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Alcohol, Xanax, Ambien, Beer, and then passing out.
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Alcohol, Xanax, Ambien, Beer, and then passing out.

I am worried about my husband.  He is 41 years old.  He has been heavily drinking beer EVERYDAY since he was 18.  He now drinks about a 12 pack or more of 12oz beers every night.  He also takes 1.5mg-3mg(all at one time) of Xanax at night time along with the beer.  He has been taking the Xanax everyday since he was 24.  He also takes Ambien as needed. I think he has become immune to all of the medications because you would never be able to tell that he was on medication!!  And, I have surprisingly NEVER seen him drunk.  He acts as happy as can be - not mellow.
Now, here is what is worrying me.  Since November, sometimes at night time he passes out.  He will cough and gasp for air and then pass out.  While he is passed out, his body shakes like he is having a seizure.  His eyelids remain open his eyes roll back into his head and turn red.  While he is passed out, he can't breathe.  And yes, he HAS done this before while he was driving (two times).  This has happened about 15 times since November and it is gradually getting worse.
My husband tries to blame the passing out on a variety of things.  First, he blamed it on not being able to breathe as well as he should because of asthma and allergies.  So, I took him to the doctor and had the allergy/asthma problem taken care of and he still passes out.  Now he blames it on sleep apnea.  
Does anyone know what may be wrong with my husband?!    I am so worried about him and I'm scared that this may end up as a fatality!!  If anyone has any advice.... PLEASE GIVE IT!!  I'm begging you!

Ashley
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455167_tn?1259261471
hi there. your husband is on some very shaky ground. the combination of alcohol and benzodiazepines like xanax can be fatal. he probably has a high tolerance to both substances, and withdrawal could very easily be life-threatening. this combination is known to cause respiratory arrest, and it also sounds like he might be having seizures in his sleep. he should see a physician to get checked out, as one day he might not wake up again. but he will have to be honest about his habits to be adequately helped. this is not something to ignore. hope this helps and take care,  gm
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the comment!  He has an appointment with a doctor in a couple of days and they are doing a sleep study test. Hopefully they can get to the bottom of all of this.  I try to convince him to wean off of all of the pills and beer but he says that I am "nagging him" and he threatens me with divorce!!! So, maybe the doctor can convince him.  
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Avatar_f_tn
does the doctor prescribing these benzodiazepenes which are addictive to alcoholics know how much he drinks and still prescribes?he would go thru a HORRIBLE withdrawal if he stopped all the pills cold turkey..he needs to be weaned off gradually.....and he would also go thru a withdrawal from the alcohol...he needs to go 2 inpatient get detoxed..but it sounds like this is unlikely due to his present refusal to claim personal responsibility for these 2 addictions.i hope he can wake up and smell the coffee or someone can get him to take a look at how he is killing himself!Thank God no one got hurt/killed when he passed out b-hind wheel 2x's..i take it u were there and took over driving?
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, the doctor that prescribes the meds knows that he drinks & how much he drinks.  The doctor that he sees is a pill pusher whom I hate.  I have talked to my husband and told him to quit seeing this pill pusher.  
But, my husband is convinced that once he gets the sleep apnea problem taken care of, he will slowly be able to wean off of the meds and alcohol.  He says the only reason that he takes the meds and drinks the beer is because he has trouble sleeping at night and all of these vices help him get to sleep and stay asleep.
I was only with my husband one time when he passed out while driving.  The first time, he was by himself.  He was driving down a back road.  Thankfully, hardly anyone drives down this back road.  He woke up and was on the side of the road with the vehicle stopped and the water that he was drinking at the time was spilled all over himself.  The second time, I was with him and he was driving in Nashville.  He passed out and I took over the wheel.  It was a scary situation... I'm sure you all could imagine!  Thankfully, neither of the passing out episodes resulted in a wreck!
My husband had been taking Zoloft since he was 24 and I convinced him to quit taking it about a month ago. I have heard many of stories of people taking Zoloft for so many years and it eventually just fries their brain.
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Avatar_f_tn
the alcohol is frying his brain moreso than the Zoloft....has been...if he ever gets off all of this **** he will have to go inpatient and be detoxed.....be medically monitored!he will eventually die from all of this if he doesn't stop.......cirrhosis and pancreatitis are very painful devastating alcohol related diseases!
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