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Xanax addiction?


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#1 Kay M

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 12:05 AM

Has anyone here been addicted to xanax? I'm pretty sure I am...my doc prescribed it about 4 years ago for anxiety, and I take it daily. I'm taking a total of about about 0.5 to 1 gram per day.
If I don't take it...I feel incredibly jumpy and just have a really hard time functioning.
How the heck do I stop taking this stuff? My doc says I'm on a very low dosage, and just to taper off, but I'm having trouble with that. Is this just a mental thing for me or am I really physically addicted? My doc says it could be either, and I just don't know...
Any thoughts ?
Thanks,
Kay

#2 NJCat

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 01:13 AM

You are taking a relatively small dose, so as long as you don't keep upping it, you're good.

However, I had the exact same delimma. In fact I got in a huge argument with my pdoc over it ..... I think there's a post somewhere in my blog earlier this year about it here: http://www.beatingth...;showentry=3253 Mind you I was VERY anxious when I wrote that.

If I didn't take my 1/2 mg of xanax, I was just a nasty person. Short tempered, etc. It wasn't necessarily anxiety that I was taking it in the first place for. But when I did get extreme anxiety this year, I was up to 2 mgs a day. I was NOT happy with that, very worried that I'd become addicted, and started weaning (I think the whole idea of becoming addicted made me anxious .. go figure).
Eventually I weaned myself totally off of it. I don't NEED it everyday now (although today I took some for the first time in a while).

Looking back, there was no need to panic. My doc was right. It really is a tiny dose. (the 1/2 to 1 mg, but not the 2. That was too much!) And just because you "NEED" it doesn't mean you are physically addicted. You might feel like shit without it, but that's not necessarily equal to being addicted.
You can taper down by really tiny doses since they offer xanax in tiny doses, and the pills are breakable (unless you are taking extended release).

Since your dose is similar to what mine was, relax. If you need to take it, take it. If you want to taper off, do it really slowly (get your doctor to write a script for the .25 mgs which I believe you can break in half).

Anyway, I'm no doc, but your doc is telling you what my doc told me, and I think now that my doc was right. :)

#3 Sunshineinmyface

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 01:16 AM

IMHO all of the meds for MI are addictive in that they bring about significant changes in our body chemistry which affects our thinking, and thus behavior.

It will not be near as hard to taper off xanax as effexor (my most hated anti-d). Yea, it is a low dose, but still most all these meds require tapering unless we want some withdrawl effects. I have taken xanax and it is very helpful. Just wondering - why do you want to get off of it? Just wondering if you need to take it anymore?

This is how I taper and it is very judicious: I would reduce 1/2 of .5mg for two weeks and see how that goes. If okay, reduce the same for the next two weeks. Repeat. The closer we get to being completely off of these meds the more we need cut the reduction amount because it is a bigger % reduction as we go. So, if all goes well, and you get to the last 1/2 .5mg tab, bite a bit off so your last week you will be having just a bit in your system. Xanax is a quick acting anti-anxiety, but if taken at a consistent level it maintains that doseage in my experience.

Once I reduce the xanax to just about none, I use on an as needed basis. I don't know if you want to do that or if that would work with your situation. Good luck.

Please let me know how it goes.

Sunshine

#4 WalterSobchak

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 02:37 AM

I was prescribed xanax 1mg, 4 times a day for years. I rarely took all 4mg except for real bad days when I might take more. I did work a highly stressful job and things were definitely smoother with the xanax. IMHO, addiction is really an overblown issue. If you need it, you need it. And if one is addicted, so what? I'm addicted to oxygen too. And H2O. Do people think being addicted or regular use equals bad person equals street junkie? If so, their thinking is faulty and way out of whack. Some people have to take heart medication every day. Or insulin. Or you name it. As Shakespeare wrote, Much Ado About Nothing is what I think. Stop worrying. And yes I know the anal line many pdocs have these days but my therapist agrees with me. The pdocs are societally and governmentally pressured into being anal or brainwashed. Xanax is not coke. It is not methamphetamine. It is not heroin. RELAX.

#5 Kay M

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 07:01 AM

Thanks for the replies...
It helps so much to hear your thoughts and experiences. I've been learning more about some of the meds I've been on for awhile, and wondering if I really need to be taking some of these things. I just don't know if I really have an anxiety issue at this point, or if I'm creating it myself by stressing about the meds, or maybe I'm really addicted to the xanax. My doc really isn't much help, to be honest, so I feel pretty much like I'm on my own in evaluating things.
I feel so grateful to have found all of you.
Kay

#6 Sunshineinmyface

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 08:48 PM

Xanax, as said, is a pussy cat med compared to others. Yea, if you want to taper off and see what is what, all for the good I think. If you find out you do need the med or it really helps with the anxiety I would encourage you to get back on it. Xanax is one of the meds that seems to do what it is promoted to do. I took it for some time steady until I learned some coping strategies and I couldn't have learn those if I were not taking it and giving myself some space. And, I find I fall into anxiety and take it steady for periods of time too.

You may be interested in some of the web sites about meds (there are only a gazillion) a good one to start with, in my mind, is www.psychcentral.com One I like that gives med information and interactions between meds, and meds and food, etc. is www.drugdigest.com - this one has taught me a lot.

Glad you are here with us too. You are part of the BtB Cyber family, as Uncle Ed says (paraphrasing) the strongest beast busting family ever.

Come on over to S & S Beachside Bar and relax in the Butterfly garden or on the beach.

#7 where_am_i

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 03:08 PM

for me, xanax is the drug from hell - i cant control it. crashed 2 cars in 2 weeks + 2 trips to county jail.

+ crashed a motorcycle near 100 mph which absolutely destroyed it - nothing left but debris.

of course i walked away without a scratch - well walked to the ambulance

Edited by where_am_i, 05 October 2008 - 03:11 PM.


#8 walkedongurl333

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 05:45 PM

I take 2mg twice daily! I have horrible depression and anxiety. i have stopped before. U can get physicly ill so if need be ween ur self off but personaly i never have been mentaly. hope that helps :(