An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Addicts with anxiety

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by S24, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. S24

    S24 Member

    Okay so question:
    What are people's thoughts related to an addict truly benefiting from MILD anxiety medication (less addictive form of xanax)?
    This was mentioned in my addiction treatments course last semester and I'm not exactly sure where I stand related to the issue. It involved a recovering addict who was prescribed mild anti anxiety meds because he had been professionally diagnosed with some form of anxiety (i can't remember the specific type).
    Could it be feared that this would be sending the wrong message to a person who copes with drugs?
    Or could this be some sort of solution for a person diagnosed with anxiety who uses drugs to self-medicate?
  2. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I think some of the less meds could be but a temporal solution to the problem. In any case the fact that they are less addictive doesn't mean that the person who uses them won't eventually be addicted to them. There are people I've heard of who are addicted to Aspirin. If someone can be an Aspirin addict I believe that anyone can be addicted to any meds.

    It's better IMHO, to seek other solutions to anxiety-related issues — behavioral therapy for example or hypnotherapy.
  3. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    I think that addicts need to be careful with any drug they take even if it is prescribed. One of the biggest issues is that medications numb pain or give you a high, and that is what the addict is trying to achieve. I have anxiety and can usually cull it by practicing relaxed breathing.
    S24 likes this.
  4. JessiFox

    JessiFox Active Contributor

    I actually know someone who fits this description. He was diagnosed with moderate, generalized anxiety before ever becoming an addict. He absolutely NEEDS his anxiety medications to function well and always will. I don't think it sends the wrong message at all. Actually needing medicine for a legitimate condition is very different from just being addicted and just feeling like you 'need' something.
    S24 likes this.
  5. Auril

    Auril Active Contributor

    I wish I could say that it was beneficial for addicts to use benzos, but they are just too addictive. I'm sure there are addicts who can do okay while on them, I was one of them. But there are so many who can't that its best they not be given out at all. On that note, it makes me wonder about their safety and usefulness for everyone...not just people with addiction issues or histories.
    S24 likes this.
  6. S24

    S24 Member

    I think that anti anxiety meds such as xanax or klonopine are dangerous because they have such strong effects. I don't know much about the other ones, but i have heard that it is possible to tell a psychiatrist if you are an addict so that he or she doesn't prescribe a more addictive substance such as xanax.
  7. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Anxiety is not a Xanax deficiency. Nor is it a deficiency of any other drug. It can be a withdrawal symptom and or a nutrient deficiency. Drugs for drugs are still a drug addiction. Its not an answer. Its just replacing the problem with another. What is the saying "let food be thy medicine". The cavemen were in better shape than most people today. Eating properly will correct basic anxiety issues. No less than 3,000 calories a day of fruit and vegetables. Real food, not packaged processed junk.
  8. doatk22

    doatk22 Community Champion

    I don't think that anyone should be on meds for anxiety. It's just something else to depend on!
    LinB likes this.
  9. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I agree that I think an addict needs to be very careful what tablets they take and maybe some tablets will be worse than others for them.

    People who have anxiety though DO need to take medication sometimes so I don't agree with people with anxiety shouldn't take tablets, because to some people they can be the difference between not being able to get out of bed, to leading a normal life.
    kassie1234 likes this.
  10. knitmehere

    knitmehere Community Champion

    I think it depends on the addict and what their addiction is. I've been on anti anxiety meds, and they helped me out a lot. I wasn't exactly the type to abuse pills, though. It might not be the best idea for someone who is.
  11. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I agree that sometimes, medication is the first step with dealing with anxiety - and the reason a person may be addicted to a range of substances in the first place could have been as a coping mechanism for the anxiety. I think a big part of my drinking in the first place was because I felt anxious in social situations.

    I think if the anxiety is being managed with medication and someone has a history of addiction problems then it absolutely needs to be carefully monitored.
  12. knitmehere

    knitmehere Community Champion

    Yes, monitoring is a must when it comes to adding medications to someone who already has substance addictions. I think that's what a lot of people don't think about. It can't fix the problem if it becomes part of the problem.
    deanokat likes this.
  13. LinB

    LinB Senior Contributor

    Not everything prescribed by a doctor is indeed beneficial. Again I do believe that it depends on the individual. If the individual realises that there's a tendency of clinging to this medication, then he or she should be open about this, and ask the doctor for an alternative.
  14. LinB

    LinB Senior Contributor

    You raise a valid point. Why use drugs to cure drugs? Then again, if the doctor prescribes it it's only to help for a temporary period. I don't believe these medical drugs pose a threat except it is misused by the patient.
  15. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    The healthiest option would be to find an alternative to the anti-anxiety medication. Coping strategies, therapy, counseling could all have potential to help. Also, some of those medications have loopy potential side effects, which may make the urge to give in to temptation stronger. If it were my loved one with an addiction problem and anxiety, I would recommend to them to try other avenues for dealing with anxiety first before trying the medication.
  16. knitmehere

    knitmehere Community Champion

    It's always smart to try everything that you can outside of meds, but we have to remember that anxiety IS a MEDICAL issue. It can't be "cured" by magic hocus pocus.