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Old 12-02-2008, 03:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thinking about getting Xanax for anxiety...

So i am 32 days sober I am thinking of ways to help with my anxiety (not from alcohol). I am very stressed out with my current predictament and am trying to find a way to get through it all.

I am a recovering alcoholic and I am going through some legal issues involving DUI's. I am on my 3rd DUI. i got my 3rd while almost completing all of my classes and community service...etc. Then i got my 3rd while still on probation. I obviously decided to wake up and smell the coffee and deal with my alcoholic ways. Let's just say I met Rock Bottom. I don't like him. Now I am dealing with anxiety due to thinking about what is going to happen to me. I am scared. I go to sleep and wake up thinking about these issues. I am trying so hard to deal. I am always stressed. So I am thinking about getting some Xanax. Just thinking...kinda wanted to get everyone's advice first. Thanks.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Be carefull with the Xanax, highly addictive,if you have an addictive personality I wouldn't mess with it. I speak from personal experience. Goodluck on your journey,whatever choice you make.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Xanax is really addictive, and may not be the best choice for you in recovery.
If you have a doctor who knows your history it might be good to speak to him about the anxiety.
Try exercising or praying or talking to some recovery friends.
Or just turn the whole thing over to your HP and try to trust that what will happen will be for your benefit.
Worrying about the outcome of past actions won't help. It's done. It's over. Other than learning from it there's not too much you can do.
But this may make you feel better

:ghug3

Good luck and congratulations on 32 days !!
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Last edited by blue pansy; 12-02-2008 at 05:52 PM. Reason: I forgot something
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Be very very careful with Xanax. MANY alcoholics get hooked on it. It goes to the same pleasure center in the brain. And benzos (xanax is a benzo) are extremely hard to get off of. Even if you tell your dr that your an alcoholic some of them still don't get it.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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BuSpar is another anti-anxiety medication that is not addictive.
I took it years ago, and it worked well for me.
why not start with something non-addictive first.
The others are quite right; xanax is very addictive and it does work on the same pleasure centers in the brain as alcohol. Not a good first choice for a rock bottom alcoholic!

Wish you well...

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Old 12-02-2008, 06:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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First my experience, then just my opinion...

After approx 4 years I quit taking anti-depressants last June. Things were fine until around August. The depression was back so I started taking them again. I had a reaction to them which combined with the economic collapse put me in a high state of anxiety. I toughed it out for 3 days, going to work and acting as if things were okay. On the 4th day I had to call in sick. I reached out for help from my doctor and my sponsor. I see my doctor almost every week at my home group so he knows more about recovery than most drs. After I expressed just how bad things were he prescribed Xanax for me. I was accountable to my sponsor and took them only as prescribed which was "up to 3 times" a day. I didn't take 3 at once or even 2 at once... I only took them when the anxiety got really bad. They also helped me sleep. I was pretty much over the anxiety after I stopped taking the specific anti-depressant, waited a few days before starting a different one. I was still having a lot of trouble sleeping and took a Xanax to help me get to sleep but by then I must have built up a tolerance because it didn't help. I wasn't about to take two at once though. I had one refill left but opted not to fill it. So, for me Xanax helped me get over a very rough period but like I said, I seemed to build up tolerance quickly.

That was my experience...Now I'll share my opinion...

I've been in a situation similar to yours. Maybe not quite as bad because my DUI's were spread out over years but I remember the sinking feelings of despair as I beat myself up for "screwing up once again". I spent money on lawyers to ask for a hearing with the DMV which was a total waste of time and money. I had to suck it up and go through what I had to go through but once I surrendered to the idea and stopped fighting, it didn't turn out to be near as bad as my crazy mind told me it was going to be. I had to go through an 18 month program but even before I went to court I knew I had to go to AA, get a sponsor and work the steps. My sponsor drove several miles in the opposite direction to pick me up at 6:00 A.M. on Saturday morning for those 18 months. Somehow, and I choose to credit it to a Higher Power and the Program of AA, I made it through all that. I was about your age too. That was over 14 years ago. Again, this is my opinion only but I don't think Xanax would be a good idea in your case. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. Substituting one substance (Xanax) for another (Alcohol) isn't the thing to do. The good news is that you don't have to drink ever again. It will take work on your part. I can't tell you how much life improved for me after getting a sponsor and working the steps... I had been exposed to AA before from another DUI but didn't do what was suggested. I didn't do anything and I didn't get anything.. except for physical sobriety which is better than picking up another DUI but I was essentially clueless as to how to live without alcohol. I learned how by allowing a sponsor to guide me through the steps. I don't work a perfect program but life is certainly better now than it was then.

How are you doing on going to meetings?
How are you doing as far as getting a sponsor goes?
Have you started working the steps with your sponsor?
If you have a sponsor, have you asked him what he thinks about the Xanax idea?

Best of luck finding the path that is right for you. I couldn't do it alone... I seriously doubt anyone can and achieve quality sobriety. Please reach out for help locally. I'm glad you found SR and I thank you for letting me share my experience and my opinion.

- R
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for all of your advice!! I think that I truly knew what everyone advised me to do. I just needed to hear it. Sometimes I feel like I am inside my head so much thinking this and thinking that.

Thanks2HP...I do not have a sponser or anything like that. I was thinking about going to some meetings at this place i found on the internet. However, i am a little intimidated by the idea. I think about what if I see someone i know. Or something like that. I am going to try and get the courage to go. I just have a lot of anxiety...of course...going to one. That's kind of why I am here at SR. I am finding a lot of good advice here but maybe I should find some more outside of SR. I dunno. I know that talking and expressing helps me release some of that anxiety. Thanks again!!
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Jack2000,

I'm glad you are reaching out here on SR. For what it's worth, I've always had anxiety around people. I'm still not all that social but the more I force myself to go to social gatherings and/or meetings, the easier it becomes. When I get outside of my head and listen to other people I find that a lot of them feel awkward around people... or did at first and found it easier as they worked a program of recovery.

As far as a sponsor goes. When I first came back into the rooms, I remember going to a noon meeting close to where I worked while I still had a license to drive. I knew I had to get a sponsor so I was looking around the room and had picked out an old timer. I worked up the courage and shared that I was new and needed a sponsor. There was a guy there about my age in a suit. I looked at him and thought he was too preppy looking for me to get along with. After the meeting I went outside to work up the courage to go back in and ask the old timer. The guy in the suit walked by and said hello. He stopped, turned around and walked back. He said that he had heard me say that I needed a sponsor and offered to be my "temporary" sponsor until I found one. Long story short, he became my permanent sponsor and took me through the steps. We had a lot more in common than I imagined. It turns out this college grad, wearing a nice suit and driving a nice car had worked as a janitor when he first came to A.A. We called him "Shotgun" because he had pointed a loaded shotgun at his girlfriend while drunk. Now he had a beautiful wife, attended church and was living a productive life.

Anyway, I hope you find the courage you need to get to a meeting. If you think you'll have a problem with interacting with the literature rep at the meeting to buy a Big Book, order one online or at least read it online.

By the way, here's the "Prescription"...

As far as worrying about running into people you know being at the meeting... does it really matter? I don't break my anonymity unless there is a reason but I don't really care who knows I'm in recovery. Outside of work, most of the people I interact socially with are people in recovery. The others either know I'm in recovery or know that I don't drink. I've heard other people say they had the same worry about running into people they knew at a meeting, some traveling several towns over to go to a meeting where they know they shouldn't run into anyone they know. I've also heard the occasional share about driving X number of miles to go to a meeting where they wouldn't know anyone only to run into someone they knew! I've heard shares about people walking through the doors and finding their drug dealers at a meeting! Please don't let your concerns about running into people you know keep you from receiving the gift of recovery!

- R
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Jack, Xanax works believe me. I've been on it for years.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have been taking Xanax for 19 years due to major panic issues. My doctor warned me that the dosage could cause addiction within a short period of time. I have never had a problem because I only took the prescribed dosage for a shor t time. I have snice used it on a "need to" basis. The peace of mind that having them provides is a great motivator to not abuse them. If not Xanax, there are others.
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well I will tell you that my wife is an alcoholic and uses these for anxiety. She uses them all the time like candy. I think someone said this but if you have an addiction issue you may steer away from these and ask your doctor about an alternative.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Benzos do work, but... The hard part for many is stopping them. (Of course if they help, there may be no reason to get off them.) Also, many abuse them, especially fast acting benzos like Xanax.

If you haven’t tried these things already, I’d try these things first: quit all caffeine; start a balanced diet; start a regular exercise program; and go through The 12 Steps.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I use Ativan periodically for my generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). For the most part I go without it unless the anxiety becomes intense and severely disrupts my functioning. Also I use stress and anxiety reduction techniques that lessen the effects of my GAD (here's a link). I also have my girlfriend to help me by monitoring my Ativan use because it has a high potential for abuse and dependence.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Anxiety can be a symptom of post acute withdrawal syndrome. You've been sober for less than 40 days. I think many alcoholics experience it.

It's possible that it could go away on its own, with time away from the booze.

If you do decide to seek medical assistance, I've found that working with healthcare professionals with experience in dealing with addiction to be the most helpful. It's also important for me to be frank about my usage history and past addicitions when discussing treatment options with doctors/therapists.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If you drink loads all the time I got massive anxiety I couldnt even talk cuz my voice was so shaky. I quit drinking for 6 months anxiety was still there but was so much better alot easier to deal with and not as frightnening. Time iws a great healer give things time and it heals even your head
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Im sorry but I cant talk like you literate or whatever it is
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Jack my dear friend .. first congrats on makin it for 40 some days now .. Im proud of you and as we have chatted know much bout your situation . and thats so great that your still stickin to soberity .
As for the replacement for anxity . now dear you know thats only gonna mask whats really troubling you . Once you get thu all this stuff thats going on you wont even need that . So why risk it and build up another addiction to face when your problems are behind you . Staying sober is hard enuff let along adding another addiction . ThanksHP said it very well in her reply i couldnt of said it better .
You will get thu this .... It WILL get better ! these situations your dealing with are the results of actions . it teaches us a valuble lesson in life that we really shouldnt do that . I know if i had masked the things going on in my life i wouldnt of learned what I did to this day and still learn . But im sober and all my DWI dealings are long behind me . Im very glad and greatful they are . Yours will too .. Find the courage to make it to a meeting even if its a hours bus trip away . if that makes you feel better bout it . But who cares like HP said if your seen by someone . If we all felt that way NO ONE would been in them rooms to help me or so many others that have made it this far thur the program ....
Ive missed yah I was gone on vacation hope to catch up and visit w/ you soon Endzy:ghug3
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi Jack,

First off congrats om 40 days sober that's great! I stopped drinking after years of on and off binge drinking in June 2008. What lead me to stop was a bad panic attack. I was put on xanax in June. I take .025 mg twice per day and have used it as directed by my doctor. Xanax has helped me through the rough patches of getting sober and it works. But, I now wish to be off of it. And I'm nervous as heck about it. I have learned it can be addictive. I plan to switch to an anti-D.. and wean off the xanax if some one would tell me how to do this?? So, I'd say forget the xananx and try an Anti-D first. Make sure to have a doc who works well with you and understands. It was suggested to me many months ago to take lexapro but I have been to stubborn. Anyway, good luck to you.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Seizures

My father has been taking zanex now for 12 yrs because of anxiety and when ever he misses lke 2 doses he goes into a seizure. Please dont do that to yourself , I just left the ER for another seizure 3 hours ago. Its terrible. I HIGHLY DONT RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:25 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack2000 View Post
However, i am a little intimidated by the idea. I think about what if I see someone i know. Or something like that. I am going to try and get the courage to go. I just have a lot of anxiety...of course...going to one.
WELCOME!!!

I am not the most social being myself, but this very subject came up at my home group meeting last Friday-not sure how it came up, the guy was an old-timer, what would people think if they saw us walk into that meeting?

When we were drinking, it wouldn't bother us a bit if folks saw us pissing or puking in the bushes outside of the church, but we're afraid of what people would say if they saw us inside the church having a sit-down with fellow alcoholics when we're sober? My greatest disappointment is that I never see anyone from my previous life at meetings, God knows a lot of them qualify for AA.
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