When I Was a Xanax Addict

Between the ages of 18 to 22 years old, I was a benzodiazepine addict.  Doctor shopping was my thing and I would acquire such medicines like Valium (diazepam), Serepax (oxazepam), Rivotril (clonazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam).  Any were good but my favorite was always Valium because for me it produced the desired feeling and lasted a long time.  Ativan does but it used to give me an uneasy feeling too and for some reason I was scared I would fit, probably a subconsciously reactional disliking to Ativan as epileptics use that particular benzodiazepine.

Then one day my foggy minded life changed.  I was generously given a bottle of a much sought after drug for me, Alprazolam or better known as Xanax.  The ver sight of a 2mg Xannibar makes my mouth water almost and I still crave it although I am no longer addicted to or dependent on any benzodiazepine now.

I do not remember most of the year I was heavily abusing Xanax.  I had a fairly regular supply and if I ran out, I would get a diazepam or lorazepam to substitute.  Thinking about them days now, I can't believe how I kept a full time job on 6-10mg Xanax a day.  I would only take one during the weekdays at work to avoid being doped up but as soon as I got home I'd gulp 3 or 4 bars.   By the end when I sought help for my addiction I was at a point where I couldn't string a proper sentence of words together.  I had NO memory and also false memories and to this day I still have short term memory problems.

I withdrew from Xanax over a 8 month period with the help of my drug nurse, I will never forget how much she helped me, I really love her for helping me to step away from benzo addiction.  With her help by creating a slow dose reduction regimen, a prescribing doctor and a caring pharmacist who dispensed my Xanax and Valium to me 3 times a week as per the regime.  I was on both Xanax and Valium at the beginning of the program, the dose of xanax being lower and over the first 4 months, I was weaned off of Xanax and was solely on diazepam.  Then on a xmas day that year by which that time I had withdrawn from the original amount of 4mg Xanax and 15mg Valium to only being on 2.5mg Valium.  I jumped off at 2.5 that xmas day and didn't suffer any withdrawal effect.  I was over the moon but concerned because a new demon had emerged, replacing the benzo addiction with an opiate addiction, which is far worse...

I am still an opioid dependent and on 12mg daily of Suboxone/Buprenorphine and I don't see myself beating this dependence any time soon.  Xanax withdrawal was nothing compared to opiate withdrawal...

That's my story in part, I have so much more to say but readers are allways welcome to ask questions of me!

Morfius Morfius
26-30, M
9 Responses Dec 26, 2008

You are a very brave, courageous person. I wish you well.

Add a response... my daughter is addicted to Xanax. I really don't know if she is also bipolar too. what I want to know is, when addicted, did u go into rages and scream. Plus she also says things that never happened in growing up. she has told everyone what a terrible mother I was and she wishes she had another mother, telling me all the things I should have done, going to church, saying the blessing, and prayers at night and all sorts of weird things. we never missed church and said the blessing and said nightly prayers. I never yelled at the children. my son remembers all these, but she doesn't and swears all the lies are the truth. I can no longer see my grandchildren or her, after all to her I no longer exist. before she stopped speaking to me, she never talked just screamed in a rage. I weighed every word I said to her for the past 5 years, but we broke ties in june of this year. in the past she is was no dummy, she quit a $80,000 a year job to be a stay at home mom and now hates it. also, after getting clean, did u remember much of what u said to people?

opiates have always been my favorite lady though amphetamines have been a mistress for some time. im prescribed vicodin, Ritalin and Ativan now and don't abuse them but a while back if I couldn't get heroin I would take 20 1000mg vicodin a day and if I couldn't get meth I would take 10 20mg Adderall at a time. funny thing though, while heroin, meth, coke, crack, acid etc etc never scared me, and even though taking near lethal amounts of pills never bothered or scared me, as of two months ago Ativan and other benzos believe It or not scare THE **** out of me. a little over two months when I was out of vicodin and Ritalin, I wanted to feel a slight buzz so I opened my fresh bottle of 30 1mg Ativan and took 2 for a total of 2mg. now im a guy who has had many prescriptions to benzos and never have felt high even at extremely high doses. anyway, 2mg was a pretty low dose so I started In on a six pack of beer (with 6% alcohol). by the time I finished the 6 pack I felt a mild synergy between the Ativan and beer but I was no where near ****** up, just a little buzzed. it was around midnight and I was feeling relaxed and sleepy, so I lie down on my comfy bed and drifted peacefully to sleep. when I woke up around 9 the next day though all hell had broken loose. I open my eyes and immediately notice the strong smell and sight of vomit which was EVERYWHERE. on me and my bed, under the bed, in my closet, on my dresser, the walls and lastly everywhere in my bathroom save for the toilet. feeling anxious, I reach over to my Ativan bottle which should still have 28 pills in it (28mg) and its completely empty. I sit up and notice next to my bed are 6 empty beer bottles and 3 empty bottles of wine... all I remember was taking 2mg of Ativan and a 6 pack of beer drank over the course of about 5 hours and then I remember drifting off to sleep. in total and with 0 recollection, I had consumed 12 beers, 30mg of Ativan and 3 bottles of wine. I was lucky to be alive. my aunt later came in after I cleaned up and said I had been making a ton of noise all night, a lot of large thuds (I assume from falling out of bed a bunch as I had several large bruises) .after she left the room I grabbed my laptop, only to realize the screen was smashed to ****. anyway, long story short, ever since after I take my 1mg Ativan and go to sleep, I always cross my fingers that my aunt and cousin don't have a story to tell about a forgotten misadventure.

Add a response...

My boyfriend is severely addicted to bars he is not gonna get help can I help hom ive been through a short lived addiction to E

I give you alot of credit for getting off the xanax. when I read your story it was like you are writing about me. I too was on xanax and had to be weaned off with librium but then I had to take valiums for the shakes which I am going through now. I also take 8mg of suboxone which i have been on for about a year and a half now. it is hard getting of suboxone and have to be weaned off very slowly and i mean slowly. I brought myself down to 2mg for a 8mg tab. I brake it into 4 pieces and take 1 piece a day. I am not a doctor so I cant tell you what to do. but you can try taking less, doing it for 2 or 3 weeks til your body adapts to it, then go lower. but your story really hit home. thanks for writing it, I no longer feel like i'm the only one going through this.

Thanks to you all for your comments and sharings, <br />
<br />
I must clarify some things upon reading my story again. Even though at work I only took one bar, as I'm sure you may know my mind was still a foggy mess from the previous nights 3-4 bar indulgence and subsequent pass outs and 'odd' occurrences of sleepwalking and doing things like eating heaps of food, watching movies and night walks. I was unknowingly visiting people while trashed on Xanax and that is embarrassing, as I'd have no memory of it and they would recall my stupor and how I would repeat words and generally act very 'drunken' but most knew it was just the Xanax and I thank God they still love me and care for me. <br />
<br />
The long term withdrawal regime is necessary to successfully withdraw from Xanax. It is an effective but strong drug which is too easily obtained, unique to other benzodiazepines as it apparently causes permanent changes so once a person has used alprazolam, the others are never as effective and I find that true myself when I've since used occasional diazepam or oxazepam. <br />
<br />
Other benzo's just don't it anymore, even though I've been long term clean of benzo's...I still get offered Xanax sometimes and it is so hard to resist; but then I think about the fogginess, forgetfulness, clumsiness, constant sleep, amnesia and acting drunken and the memories (and lack of memories) it puts me off and I can say no confidently. As an addictive type of guy I can't just take a little bit, it is a tease. I'm the type to obliterate myself and take much more of a benzo than is necessary, as I did enjoy being 'out of it' each night when the pills would kick in and that familiar relaxing pleasure would wash through me then I would wake up.<br />
<br />
I could go on and on but I won't! Thanks again

Xanax is a terrible drug. I totalled three cars while abusing it and am lucky to be alive. I am so glad to hear that you are successfully off of it. One thing at a time and it sounds like you're on the way to sobriety with the opiate addiction. You've conquered one form, you have the power to conquer it again in another form!

First let me say well done for getting off the xanax. I actually wrote a story about coming off xanax all by myself over a two week priod ( oh how proud I was) until one day I starting having these strange twitches and electrical impulses seemed to be controlling my muscle functions. I looked like some Parkinsons sufferer. I went to the doctor and said.Do you think this is some side effect of my coming of the Xanax? Well he nearly fell off his bloody chair.lol. He couldnt believe Id done it over two weeks by myself..he got quite angry. I didnt understand the damn things had to be slowly reduced over months and months. I wanted to get off them because I started abusing them, to the point where I had to write the dates of all the different doctors I had been to so I wouldnt go back too soon and have to answer some awkward questions.<br />
Anyway, once again well done and take care.<br />
jo