Addiction (Thread 188553)

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renzy Says:


ive been on xanax for 7 years, but i never take them everyday, nor do i take the full amt. im prescribed 1mg tid, but usually take a fourth to one half pill, and that last the whole day 95% of the time. But now i worry, am i addicted?



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woodstock 2009 Says:

if you have a craving for horse apples you re addicted

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Community Expert Ellie Zarrabian, Ph.D. Says:

Dear Renzy,
Physical addiction has set in if you try to stop the medication and your body goes through physical withdrawal symptoms like tremors, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Psychological dependence has set in if you come off the drug but think about it all the time, or think about getting it or just craving it often. You might also think that you are in control of how much and when you take the drug and so you don't think you are addicted to it, but that's often not the case. You can still be addicted to it but monitor how much you take of the drug.

Ellie Zarrabian, Ph.D.
California, United States
http://www.centeronpeace.com

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Hope Says:

Yes I would think after 7 yrs your body is addicted to it. My dr put me on it after I gave birth to my son premature due to awful stress & abuse of a bad husband. I did divorce him & he still continues to try to make sure I will never be happy. Having a child with him means I will have to deal with him for a vey long time. Please listen to what I did so you won't make the same mistake. I decided back in 2002 that I would stop the xanax since I was divorced & didn't want to rely on it anymore, big mistake, I did wean myself for about 2 weeks & threw the rest down the toilet, I noticed within the first 24 hrs my body would start to jerk & I felt very irritable, then within 3 days I couldn't keep any food in my stomach & as hard as I tried I couldn't sleep I would only doze off & when I did I would have the most awful dreams, at this point I really became scared I was also getting dehydrated & by then I had almost non stop shaking, my heart was racing, my chest hurt so bad I thought I was having a heart attack but through it all I still thought I could do it. My friend knew what I was doing & thought it would be good for me to get out of the house so I went & picked her up & as I was driving the last thing I remember, I saw a large bright yellow circle then next thing I remember was a man asking me my name & the date-etc, I also remember trying to pull something off my nose & mouth which I later learned was oxygen. I remember the hospital & them doing all kinds of things to me to figure out what was wrong, I finally started to come around & told the ER nurse about the xanax, within 30 minutes I felt so much better but what happened was I had a seizure from stopping the xanax & I was driving while it happen, thanks to my friends quick thinking she reached over & put the car in park as when I was having the seizure my foot was pressing on the gas pedal we both could have been killed but thank God we were in a small community with speed bumps & no one was around, I was so grateful that it happened before I turned on to the highway which was 5 miles away. My doctor did change my med from xanax to Klonopin & I am not sure what the difference is but I would rather take it then going through what I did. I like you do not take a whole pill I only take half & only when needed. I just wanted to tell you my story so that you won't do what I did & stop taking them without the help of your doctor . I wish you the very best & God bless.

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Community Expert Ellie Zarrabian, Ph.D. Says:

Hope, your story is very compelling and sad. You are right about becoming addicted to them and the terrible side effects. Also you pointed out correctly that if you want to come off of them it is best to see a doctor, which is what you found out but the hard way. Given what you've been through in your life, I wonder if you have considered therapy. These drugs can be helpful but they only mask the symptoms, they don't address why you are depressed or have anxiety, etc. I work with many women who've had difficult and abusive relationships. I often encourage alternative practices before the meds. They don't have the side effects and are much more gentle on your body but still work. I'd be happy to talk to about other options to meds.

Ellie Zarrabian, Ph.D.
California, United States
http://www.centeronpeace.com

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renzy Says:

So, if I take 1/4- 1/2 pill 3 days a week, i need to be momitored. I have gone a week without any, and have not had any nausea vomiting etc. But I do think about it, but not crave it.

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Community Expert Ellie Zarrabian, Ph.D. Says:

Renzy,
Xanax is pretty addictive but it is possible that because of the low dosage you've been taking physical dependence has not set in. You may want to continue monitoring your thoughts and cravings. I also want to encourage you to pick up some other activity like exercise or self help groups to help you in case your depression comes back. That way you will have some buffer. Are you seeing a doctor right now?

Ellie Zarrabian, Ph.D.
California, United States
http://www.centeronpeace.com

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Nate Says:

Xanax withdrawls are for sure the worst. They make you feel like you body is about to shut down. I was taking 3 to 4 2.0 mg bars a day like 6 years ago. Now i take 1 to 2 2.0 mg but what am i going to do i dont even talk if i dont take them the anxiety is to bad. Good luck.

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No Hope Says:
via mobile

I had been taking 1 mg xanax 3 times a day as per dr orders. I then began taking more than 3 per day, then even more per day for 3 years. At one point I would take 4 5 or 6 a day. Well I ran out to eearly to refill and I didn't take any for 6 days & on the 6th day I had a full blown gran mall seizure (thanksgiving day 2011) and I was taken by ambulance to the ER after my 13 yr old son got scared & called 911. They didn't figure out that's why I seized but I know it was. They ran SEVERAL tests over several days & 2 specialists in seizurres seeing me they said I have NEP which is non epileptic seizures. As soon as I was completly withdranwn from the lack of xanax I started feeling better. My doc now has me on ativan for anxiety but I take as directed! I learned the hard way & that won't happen to me again! Best of luck to you and the others posting on this forum!

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EDDY Says:

No Hope, I'm glad you got through it! Ativan almost killed me. I asked my Doctor to put me on it, I hated it and still had a supply of Xanax. My doctor moved away, and I tapered of the Xanax but did not like the Ativan so I decided I would stop everything. Big mistake!

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