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Where to go from here?

Discussion in 'Prescription Drugs' started by Matt, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Matt

    Matt Member

    Long story short, I'm just looking for some kind of guidance here on getting help with using Xanax that is not prescribed. Go to my PCP to get off xanax? Go to a psychiatrist to address the root of the substance abuse and get me off Xanax?

    Not Long story..
    When I really thought about where this all started, I can trace it right back to when I was a teenager. I was always really nervous about meeting new people. I usually wouldn't talk much if there was someone around I wasn't really comfortable with. It would take me awhile to feel comfortable with new members to the "crew". My group of friends were all around your average suburban group of teens. We weren't the popular kids, we were just our own group. As we got older, there were parties. I'd always be nervous about going to them so I would always have to be drunk to be able to deal with all the new faces and to feel comfortable. I recall a co-worker inviting me to her party, her parents were out of town. I brought a few friends with as my safety net, but as I walked up, I literally chucked most of a bottle of Jagermeister to be able to walk in the door. I didn't stay long, even the booze didn't help.
    I would continue to utilize alcohol through my 20's to deal with my social anxiety.

    Then things went where they never should have. I got hurt, and was prescribed a decent supply of Norcos, beginning my addiction to opiates. It not only helped with pain, but it made me feel "normal". I could interact with people, be myself. Crowds of people wouldn't make me feel uncomfortable anymore. My script ran out, I started getting it through friends of friends. It took me over a year before I realized what I was doing. I got help, my doctor got me off it. I was clean finally!

    Then.... I visited a close friend who moved nearby. I had come over a small group of my friends.. We all drank pretty heavily, my friend gave me a xanax. It messed me up to much, I didn't like it at that point. The next day though, I felt so calm. It was nice to not feel the anxiety. Then I started buying those.. wasting even more money. Now it's been two years, I'm 33 years old.
    I've kept myself in check and never went over 2mg a day. The use of un-prescribed xanax has had its benefits. It improved my quality of life significantly, I was able to go out with people and not be drunk. I made new friends. I was able to finally sleep and not worry about everything. I was also able to negotiate/demand a raise as I was being unfairly paid, and I am finally making a decent living.

    When it comes down to it though.. the ends didn't justify the means. I've got myself addicted to Xanax, a drug that is very hard to get off of. It is no longer beneficial as the effects of xanax wore off and I don't want to take anymore then I already am (2mg) unless I was legally prescribed. I've tried reducing my dosage on my own to get clean, I can't function. I know that I need substitutions of other medications to slowly wean me off it to be clean again or maybe even legally prescribed medication for anxiety. I also don't want to die from a seizure if I can't find them through friends. I'm so tired of finding drugs.

    My PCP was helpful getting me off the norcos/opiates, but not good at addressing the anxiety. He admitted he knew why I got addicted to opiates was because it helped my anxiety. He prescribed SSRI's (Wellbutrin, Lexapro) which made no difference and actually had more of a negative impact on my life. He said if the last medication (it didn't) work I needed to see a psychiatrist. I didn't, and instead self medicated with the random run in with Xanax. I don't want to go back to my PCP again telling him I'm now addicted to Xanax when I should be telling a mental health doctor about it and getting help for the root of the substance abuse.

    Sorry for the long story..

    I really don't think I need to go to a rehab facility as I KNOW I can get clean. I've done it before, I can do it again. I've never relapsed with opiates. I've refused any type of opiate anytime I've had a medical procedure that warranted it. I barely drink alcohol, and when I do its in moderation. I have a position in a company that can't be vacant, it's demanding, I work a lot of hours, but it's rewarding-- and I can't lose my job as I will lose everything else.

    Am I right in thinking I should see a psychiatrist to get me off Xanax? I'm thinking that a psychiatrist would also know the best medications to help me deal with my anxiety so I don't continue to self-medicate. It doesn't seem like my PCP knows what else to do and I don't want to go to two doctors when I could see one to deal with both problems. My goal from there would hopefully to be comfortable enough to talk to a therapist to work out my anxiety issues and not need medication to feel like a normal person, if that is even possible.

    If yes to a psychiatrist, then do I need to see an addition psychiatrist or a regular one? I know addiction is a mental condition so not sure if they are one in the same.

    Any help would be appreciated, I don't know what to do and I can't talk to my friends or family about this. I am way to ashamed of myself for them to know until after I've started getting help. Just need help out of this rut and need to move on with my life.

    Thanks for the time if you read through my book above!
    jlp563 likes this.
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Matt... Welcome to the forums. I'm sorry you're struggling with Xanax. There's no doubt that benzodiazepines are very difficult to get off of.

    I think a psychiatrist would be able to help you. Either that or an addiction specialist. I think both could assess your situation and recommend the best next steps for you to take.

    I took doctor-prescribed Klonopin (another benzo) for several years and quitting it was a nightmare. I had to be weaned off of it over a couple of years. Whatever you do, don't try to quit it cold turkey. The withdrawals are horrible and can be dangerous.

    We're here for you. Keep us updated on how things are going, okay?
  3. jlp563

    jlp563 Member

    I would also look into going to some kind of outpatient chemical dependency.
  4. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Hey, @Matt... How are you doing? If you get a chance, let us know.