I have been meaning to write this for a while now. I have discussed my issues with this addiction in the past but I decided to create a blog about it.
As you can see, the title is pretty clear and straight to the point. I am heavily addicted to Xanax and have been for years now. I really feel that "Xanax Slave" is a good analogy of how I would assess the way I feel about this addiction.
My apologies to anyone who has read any of my past writings about this topic or to those I have recently discussed it with through chat or direct messages, as some of my words may sound redundant. However, I really want to recap bits and pieces of my story as well as elaborate, extend, and update my current status as well.
I was put on Benzodiazepines at a pretty young age and have been on them ever since. I started on Ativan, then switched to Valium, then Klonopin, and eventually Xanax.
To put it simply, I am extremely addicted and totally hooked on them. I have been taking them every day for about five years now. I was started out on a moderate dose which increased as time went on. I am currently prescribed to 2mg's four times a day so my legal daily dose totals 8mg's.
As if that is not a high enough dose already, I also I take much, much more than that. I abuse them like crazy. I go through them so fucking fast. I just keep taking more and more and more.
I get my prescription filled once a month and it will be gone before I know it. It's ridiculous how fast that bottle is completely empty. Then I have to obtain it by other means until I can get my next prescription. I repeat this exact same cycle every month.
Xanax has absolutely fucked me up both mentally and physically in so many horrific ways. I was fully aware of the danger and high risk of dependency from the very beginning... But I really didn't know or understand how terrible an addiction to this drug can actually be. I cannot stress enough how truly awful it is. I am so foolish for allowing things to get so bad.
I honestly have suffered from chronic anxiety ever since I was a little kid. Discovering Xanax and the way it made me feel was amazing when I started taking it. I cannot and will not deny how incredibly remarkable of a drug it is. It does exactly what it is supposed to do and it does it very, very, well. Actually, in my case perhaps it worked a little "too well" as far as I'm concerned.
I thought it was such a miracle drug when I started taking it. For those who suffer from terrible anxiety and severe panic attacks, and even those who don't but are just looking to feel good... In my opinion, it's pretty easy to fall into the trap it can lead you down if your not very, very, careful and vigilante about it.
I still feel that Xanax can be very beneficial for temporarily helping people with serious and debilitating anxiety and/or paranoia issues. The key word in that statement is "temporarily". If the drug is prescribed at a reasonably safe dose for a brief period of time, the risk of addiction can be minimal.
However, keeping patients on the drug continuously for long periods of time, especially for multiple years is a big problem that is very dangerous and harmful. Of course, that is just my opinion and it can obviously be debated and disagreed with... But the risk of becoming dependent on the medication(even for those who have never had any previous problems with addiction) is extremely likely to occur in some way shape or form if it is taken for a long enough time.
My gradual progressive use seemed totally harmless in the beginning. I never really felt any signs of addiction for quite a very long time of using(and abusing) it on a regular basis. I never really noticed anything when it came to developing an addiction to it until much later on.
But the one thing that was incredibly noticeable and undeniably obvious that happened very quickly after I started taking it(even in moderate amounts) was the tolerance. Before I knew it I had developed the need to take more of this drug in order to reach the desired effects faster than all hell.
It was really almost kind of innocent at first. I didn't really put too much thought into it at the time other than, "Damn, why am I not feeling the way I did before when I took this same dose?" I didn't really see any other way around it other than taking a little bit more to feel the same effects as I had previously.
I admit I was completely ignorant about it. Other than say, choosing to lay off of it for a while and not taking it as often, I foolishly continued taking them on a regular basis(daily or very often). What can I say? I really, really, enjoyed it regardless of the fact that the amount I began needing increased more and more in a very short amount of time.
Eventually it finally dawned on me how big of a problem it had become. And yet I continued on and on. I made dumb excuses and bullshitted myself by thinking things like "I have a prescription... It's legally prescribed", "I need my medication!"
Now when I look back at that point, I know I could have stopped. After all, I was certainly mentally addicted... But I hadn't began to suffer any of the serious damage that I would later on down the road.
As I mentioned before, I did have bad anxiety throughout my life. The Xanax SEEMED like the solution, and for a long time it really was. Somewhere along the lines that completely changed. Before going on Xanax I had chronic anxiety and thought it was unbearable to deal with back then. But I was sadly mistaking. I now know that compared to before getting hooked on these pills, I pretty much had no fucking clue what chronic anxiety was. But let me tell you, I do now. God, how I know now.
This drug has seriously crippled my mind and caused me to become fearful of every day life. If I don't have it, being in a lot of social situations is like pulling teeth, and so I avoid them because I am in constant panic mode.
I want to quit but the withdrawals that I have are absolutely unbearable. My body and mind go absolutely haywire in so many ways. I basically go nuts. I could probably go on all day about the withdrawal symptoms but I will just share some of the main ones.
I get terrible anxiety, extreme paranoia, and horrible depression. My heart cramps up and pounds incredibly fast to the point where I fear I am having a heart attack. I get dizzy and light-headed, it becomes hard to breathe, I get muscle spasms, shaky, cold, and clammy hands, my jaw clenches up so when I try to talk it just comes out like gibberish nonsense, I get blurred vision and extreme sensitivity to light, sleeping is impossible, etc., etc.
It's hard to fully describe what goes on mentally. My mind pretty much turns into mush. My brain's functioning is absolutely terrible. I won't be able to hold a conversation. I will forget what I am talking about in the middle of a sentence, I will forget the names of everyday things such as household appliances and stuff like that. It's so embarrassing and it's complete hell.
But the worst symptom that I have developed(especially in the last year) are the seizures. I've had at least six grand mal seizures(that I know of) in the last four or five months. The first one I ever had was my own fault for making the incredibly stupid decision of going straight off of them cold turkey. The rest of them have occurred when I was in the process of trying to safely taper of of them very slowly. The scariest part about that is even while following a serious. medically advised tapering schedule, I really thought I was doing fine. There have been absolutely no warnings that they are about to happen. I will be going about my day and then all of a sudden I come too in the back of an ambulance or on the floor with paramedics surrounding me. It's so horrendously awful. Two of the times I hit my head and had concussions as a result.
Just last week I finally checked myself into detox to solve this problem once and for all. To my total shock and horror, the rehab facility thought that three days was enough time before they stopped providing me with detox medication. I knew it was definitely wrong and I told them how I could really feel signs of possibly seizing. They refused to listen to me and so I checked out and went home.
I knew I was going to have a seizure this time, I knew it. After getting home I immediately took some Xanax that I still had. To my dismay, before they even had a chance to take effect, it happened and I awoke to paramedics and two police in my living room(Side note: There's nothing in the world I wouldn't rather awake to than police in my house).
Luckily this time I came out of it(I assume because the Xanax began to kick in) and I was able to have a family member drive me to the hospital instead of an ambulance. Regardless, another emergency room visit was made.
Today I saw my psychiatrist and very regrettably filled my Xanax yet again.
I know I have to get off this shit and I truly am trying, but right now it just seems like I am stuck in this vicious cycle.
I am openly sharing this with everyone even though I am really quite uncomfortable admitting just how seriously this drug has negatively effected me and continues to do so.
I am not trying to preach to anyone by telling them not to take Xanax or other Benzo's. I know that I am a very extreme case and only have myself to blame. I only ask that if you choose to use Xanax or any other Benzodiazepine, please, please, be careful! Don't take it too much or too often. Also, don't mix it with Alcohol.
I don't really have many enemies in life but if I did, I wouldn't wish this on my absolute worst one. I don't want anyone else to unfortunately find themselves in this situation one day... This situation which I refer to as being a "Xanax Slave".
Take care, everybody.
Thanks for reading.