, he would give me one. I do have pain that needs to be treated, but I am instead choosing to treat the pain with lots of motrin, and acupuncture. I"m not in the kind of pain that many on here with chronic pain are in..I am not a martyr and if the pain was as severe as it was right after the surgery, I'd give my husband my pain meds to dole out to me.

So, again...I'm not being mistreated by my Doctor or labeled a drug seeking addict.  This was my choice, and it was the right one.  The drugs were causing me all kinds of problems, both physical as well as emotional/social.  If the pain does not get better, or gets worse, I'll have to revisit my choices, but I'll cross that bridge if I get there.

thanks for your care and concern Shotsy, I too feel angry when I hear of chronic pain patients being denied the care they need.
It is just ..in my case, I did abuse the meds so had to take the steps to take responsibility for getting into recovery.

WW
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Hey there Cindi,
Happy birthday to youuuuuu
Happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuu
Happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday tooooo
yoooooouuuuuuu

Remember...you are like Fine Wine!

::smooches and birthday hugs to one of the angels in my life.

I hope it is a good one, and I'm hoping I got the date right!

love,
WW
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Hi! I had a HUGE craving to use today but didn't....Just thought I would share that...When you think about it, drug use is a real simple issue.....just don't use! That's it! Now why can't I come to that point every other time I wanted to get high??? Chad
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hi everyone- thanx for taking the time in answering my question about ambien- i certainly havent been abusing it- just taking  one at night and it has certainly helped me sleep-  regarding other issues- i have not yet been successful in facing down the other demons- doesnt mean i have given up hope or faith- just means this particular battle is going to be much harder than i ever realized- but one is never defeated until they give up hope- and this much i am sure of- i have not given up hope- so.....
anyway- i will have the use of a computer again in a few days- and hope to read the posts of those that i have come to consider friends- late everyone- and God bless us each and every one
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oh no! You're going to become a criminal and ... what was it? Wet your pants? O, yeah, seizures!!! Ahhhhhhhhhh!

I don't know about the criminal part, but I'm probably responsible for stirring up the seizure ideas ...

Here's what happened: After taking Xanax for several years on a daily basis, I lost my job and therefore my connection with my doctor. Ignorant about the consequences of abruptly discontinuing Xanax, I wound up having three devestating petit mal seizures in three months, each of which resulted in my being hospitalized. It was really quite terrifying ...

What I didn't know was this: all benzodiazepines - valium, Xanax, Librium, Ativan, Klonopin, etc. all do about the same thing in the brain - promote sleep, ease anxiety, relax muscles, cause pleasure. The critical difference between these drugs is thier half live -- basically, a time measure that indicates how long the drug will take to leave the body and brain. Short-acting benzos like Xanax and Ativan work fine while you're on them. The problem occurs when they're abruptly discontinued. Because of their short half-lives, these drugs leave the body and brain so rapidly that they can shock the brain into potentially life-threatening seizures. It took me 3 seizures from trying to get off Xanax on my own before I got some tips from people on this forum (milo? Francoise?)about what was really going on. I learned that, for anyone going off of these drugs after being on them for months or years, it is extremely important to first switch to a long-half-life drug like Valium (or Klonopin) before tapering slowly off of the drug. While Xanax has a half life of 11 hours, Valium has a half-life of almost 200 hours per dose. Tapering off of a slow-acting benzo like valium means that your brain has a slow, comfortable "take-down" as compared to drugs like Xanax or Ativan, that are gone from the body and brain in sometimes less than one day (versus 8 days for one dose of valium). Valium is also a relatively big pill, meaning you have the opportunity to break the pill down into gradually smaller and smaller doses to give yourself a smooth, safe taper. But Ativan, for example, is already only .5 to 1 mg or so, so it's very hard to break the pill down to taper with. Plus, even if you could shave the pill down gradually, the short half life would still present the danger of shocking your brain into a seizure.

Since my doctor switched me to Valium, I've been slowly tapering down, but now I don't fear those horrible seizures, which can be life-threatening. The valium leaves the body so slowly, that it's gradually becoming less and less likely that I will experience any more seizures. As far as the difference in effect, all these drugs are eventually metabolized by the body into diazepine -- it's just a matter of how fast and how long-lasting.

So, be warned, but don't be afraid -- now that you know -- when you want to discontinue the Xanax, first have your doctor switch you to Valium for the period of your taper. This will help keep you safe from sudden withdrawal seizures and give you a slow, comfortable detox with a minimum of discomfort.

It's shocking how many doctors don't even know this, causing them to just cut their patients off and put they're lives at risk needlessly. Patient, educate thyself!

By the way, the warning signs of an impending benzo-withdrawal seizure are typically numbness in the hands and feet, aura, extreme muscle tension, extreme anxiety, tight chest, shallow breathing. But it's the numb hands that are the biggest giveaway that a seizure is imminent. If you're tapering off benzos and you experience some or all of these symptoms, get to your doctor or to an ER ASAP!! Remember, you could have a benzo-related seizure behind the wheel of a car and kill innocent people. Just food for thought.

Thomas

Now, the criminal part, mmmmm, your name isn't Soprano, is it?

Hope this clears it up. Good luck, friend. Take great care when you discontinue the Xanax. Swith to good ole inexpensive valium and come down slowly and safely.
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I have never posted on this forum ,just floating around in here alot .I was just led to write and tell you thomas ,you are an incredible person!I have read through here day after day ,and I marvel at what a caring,heartfelt person you are!I ony wish I had just one  person like you as a freind.My hats off to you !There should be a new award or day in your honor!I've seen you over and over again help people and reapeat yourself over and over on some things but your alays here tp help and lend your smarts and your heart!I hope one day I will find the courage to post with my story or with my "problems".You just kep up the good help,the people who encounter you in life definetly have a treat in store for them!
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Hi Chad! I went to that link and was able to read the article. If you type in "ybor security cameras" it pulls it up. So you were trippin and they got you on camera, huh? I would have freaked! Vodka and cranberry....one of my favorite drinks! From reading your posts it sounds like you have a problem with relapsing too. I'm having one hell of a time getting off lortab, ativan,soma and whatever else I can get ahold of. I had one refill left on my lortab...I got it refilled this morning. I was there at the drugstore before they even opened. Talk about desperate! Anyway, I got a bottle of 100 10mg's and I just counted and I have 78 left. That's something I obsess over also...counting my pills. SO that means I have taken 22 today. I keep telling myself that I'm just having fun today and tomorrow I will start taking them as prescribed....3 a day. I'm already freaking out about running out. God I dread those withdrawals. I guess I'll take it one day at a time. I would like to think that this time is the time I'll be able to quit. I'll stock up on Thomas's recipe and hope for the best......keep posting and reading all the posts from you wonderful people and hope this time I'll be strong enough to not go on a wild search for pills. I'm so tired of trying to keep this habit up.....but GOD I love those damn pills!
Sorry to ramble on...thanks for listening, folks.
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Hi jen.....AMEN to what you said about Thomas. His posts have got me thru some...well...shitty times! I can always count on a good laugh, lots of sympathy and great advice from him. His posts are one of the things that have kept me coming back to this forum. When you're drowning in self pity, running to the toilet, depressed as hell, having cold chills followed by the sweats, your nose is running and eyes keep watering and you yawn about 50 times an hour.....Thomas can still make you smile. And that is almost as good as the high I get from hydrocodone.....almost! This forum is full of wonderful people.WitchyWoman is always there for me and so many others. I have learned so much from this forum...not just about addiction but alot of other things too. Thank God for this forum....and all the fellow addicts that have found their way here. At least that is one good thing that came from our addiction.....we now have friends that truly understand the hell we go thru.
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you do have one person like me as a friend -- me! When you're ready to tell your story, I'm ready to listen, and furthermore, no matter how many stories I hear, they're all unique, moving, funny and facinating, just like I know yours will be when you decide you're ready to talk to me. If you are an addict, then you are my brother, my sister, my other self. Just know that when we speak to each other, there is no shame, no pain, no fear -- just two people sharing their secret humanity and discovering the compassion that binds and illuminates them. Nothing you say will make me abandon you, jenifer, or judge you, condemn you or turn away from you. There is always room in my arms to comfort another addict and love in my heart I can only keep by giving it all to you.

Thomas
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kstuebin,

You seem like a very sensible person who is prudent and cautious. I am at a loss as to why you should stop the relatively low dose of Xanax you are taking. Does it help you sleep? If so I would use it, as you need it. You are under doctor's supervision. As addicts many of us post here to warn about drugs, but they have a good purpose for many and you my friend certainly don't have the addict affect.

As usual, Thomas is correct; when you are ready to get off the drug, use Valium and an 18 - 30 weaning period (your physician should have access to the regimen for weaning off valium, if not post here and you will get advice). However, and I can't emphasize this too much DO NOT STOP XANAX COLD TURKEY. It is dangerous and seizures are possible even at the dose you are taking.

Keep a sense of perspective. You are going through a physical roller coaster and you deserve a good night's sleep. Listen to your body. I suspect you will find a night when you can taper down and a time when you don't need the drug.

Peace to all,

F. Lee
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THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH   i can't believe you actually remembered the day...LOL   that was so nice of you  Skip and his wife also remembered...I can't believe the genuine love and caring in you guys......it was a difficult day and I was not online at all but what a pleasant surprise to wake up to  I had emails full of birthday wishes and gretting from everyone.....LOL   awwwwww gosh it's so nice to be loved   lOL  in the words of my favorite  Gomer    GOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYYY.....Love you all   cin
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I'd like to engage a discussion with you about Zanax withdrawal. As I stated earlier my father suddenly quit taking his Zanax, he was also on Serazone(ANti-depressant?) What I saw shook me terribly. He did complain of numbness and tingling in his hands and legs. But the freaky thing was his perception of what was happening. He stated he saw an explosion in his brain, like a volcano. And he said that he thought he had an after death experience. He would be  crying one minute and laughing the next. He really believed he had went insane and begged my mother and I not to take him to the hospital. In retrospect we should have sooner, but he didn't have the signs of a typical stroke. We didn't totally realize withdrawal. He would speak in rhyme. Like "Go to sleep, in to deep", and he was not faking. Intermitting he'd be speaking and he'd be rhyming. Or he'd use initals. I was trying to get his dog to go out. And he  shouted "D.D." I said What?" D.D." he said. What do you mean? Then he struggled for about 45 seconds to get the words out. Then he shouted "disrespectful dog". It was like he couldn't speak. He said that the dr.s had all the control and could kill you if they wanted to . So we had to be nice to them.And a whole lot of other things happened but I guess you can see the picture. At any rate, the experience really shook me up, and I felt like I knew enough medically that I could decipher things.At the very least I'd like to know enough to be able to tell someone to go to the hospital. I did call my dr. and he said give him a serazone and gatorade. And he did show a little improvement. Probaly shoud have given him  a Zanax too. But he ended up  in the hospital with a pottasium iv. By the time I got there he seemed better.Anyways, Is this typical of a withdrawal, do you think, or could something else be going on  that may not being addressed? Actually part of me wasn't so sure he hadn't lost it. At least for a little while, and I thought I could talk him back.I told him he wasn't crazy and that he'd double dosed his biaxin, the directions weren't very clear, and that he'd threw his system for a loop.His dr. came back  from Labor Day vacation.And with his southern drawl said get the boy out of here before they kill him. He put him on the lowest dose of Zanax and now he seems fine. Actually he seems happier. He's re-evaluating his life,talking to my sister who he hasn't spoken with in seven years. So I guess there is a good side to all this.                                                     Anyways, I've read a number of your posts and would like your opinion. You seem to be full of knowledge and a character to boot.Thanks for reading this and know your time is appreciated.   Shotsy
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I'm still 'floating around' guys, just wanted to let you know i didn't fall off the face of the earth.
Sorry i haven't been around to support everyone, but i've been very wrapped in my own mess of a life right now.
My little girl started daycare, and loves it (you were right Cindi).
My older two keep me busy.  I've been on a very low dose of opiates (lack of), so i'm low on energy.  My husband's a complete addict again, goes through the whole withdrawal mess, etc.  I'm very sad about that.  He nags me for money daily, and we just don't have any extra right now.  It's not easy raising three children, they're expensive!
We're refinancing our house to get out of credit card debt, we sign the papers later today.  We actually got a pretty decent interest rate, even though we filed bankruptcy 2-years ago (drugs were the root of that mess too!)  Funny how all our problems have a common denominator!
I found out my husbands been talking to another addict daily on his cell phone from work.  She's a girl, 21-years old, lives with her parents, has a daughter.  My husband claims he has no one else to talk to, i spend too much time with the kids, and i'm not here for him.  Well it would be nice if he helped me with the kids and the house, then maybe i would have more time.  It's very hard doing EVERYTHING!!!!  Work fulltime, and i take care of EVERYTHING 100% in that house, the man does nothing except complain and keep the couch warm!  When he was in rehab, i told him that the couch missed him!
i called the girl this morning and told her to stop calling him at work.  I had told her that if she needed to talk to someone, i was here for her, and call anytime.  I told her this after her boyfriend was put in jail for stealing (for drugs).  Well come to find out, she isn't calling my husband, he's calling her.  Robert says it's 50/50...  So who the hell is lying!?!?!?!
I told him that if he wanted to talk to her so much, just get the 'F' out and go be with her!!!  She's 21, lives at home, never been married, can't even take care of her own kid, hores herself for drugs (her xboyfriend told me this)!!!  I don't think she is actually in a position to be giving my husband advice about 'life'!  I called her ass last night at 10:45, she was sleeping, then at 9:30 this morning, and i woke her up; how nice!!!!!  Well i felt like **** this morning and had to get my butt out of bed, get three kids ready for school and go to work.  My husband can complain away to her about me all he wants, but until she has tried to live life in the 'real world' her opinions don't mean **** to me!!!!  I told him that i wouldn't be 1/2 as upset if she chose to talk to a women who was older and at least understands what the world is about!!!  Any takers????  lol!
Thanks for listening for my patetic vent!
Lv Jenny
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Hi Jen. Sorry to read that you're struggling so much right now. SOunds like you have a full plate....then to deal with the fatique from running out of opiates. I can relate to most of your post....first of all the opiates. I can't function without them...and I don't have children. So I don't know how you do it but my hat's off to you! I can barely get out of bed! And about the hubby thing. I'm seperated from my hubby now.....I chose drugs over married life....but a couple years ago I sat down at the computer behind him....he forgot to sign off his "yahoo pager" and there was a girl  that kept sending him instant messages. I assumed his identity...she never realized she was talking to me and not him. I found out that she lived about 8 hours from us and they were planning to meet. I kept carrying on a conversation and she finally asked something like "where is your ***** of a wife at?" I saw red at that point. So I proceeded to make my husband look like a jackass. I became obnoxious and acted like a total jerk. Of course she thought she was talking to him and she asked him if he had been drinking because he was so different. "He" replied that he had only had his nightly 12 pack of beer and a few shots of whiskey. Then "he" said he had beat the **** out of the wife and she had to go to the ER and wouldn't be home for a few hours and would she like to have "online sex?" That was it for the Bimbo from Vegas.....she said "you're not the man I thought you were!" After a couple more stupid comments from "him" she signed off. Then I proceeded to wake him up and tell him that his girlfriend was waiting to hear if he was going to meet her in Vegas and to let me know and I would let HER know. My husband freaked. He got out of bed, paced, walked to the computer, stared at it then stared at me. He tried to accuse me of hacking into his yahoo pager and I pointed out...that was NOT the point! He was planning to meet another woman! Geeeeeeze! Anyway....that was the end of that. He was too scared to "chat" after that and I assume she was turned off by his behavior. At one point she told me (thinking it was him) that she didn't need anymore assholes in her life. That's not the total end of the story....as far as my husbands on line affair it ended there but I was so mad at the girl I continued to torment her. I set up a fake chat name and struck up a conversation with her in a chat room....I followed her around......and after about a 1/2 hour chat with me (and her thinking I was a man) she declared her undying love for me. SHe was one desperate woman....looking for love in the chat rooms. She scanned a pic to me...again thinking I was her new man...and she looked like Drew Carrey! Not exactly the "vegas show girl" look she had told my hubby she had. It took me a long time to get past that....I went for weeks and didn't speak to my hubby. He bent over backwards to make things right. Eventually, life got back to normal. I have a question for you....I'm sure you posted this before but what is your hubby addicted to? You said he was a complete addict again? Is it opiates? It would be so hard for me to live with another opiate addict! We'd be stealing each others pills. My brother told me once that his big fear is getting some terminal painfull disease and having to depend on me to give him his drugs! He'd get a generic aspirin and think it was demerol. I can also relate to the $$$ thing too. I'm living in credit card hell right now too...thanks to the damn drugs. Anyway, hang in there. Post back here and let us know how you're doing!
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I am in tears after reading how you took care of the "COMPUTER" problem. That was just way to cool. You handled yourself beautifully!!! I am reposting my e-mail address ***@****---I think I left out the 1. I am sorry for all your troubles, like I said before you sound like me. Even after all the costly legal trouble I have been in I still feel like using sometimes. Not so much now since I'm on the meth. I feel so good on it but I am getting pressure from my husband to "Complete" the program. He wants me off of everything. I want to stay on it. Hope to hear from you. Take care, Gianna.
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Oh my goodness girl, you crack me up!!!!!!  You go girl!!!!
You got his ass and then some didn't you!
My story is pretty long...  I've been together with my husband for over 20-years now.  About 4 years ago, we both started using opiates on a regular basis.  It started with loracets, then graduated to herion... then he discovered oxycontin.  He went into a 28-day rehab program back beginning of '99, but relasped shortly after.  He was injured in our house fire, and was prescribed opiates for a back injury.  Alas, a way to get drugs without paying the high costs of buying them on the street!  I was devastated after our fire and started using again until i became pregnant with our 3rd child.  I knew my pregnancy was the only thing saving me from being an addict because the drugs were very much on my mind even if not in my body during the entire pregnancy.  I couldn't wait to request 'drugs' during labor (sick sick!)  After nursing my baby, i began using again, this time, i became physically addicted and am still physically addicted.  Oxycontin is the main player for both of us right now.  My husband entered into the same treatment center, did another 28-days (15K later), and this time, relasped only 3 days after getting out.  (i still feel partially responsible because i did not quit fully before he was released, although he didn't know i did not quit, but still)  So here we are, he had notified his dr about his addiction (say goodbye to the affordable drugs).  I still have a dr for my shoulder pain (the pain doesn't really warrent oxys), so when i don't have my script, he buys them on the street for an incredible price.
So that's my story, sad as it may sound, but it's my reality (my hell)!
Best of luck to you!
Lv Jenny
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Just wanted to thank everyone from yesterday for their support and info.  Thomas, I actually have some valium I haven't taken because, believe it or not, I thought it was worse than Xanax.  I think my problem is I'm a relic of the 60's and we took all kinds of drugs...it was like a Cheech and Chong movie.  Someone would give you a handful of pills and you'd say "OK" and take them and then say "What did I just take?" I have no fear of meds and feel they're the solution to any pain, discomfort or upset.  My primary doc is younger and we argue a lot about this.  I got the Xanax from my gynecologist who is my age so I guess he's into better living through chemistry too. I guess I'll taper off with the Valium. So I should take the equivalent dose of Valium at first (20mg) and the 5 mg. less for a week at a time til I'm off?
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If you
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Question: are you German or do you just like getting injections -- sorry, had to ask ...

First of all, I assume you
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You are such a character_ Yes I'm part German (nicknamed by my uncle) and I hate needles. At least at my age I don't scream for Jesus to save me anymore. My dad is 60,  his birthday was the day after he got out of the hospital. I guess that's a wake up call. I agree with you that valium may be the way to go. But his dr. is in charge of that. Initally he got on the Zanax for aniety attacks, or so they believe. Who knows if they really try to figure people out or just put you on the drug that's popular at the time. He was taking 4 doses a day then I think they were switching him over to the serzone, but how they were doing it I don't know. My step mom really is in control of that and I'm hoping she's looking out for his best interest. They have been married for years.Maybe I could put a bug in my dad's ear on this and he could broach the subject with his  dr. Although  I do believe their intention is to wean him of.I'm sorry you've had to go through this kind of thing before. I wouldn't wish this on anybody.Except maybe some terroists. But it is cruel. And am I mistaken that you've had to go thru this several times? My heart goes out to you and wishing you the best of everything. Isn't Klonopin the blood pressure patch they use to help with withdrawals? Thanks for being so generous, Shotsy
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Hey, you got every right to be upset! It takes two to keep a commitment going and it sounds  like he's not holding up his end of the bargain. Besides you have kids and it takes a real team effort to do a decent job at raising them. I don't know if his ears are open but he  must understand that everything he does effects this kids. They are lookig to both of you to define what love is and isn't. Tell him not to let them down. I have a hard time with relationships in crisis. I myself have been thru a divorce and it had a big effect on my son. I've watched other people go thru it and have determined that kids ages will do different things to them when they go thru it too.Just shake him and tell him you all have a very important job to do, that together it can be done. In the same token you can't be someone's door mat. I understand. Just see if he'll get on the same page as you. Lots of luck!!  Shotsy
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happiest of all birthdays to ya, my sweet friend! This forum would be that much closer to an emotional desert without the oasis of your sweet and caring soul. An eternal hug to you from me,

Love,

Thomas
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Sorry about the handle...I use the same one for everything so I don't forget it.

I got that Valium dose from a table of equivalencies of benzos somewhere in my web searching.  I've never had much luck with over the counter remedies.  Sominex made me feel groggy and yucky but didn't put me to sleep.  I opened the bottle of Valerian root and decided I really couldn't take something that smelled that bed :-) Melatonin did absolutely nothing as far as I could tell. But I will certainly try the HTP. After I get off the Xanax.  I want to thank you for your advice. It's been very helpful.  And I know I'm minor league compared to some who post here but I could really see the signs of going down that road.  I do like the effect of the Xanax.  For example, when I injured my shoulder I took codeine and just didn't like it at all. It made me feel sick. I always wondered why people would get addicted to it. Xanax is another story.  I can see taking that to get high. I have no doubt it was just a matter of time before I started rationalizing taking it during the day...feeling a little tense, big meeting, whatever.
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Hi Kstuebin,

While I am still on valium ( realatively minor dose for a 180 lb male, 5 milligrams, twice a day) I have detoxed before. This is a common detox plan, gleaned from several doctors and web articles. Over a 15 day period drop 1/4 every 3 days. Let's say you take 30 mg. a day. The first three days take 20 mg.; the next three days take 15 mg.; the next three days 10, the next three 5 mg.; and the final three days take 2.5mgs. If you are on 5 mg. you can do the same thing, just divide the pill into 1/4ths ( it can be done believe me) and your last 3 days would be 1/4 of a 5 mg. pill.

The usual advise about exersize, HTP, multivitamens, friends etc. would apply. Just want to let you know though, as I stated yesterday. If you need the Xanax now and your Gynec. is supervising you, you clearly are not abusing. Good luck whatever your choice and come back for insiration etc.

Frank Lee
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Yep, you're right. Thomas is quite a guy. And he's consistent, too. He's helped me and quite a few others on this board deal with a variety of problems.

Long live Thomas.

Best Regards,

Francois
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Greetings, my friend, anything for a fellow German-American
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Thanks for the reply. Actually my mother was full blooded German (she pass when I was 12) my father is Welsch and some Mexican thrown in somewhere. No wonder I  have to struggle with my temper. At any rate, I found out from my mom (she adopted my sister and I when I was 7 so I automatically think of her as my mom)that my dad increased the Zanax when he went back to work.I guess his dr. knows. But I was thinking, maybe what he feels is an anxiety attack could be the Zanax leaving his system. You think this is possible? This seems to be a situtation of damned if you do and damned if you don't, doesn't it? Right before dad ended up in the hospital. He was telling me a dr. had told him when Valium had first come out they were prescribing left and right. And the dr. said it took years to get some people off of it. Evidently the premise is that Zanax is safer. This would be the drug companies stand I'm sure. Obviously for what I'm hearing from you and this forum that just ain't so. I'll bringing him up to speed on your insights and the info on half life. He really hates the idea of being "habitualized". Sometimes I think about things like what if something happened and I couldn't get to a store for ciggs. Or if people couldn't get their med. for anything whether it be for blood pressure or aniexty, etc.. It would be awful. I take some med every day too but I'm on such a low dose I think- I hope I would be okay. I guess all this talk of war has me anxious. Just knowing there's a bigger picture out there we have no control over. Here's a little saying from my book thing-   "There are those of us who are looking for a blessing that's not in disguise."                                      Have a great day, Shotsy
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Thomas,

Since you are all talking about Benzos..sleeping aids etc. What do you know about Trazodone. That is what my Dr. gives me to take at bedtime. Thanks once again for your time.

Shea
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Hi Shea....I don't know anything about the sleeping pill you mentioned but was wondering how you were doing? I haven't seen any posts from you for a couple days. Did you ever find out why your hand was tingling? That was you, wasn't it? Or do I have you mixed up with someone else? If I remember correctly you were wondering if it was the 5-htp and couldn't ask your doctor because he was still trying to distinguish his ass from a hole in the ground (I loved that.)
Anyway....just wondered how you were! :)
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Hi Katie

Thank you for your concern. Actually i am going to go to a pain specialist. I always thought my Dr. was good but now i realize i liked him because he wrote the scripts without questions. Now when i have questions about the symptoms i am experiencing he says "oh i think that will go away in a week". Such a bunch of ****. But i am doing okay and fighting the cravings daily. I have been reading your posts, especially about what triggers. I can relate with the morning coffee. It is funny because everything I do I first think "hmm how the hell do i do it straight". I know you are running low on your script but keep in mind at least you know what to expect and how to help some with Thomas's recipe. And no matter what you know you will live through it. Take Care and You are in my prayers

Shea
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how can I not return the toast? Long live you and yours, Francoise my precious friend. Like gold dust, you're constantly trying to "return to the mountain" (remember your Treasure of the Sierra Madre?"). I have never told you often enough or emphatically enough how much I like you and how much I value you as my friend. You see, I really don't have many flesh-and-blood friends -- but you help make up for it with your intelligence, humor and undeniable caring for me. Long live Francoise! And I challenge anyone with a stiff drink in their hand to join me in saluting you. My good friend ... your loyalty and integrity bring a tear to my eye. Live long and prosper, my sight for sore eyes, even though I've never seen you ... how's that for a paradox far more useful than the provable truth? May you live forever and your tongue remain on high alert should my ego become over-inflated and need a reality check as only you can give me one.
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Good grief! I think we have the same doctor! I thought mine was the best thing since sliced bread.....I could go in and tell him my toe hurt and he'd give me lortab with 2 or 3 refills....I could call in and tell his receptionist I couldn't sleep because I was having leg cramps.....a bottle of ativan and soma would be at the drug store waiting for me. Ha! I was beginning to think I was in love with him! Then last fall my legs swelled up and turned beet red....they were so swollen I could't bend them. I went in  and showed him and he said "take a fluid pill...that should go away in a few days." They stayed swollen for months...I finally ended up in the hospital because the fluid ended up in my lungs. I guess I need 2 doctors...one for legitimate things and one for drugs.
You read me like a book...yes my refill is almost gone...I just counted and have about 25 left. waaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaa. The only other thing I have is fiornal for headaches. But yes...I know what to expect and am already bracing myself for it. I have all the ingredients for Thomas's recipe....and I have a refill for some ativan that I'm saving for when I run out of lortab. Sleeping thru the first few days sounds wonderful.
Plus I have this forum and people like you, Thomas, WW, Gianna and so many more. I think I'm beginning to get addicted to this forum! I check it several times a day.
Hang in there Shea and keep posting!
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Hi,

I also check this forum several times a day. Actaully more than I check my email. ha ha This place has been a god send to me. as I am sure it has been with others. It has been about 6 weeks now for me. And I know from reading your posts you have made comments how you just can't imagine life without the pills and how so many things you don't enjoy without them. The triggers, coffee in the a.m., bar- b -queing, chilling in the eve etc. DITTO! Oh do I know the feeling. But I am thinking somehow people like us (in this forum) have to find a way to retrain ourselves. Maybe things won't be as much of a kick to us without those glorious pills. Hopefully someday we will learn to enjoy the things without being high. I do miss them terribly but the constant rollercoaster of aquiring them I don't miss. I use to think "where will it end?" Will I be 60 someday and running from doctor to doctor. **** i had to keep a tablet of what pharmacy i used for what doctor. And of what excuse I used when to get an early refill. i was always saying i was going out of the country on vacation. they probably thought "damn girl". i must say as bad as the withdrawls were I think that panic feeling you get when you are down to a 2 day supply and no idea where to get more because your sources are dry, that feeling of such anxiety you feel your heart will jump through your chest, that is as bad. Actually, it is worse because you have it so often. everytime you are close to running dry. With the detox it happens and it is bad. But then it is over. So what is left is the cravings. That is what i compare to the anxiety I have when running on low. Bottom line, you have to deal with one or the other. the cravings after the detox or the anxiety and the chase. I would rather deal with the cravings because I know they will pass. But the anxiety and knowing if you don't score you have the whole detox thing. I just don't want to keep going through that. Katie, how long were you without before your scored from yur friends and got your script? How many days with No pills? Please let me know. I never went more than 4 hours without taking 3 Vicoden Es. even in the middle of the night I took them. And I took soma also. Especially at night and sometimes during the day for an added bonus. Sometimes i took them every 2 hours (the Vicoden). I have been taking them for 22 years. It has been 6 weeks katie. the cravings are pretty strong at times. Terribly strong. but you know what, it is better than pacing around like a mad woman with my thoughts so cluttered and the anxiety ready to drive me mad because I can't find a way to get pills and i am running low. Truthfully, I think that is the worse feeling. DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE? If so please think about it and please send me your thoughts. I am just trying to give you something to weigh here. Although you might always have to fight day to day with cravings they will get easier. And it is better than the constant panic which is inevidable, freaking out wondering where you can score next.

Shea
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Thanks for that post Shea..it helps me a lot to read reminders of the hell of being deep in the addiction.

I have to be a voice for the joys of being clean for a moment here.  

I no longer wake up feeling drained and weak. I wake up feeling normal, and sometimes even energized.  I no longer feel slightly nauseous all the time from the large doses of the meds. I no longer avoid picking up the phone, shutting my friends out due to prefering being in a stupor. I no longer am neglecting to eat nourishing food. I no longer have that pale, vampire like skin that I never realized the drugs were giving me.

I don't like all the feelings I have, but I GET TO FEEL! And I am discovering that I prefer my real feelings to the false euphoria that I'd get for jsut an hour. I get to feel it all now, and I relish that!

I love not having to struggle with the knowledge that I am slowly destroying my life, but instead to know that I am slowly rebuilding it.

I have hope again.  I have hope. I thought I had lost that forever.

I love you all, and thank each and every one of you for helping me get here. Please, help me stay here. I don't care if the advice that helps me comes from someone who is using or is clean...we are all addicts, and that puts us on level ground....if it helps it helps, and the love and heartfelt support I 've found here is priceless.
I thank the Goddess every day that you all are here.

as Kip taught me..I need you all.

love,
WW
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I switched to the Valium last night.  I found a table of equivalencies on some British benzo addiction page. Oh, first let me mention, the last two nights on Xanax I doubled my dose with the rationale that I wouldn't be able to take them much longer!  And someone said I didn't have an addict affect.  Somehow that doesn't seem how a normal person would look at it to me. LOL. I took 30 mg of valium but it doesn't seem as strong to me.  I would always take the Xanax 1 hour before bed to give it time to work so by the time I hit the sack I was feeling very mellow.  The Valium didn't do that, although I did fall asleep.  But had horrible nightmares that I was living at home with my mother and I was hallucinating and I told her I had to go to the hospital because I was going through Xanax withdrawl (withdrawal). The dream was actually more involved than that but I'll spare you every detail although they're certainly very vivid in my mind. Then this am when I got up...no grogginess like I get from the Xanax.  I'm not complaining, I'm just wondering why this would be.  I'm not anxious or tense like I would be before my Xanax dose..man, I'd have that foot atapping big time :-) I read somewhere in my endless research of the past few days that Xanax is the only benzo that binds completely to the GABA receptor so maybe that's it.  Any feedback?
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Hi Kstuebin

I am the 'someone' who said you didn't have an addict affect and, based upon your previous posts, you didn't. Doubling up on Xanax will certianly raise your potential qualification for that moniker.

In my opinion valium is far safer and less addictive than Xanax -don't get me wrong, both are addicitve. You've had apparently one day off of Xanax and tranistioning to valium. I would think vibrant, even volitile dreams are to be exptected. You have a few more days to get the big X out of your system and let Valium come in . Thomas said if Valium were a woman he'd marry her. I did, 8 years ago and we've had very few spats. Patience during your transition. You won't get as much an immedicate effect if you double up on valuim, so perhaps your affect will return
:---).

Good luck. In my opinion I think you'll like valuim better.

Frank Lee
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"A man that has friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."

-Francois
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Thanks Frank Lee for the feedback.  This board has been a Godsend for me. I remember when valium first came out and it was prescribed for everything and there were all these housewife junkies crashing their grocery carts into the tomatoes at the supermarket.  So they'd stop taking it and go psychotic.  And the doctors all said "uh oh, maybe we shouldn't prescribe this anymore" and that was the end of valium.  Then came Xanax. Which from everything I've read here is even worse. I just can't imagine life without drugs even though I lived life without drugs for many years after the 60's - 70's jag. I don't remember what it felt like. I think I had stronger feelings. I'm kinda fogged out all the time now but it's rather pleasant. So, I'll wean myself off the valium.
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I had a question.  What if during my weaning period with valium, one day I decide I want that Xanax effect again one more time and I take some. Since Valium has such a long half life doesn't that mean a lot more of it is in my system than the Xanax was, since I only take it once a day.  So if that's the case, and I take my regular Xanax dose is that like taking a whole bunch more because I'm adding it to the Valium left in my system? I know the answer to this question is just don't take the Xanax but realistically I might relapse.
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K.

The answere as you said is to not relapse. But who amongst us has not? Just get back on the wagon. I don't know how many milligrams of valium you are taking but just about any amount can be detoxed in 18 days using my detox schedule above. Of course there are all manner of ways to help with the detox, most enumertaed by Thomas, but I have a few also which I will post if they continue to work.

Valium makes you numb, but normal people have a valium supply naturally ( he says in his drug seeking rationalizations). I am convinced there are some of us poor souls who were born with a valium deficiency. That's why I am taking 5mg in the morning and 5 mg. in the pm. I will probably stop this soon and you can get your doctor to help. But, be advised, if you do you risk not getting a script again.

So, I come back to my original post - if you are taking a mild dose of benzos and it helps you function and you feel ok. Stay with it, preferaly valium instead of Xanax IMHO, but you may need it.

If you decide to and detox, keep comming back and we can help. Just taper slowly and allow your self some time.

Peace

Frank Lee
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Hi Frank..I just wanted to tell you that it is good to see you progressing so well. I remember your very first post here, before you doc started you on the taper, I think it was.

Glad you are still around and still posting.

:-)

love,
WW
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I did talk to me my doc.   He said he didn't believe I could be dependent on 1 mg of xanax and he never heard of switching to valium. He also told me if I wanted to stop then just stop.  I told him I tried once (true) and had insomnia and anxiety and cravings, and he said it was just rebound and deal with it. I asked him if he had been a Marine. Conversation ended shortly after that.  So I'm relying on y'all, although there is an addiction center at Greater Baltimore Medical Center I might call on Monday.  They should be more up to date.  I have the valium from a long time ago..years actually, but it seems to still be good.  Lucky me that I never took it preferring the Xanax. Don't know why y'all prefer the Valium..Xanax is much more powerful. As for getting more, do you know you can buy it without a script online and it is legal since it's coming from another country where they sell it over the counter.  As long as you only get a 3 month supply and agree not to sell it.  Customs can't even confiscate it.  A friend of mine did it and got Xanax from Germany.  The patient insert was in German but who needs that...we all know how much to take and what it does :-)
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~Long post beware~


Hi WW,

Have read your posts with interest. Yes, in my own way, I guess I've come a long way. When I originally posted I was having 5 drinks a day, anywhere from 6 to 10 Norcos, 2mg. Xanax, 10mg. Valium and 100 mgs. Codeine phosphate. The dragon had(s) me. I went to see a therapist with whom I developed great rapport. She told me we could not work with me unless I detoxed. Having read the posts here about detoxing and being a confirmed chickensh*t, I freaked. I found a doc (MD) and with yet another stroke of luck found a caring intelligent fellow who agreed to let me detox slowly. I developed an 8 week plan which he characterized as "bordering on denial" but let me proceed. I don't recommend such a long tapering period, it required self disicipline I had not utilized since the kids were born :---).

So where am I? First time in 5 years, no ethanol, no Xanax, no Norco and a few codeine phosphate left. I actually run out this week. Three days before I run out, the good doc prescribed me Catapres (you and your colleagues should be familiar with this. It is a hypertensive which also has beneficial effects in withdrawal) and Robaxin ( a muscle relaxer with minimal abuse potential and a minimal script #15, for the leg cramps. I have asked that I remain on the Valium for now although they (therapist and doc) want me to dc that also which I will try for 30 days and hopefully make it without decapitating my boss. In addition I've used Thomas' cocktail and 100 mgs 5-HTP, and this I don't think has been discussed in depth here, I've increased my output of natural endorphins by walking and jogging 4-5 miles, back pain permitting. Finally, after being offered a book that offended my intelligence ("I'll Quit Tomorrow" - an AA tome useful for some but not for yours truly), I went out and bought a self-help book. Previously critical of Depok Chopra as the yuppie's Guru, I thought what the hell and bought 10 weeks to reduce your age and in it found a multiple set of methods to calm the body and reprogram the mind.

Hopefully one week from today I will awake with only my Valium bride. Your posts and everyone else on this board has been my virtual group. I often refer to you all in therapy and get interesting responses. To Thomas' cocktail the good doc (who is the Director of a detox facility) said " jees, it's only amino acids - they're experiencing the placebo effect" and to the rebound cravings "no such thing in my research - get off your butt and exercise". Believe me he is really caring but we have had lively exchanges. And of course I disagree with his reponses regarding these two issues.

Didn't mean to go so long, but wanted to thank you all. I accept each of you where you are and this has got to be one of the best boards on the net.

Regards and Peace

FLee
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Hi kstuebin,

I think your doc's opinion of i mg. of Xanax not being addictive is not supported by the literature. If you go to the pain clinic you will probably receive good help, but your ability to legally buy benzos or any other controlled substance may be hindered.

You are wrong about buying any controlled substance from overseas. It is patently illegal, can be seized (and all packages from overseas will be receiving higher scrutiny in the near future). It is unlikely you would be proscuted, but it has happened, even if you are buying for your own use. Importing scheduled medications is illegal unless you are under the care of a physician and have a prescription. This includes pain medications such as codeine, hydrocodone, etc., and anxiolytics such as valium and, yes -  xanax. Please see

www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/pblist.htm

and click on 'controlled substances. Yes, I am intimately familiar with overseas pharmacies. You really don't know what your are getting or the age of the product. I would avoid them.

Finally, do you really want to get off the Xanax? You may need it and again the dose is small. Good luck.

Flee
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My friend who got the drugs from overseas is just a kid (18). I work with him. He calls them Zanibars. He was buying them on the street when he discovered he could get them online.  He showed them to me...they were pharmaceutical made by Upjohn in the original blister pack.  I couldn't believe it was legal either but I do know my aunt who lives in Texas goes to Mexico and buys Retin A which is prescription here all the time.  It's also a lot cheaper.  Anyway, I did some research and here is what I found on the US Customs page.

Residents entering the United States at international land borders, who are carrying a validly obtained controlled substance (except narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or LSD), are subject to certain additional requirements. If a U.S. resident wants to bring in a controlled substance other than narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, heroine, or LSD, but does not have a prescription for the substance issued by a U.S.-licensed practitioner (e.g., physician, dentist, etc.) registered with and authorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to prescribe the mediation, the individual may not import more than 50 dosage units of the medication.

Xanax, Valium, etc. are sold over the counter in almost every country except ours.  Narcotics are a different ballgame..you can't get them.

Frank, I am really impressed with how far you've come in giving up the drugs. Stick with it. I may be a lightweight but, let me tell you, I was starting to get those cravings and looking for excuses to take it all the time.  I saw the signs.  Guess that's why I want off completely. I don't trust myself to stick to one dose once a day. It's a shame the docs are so clueless.
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Kstuebin,

Thanks for the encouragement, I'll need it. I think you'll find obtaining controlled substances via mail from over seas pharmacies without a script is different than walking across the border with script. Even that is difficult now days in the US states that border Mexico. If this is germane to the board perhaps someone can clarify obtaining Xanax w/o a script from overseas it, but this is really a side issue isn't it?

Good Luck,

Frank
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You're right about the side issue. Sorry. I hope you don't mind if I ask you relevant questions in the future re the valium weaning process and how I feel.  More nightmares last night but as you said they should go away in a few days. Otherwise, I feel okay, not anxious or edgy at all. A little lethargic. Jogging was an effort.

And let me say again, what you've done is more remarkable than you probably realize.  Recovery rates for any drug use including alcohol are 10%.  Actually, I think it's even less for cocaine.  Anyway, you're one in ten!
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Kstuebin,

I am not a doc. Perhaps you could ask Dr. Steve what the effects are when switching from Xanax to Valium (new specific thread). I would expect some discomfort initially, but since they are both benzos it would not it seem normal to have prolonged physiological or psychological effects.

Please feel free to use this forum to ask anyone questions. Pearls of wisdom frequently surface.

Walking and jogging are good for opiate abusers because the exercise forces the body's natural opiates back into action. For sedatives like Xanax, I would think the exercise just helps calm the body, regulate heartbeat etc. Meditation, or sitting quietly for 20 minutes twice a day helps as does a hot tub, hobby, lover, book, pet - come to think of it, the normal things that the "normal" people do. We addicts just have this lust for buzz that removes us from the normalcy of life and keeps us on the treadmill to euphoria. Simple euphoria is there, I know I see it in other's faces, we've just lost it or, in my case, I got greedy. It's nice to occasionally feel it without a swallowing something with a manufacturer
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when I was using Xanax daily, it seemed like I needed them more and more for pressure-situations like big meetings, etc. It was only after I tried to get off of Xanax did I realize that the anxiety I felt from the withdrawal was indistinguishable from anxiety of any kind or origin. From by experience, I believe Xanax, like so many other drugs, creates a need for itself.
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I had been taking xanax for a short period of time maybe 2 months if that...before that I had taken valium then switched to the xanax..4 mgs a day......then one day i ran out.....I felt alot of anxiety,,,couldn't pinpoint it.....vicodin did help with the withdrawals but this went on for a few days   then all of a suddden it was gone..i felt better.....I'm almost positive it was from the xanax....haven't touched one since.....****..i could use one now since i am about out of my pain meds oh well,,,,,love to all      cin
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How do I ask Dr. Steve?  Start a new thread and address it to him?  The Valium just doesn't seem as dramatic. Maybe I'm not taking enough although at this point I really don't want to take more.  It's definitely calming, just no rush, more even. We 60's relics go for the rush :-) We had qualudes and seconals and really good downs.(Where are they now?) When I first started taking the Xanax, one night I was extremely upset so I took 4 instead of one and I was LMAO and thinking "boy this is far out." Of course, I couldn't do that all the time or I'd run out. Thanks again, Karen.
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the valium doesn't seem as dramatic because it isn't. I noticed the same thing when I switched. Perhaps, as with other drugs, there's a comfort level you have to achieve. Since Valium is so long-acting, that also means you're not going to get the rush you get with the short acting Xanax and Ativan. But that's the whole point -- at least it is if your primary interest is in tapering off the stuff without having a potentially fatal seizure. When I switched to Xanax, all I cared about was 1) not getting panic attacks, and 2) not having any more seizures. 10 mg of Valium 3 times a day took care of both of those problems. I'm now down to, if I want to, only two 5 mg vals a day. But I do remember initially feeling a vague unease even though I was taking the 10mg Valiums -- but I was glad to deal with that in exchange for the terror of withdrawal seizures. There's a reason people like Xanax so much. It's basically the same reason people prefer Vicodin over Tylenol with codiene. One's got the excellent buzz, the other only a mild, dull high. Yet they all can be used to treat the same things. Stick wit the Valium for a while. You'll eventually forget the Xanax high and look forward to the simple relaxation that the Valium gives you.

Thomas
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kstuebin - yes start a new thread by posting a new comment. Address your question in general, i.e. What should I expect when switching from Xanax to Valium?

Good Luck.

FLee
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by the way, you're not going to get a very sympathetic (or useful) answer from Dr Steve. First he'll tell you you're not supposed to be 'abusing' drugs for the high -- period. Then he'll go into his borken-record "consult a professional blah blah blah .."
Sorry.

Thomas
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Thanks, Thomas.  I noticed that from his responses to others. Perhaps he has to protect himself...if he gave medical advice without even examining a patient and something happened to them he could be in big trouble.  Not to mention, you probably can't get all the information you need anyway without actually seeing someone.  Tried to post a new thread but it told me the board was full right now so I'll try later. In the meantime, onward with the Xanax. No nightmares last night!
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I understand your point about the doc giving on-line advice, but if that's the case, what's he doing on here in the first place? It breaks my heart everytime I see a new post for the doctor, full of hope, and I know the whole time he'll tell them nothing. What's the point?
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It could be worse.  Did some local phone calling today. I heard every possible detox method known to man. One place would wean me off Xanax and give me some other drug whose name I can't remember that would make me feel like I didn't need it.  Another doc told me I needed Paxil. Another said that Valium was 10 times worse than Xanax and that 4 mg of Xanax was a huge dose equivalent to 50 mgs of Valium. None of them ever heard of substituting valium and then weaning and all of them wanted their money up front even though my insurance would cover it. These are reputable places.  One was Shepard Pratt which is associated the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Another was a Johns Hopkins clinic. I'm listening to the people here. I am not having seizures and I am functioning...a little shaky but they're not carrying me out on a stretcher yet. Thank you again Thomas.  You will be rewarded, if not in this life, then the next...not that I want you to go there soon..God forbid!!!
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I live in Prince William County just past Springfield Va just past 95 & 495.  There are 2 Dr's in Northern Va who use a different appoarch.  One's an Addiction Specialist Psychiatrist in Fairfax, another's a Addiction Specialist in Manassas.  I have their name and numbers at work.  The one in Manassas see's patients at night and on weekends.  Maybe one can hook you up with a Dr in Maryland.  When I go to work in the morning I will get those names and numbers for you.  I will post it tomorrow night......Susan
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Thanks, Susan.  Appreciate it.
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Hi Kuebestin,


The folks you contacted said;

"Valium was 10 times worse than Xanax" - opinion in my opinion.

And that "4 mg of Xanax was a huge dose equivalent to 50 mgs of Valium." - I'd agree with that.

"None of them ever heard of substituting Valium and then weaning" - really, odd, it's done daily.

"And all of them wanted their money up front even though my insurance would cover it." No surprise, altruism is rare in the industry.

"These are reputable places." A vague word, reputable.

Looks like you did your homework. I suggest you follow the Dr. leads - that's what I did and found a caring doc who is working on my detox in a way clinics wouldn't. I am glad you are doing ok and, planning on working with an md if, and that's a big if, you really need to detox instead of cut down.

As always, good luck.

Frank.
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I think valuim can be VERY effective for SP but i think klonopin will have less side effects and personally klonpin is less adictive. http://socialanxiety.picsent.com has an article compareing the two but i really think its a personal matter. Whichever is the best for you!
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Did you mean to post here, it's from 2001. You can read the lastest posts and reply there if you like.
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Hi,I am a 50 yr old perimonpausal women. I dont sleep well, up 3 or 4 times a night. I am self employed, very stressful. I have been on 1 mg a nigth for sleeping for about a year and a half. I  have mild panic attacks during some days. xanax has been a godsend. it helps me sleep thru the night and some days provides a litttle bit of calm. For a panic attack I was prescribed .50 mg they are orange and for sleep I HAVE 1 MG. which is blue. HOPE THIS HELPS.IT HAS ME. THANKS AND GOOD LUCK.
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In my opinion (for what it's worth), any substance that induces sleep is potentially habit forming. You will come to depend on it to sleep. I believe a reasonable approach, for long term insomnia, is to change medications periodically, There are many available these days. Basically, don't lock yourself to one med. Just an opinion.
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I had to chime in on this one even though there were already so many good responses...

Xanax is not the best choice for use as a sleep-aid over any long-term period (more than two months at max). It's an anxyiotic medication primarily prescribed for short-term treatment of what it was designed to lessen: anxiety. It is not a marketed sleep-aid even though it is commonly given for this purpose by general practitioners now. It is sometimes prescribed by psychiatrists for longer-term periods as adjutant treatment for severe anxiety related mental health issues. But these cases should be where anxiety is having further impacts on a persons life outside of just causing loss of sleep at times (panic attacks, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, etc...).

There are many better choices out there just for use as a sleep-aid... that have much less chance of resulting in dependency, covering up longer-term anxiety issues (that will rebound on you with a vengeance once you stop), won't result in such severe withdrawal, and will actually address the problem more directly for better resolution over the long-term.

If sleep is all you need and you don't feel there is a bigger anxiety issue going on - might consider asking for a different medication that is better geared and designed to just help you sleep.

If there is a larger anxiety issue, consider addressing that more directly with someone specialized in psychological issues - and you'll likely find better relief with better overall treatment of the problem than just taking a medication for one of its symptoms.
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Hi.

I was wondering if I can have one dr who gives me xanax,which I do..at 1mg 3xs daily..I always run out early about week and half early and get ativan from my mom,,so i will not have panic attaks which make it almost impossiable for me to do nething because I worry about freaking out in front of ppl,,and I need to work as we are quickly becoming broke from ecomomy and hubbys child support which puts extra strain on me..I am super tense and always uptight and actually not a good person to be around when I am withdrawling..So when I run out of my zannies can i have another dr give me something else like ativan or valium?? Do not want to tell my dr..how early I do run out HELP
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Hey! Me again, this is a VERY old post , I answered you to the same question on your other post....
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I asked a pharmisist and they said you can be on the two diff meds at the same time..its not dr shopping...i just am trying to avoid wd so i can get back to working and do it right next month
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It's not doctor shopping if you tell your 1st doctor that you are seeing another doctor for more benzos.
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But I dont want my first dr to get mad..we have a close relationship and i dont want to say hey i will just not see u nemore..Has neone else gone thru this
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My name is charlie, i got a job but they said i have to stop taking xanax, i take 4mg at one time a day, but im suppose to take 2mg 3 times a day. how can i stop in 11 days. i need this job bad, please help....
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I was wondering if anyone has ever tried to come off of xanax.  I have been on it for 4 years, and I am definitely addicted.  When I wake up in the morning I feel like I could run through a wall.  I am a single dad of 2, so I have to wake up at 4:30am just to make sure my medicine has kicked in before they wake up.  I never wanted to be on this stuff, because I have lost a lot of buddies due to od's on this drug.  It gave me ambition that I have never had though.  Now it's a $100 bill to the doctor once a month.  I HATE xanax and love it at the same time.  BTW I work at the biggest gas  refinery in the U.S. and I am not really suppose to be taking this.  It doesn't show up on my drug screens though.   I want off of this drug so bad.  Or a lifetime prescription 1.  I definitely wouldn't reccomend xanax to anyone whether they are dependent upon drugs or not.  What do I do?  It's just another bill.
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Yardguy, this post is some 10 years old and I will promise no one is still active. Go to the top of this page, hit the green Post A Question button and start your own post. Copy and paste what you have here. that way members can get to know you and offer their advise and experience. Many members here have been on Xanax so you will find help.

If you need anything, give a shout. Hope to see you in the forum.
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