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Becoming a Wino with a need for some Xanax


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I've been taking Xanax (.50 mg) pretty regularly for the last 2 years without any problems.  Now, as I enter a really stressful and traumatic period of my life, I find myself starting to drink wine either with my Xanax or shortly after I take the Xanax.  Now I know this is not good for me.  This is not something I do on a daily basis.  I only do it in a crisis situation (like I just did it for something I posted on my Springer Thread - I won't discuss it here).  So maybe once every couple of months.  Of course I'm worried about it.

What can I do to prevent this behavior.  Should I run to the nearest 12 step program, or am I not at that point yet?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Jade

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Jade

Just be careful. Only you can ascertain your level of alcohol abuse. There are all types of alcoholics. You don't have to drink everyday, you can be a periodic, the most important issue is if it interfers/causes family/job related problems, health problems, etc.

If you think you have an alcohol problem, AA is great, but they are not down with tranks (Xanax.) That was always a problem with me and AA. I was in the program for 17 years. AA taught me alot about myself, but there came a point in my depression and panic disorder, that I did get on meds. With all my hard twelve step work, and sponsoring tons of folks, being a good AA person, I could never rid myself of the depression, meds did that for me.

Just be careful - you know the alcohol increases the effects of Xanax. I am not one to preach, believe you me. I did want to respond to your important post.

Sylvia

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Heya Diva,

Yah it's up to you.

If you're uncomfortable with some aspect of your drinking, that makes it a problem you can work on.

A patient was very embarrassed recently but told me her problem.

She has 1-2 drinks each day after work while making dinner.

This doesn't inpair her functioning, and she never has more than that.

Technically, by DSM, this is not alcohol dependence.

But.

Alcohol "abuse" is continued use despite harm.

And, there was harm.  She felt bad and didn't know how to change it.

Her friends actually laughed at her b/c compared to them, she wasn't having much at all.

The point (I know, I have trouble getting to my point :) ) is that if your use of alcohol is concerning to you, that counts.  It's reason enough to look at what you can change.

Sounds like you might need a med change/addition of some kind, if you're still feeling the need for alcohol as medication.

But it's up to you, according to how much it bothers you.

And, harm-reduction strategies, separate from the whole AA thing, are out there too and also work for many people.

So, there's my paragraphs.

;)

(BTW in case you're not convinced, that *is* a real patient, and it was a hard conversation for me since I was on 3 bottles of merlot per weekend at the time.)

--ncc--

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I appreciate both of your honest responses.  When I have mentioned this to my pdoc before, he's just said "No drinking!"  Well, easier said than done buddy.  I know some meds reduce your desire to drink altogether, but I'm not sure how to approach the subject with my pdoc without another lecture about the evils of mixing drink and drugs (it's like HELLO, I know!)

It doesn't help that both of my parents, who I am currently living with, are heavy drinkers (not in need of AA though).  It's part of their culture.  They've been drinking since age 12 or so, and drinking is just an everyday thing for them, like eating food or drinking water.  So when I want a drink, they don't say anything, even though they know I take medication that is contra-indicated.  ;)

Anyway, thank you again for the honest responses, they do help me realize that if I think I have a problem, I have a problem.

Jade

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Another POV: Not all people in 12-Step organizations are down on the use of psych meds. That includes sponsors, as well. I've known many who have been on ADs, benzos, etc.

Only point is: These organizations are made up of many, many people. Not all of them are closed-minded about meds. And concensus about these things may vary a great deal between particular meetings, or even geographically.

I agree with ncc. There's lot of support out there, not necessarily 12-Step. And I am not questioning your experience with AA, Sylvia. Just wanted to add that it is not always the case.

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i don't think you need to run to AA, though there's nothing wrong with AA and it helps a lot of people.

the real issue with benzos + booze is the fear of overdose.  and that you get more er, fucked up, when you mix than if you used them separatley.

you aren't on a high xanax dose, so really it's more a question of how much wine you're drinking, how often, and how drunk you're getting.

i've been to the bad place of binge drinking + benzos and it is indeed a bad place to go, and a hard place to crawl back from.

the fact that you're worried about this and asking about it is a good sign though.  yes,  it does hint at the if you think you have a problem you have a problem... but it can also mean that you're catching a problem before it gets out of control.

i don't think it's so much that you're drinking w/ xanax (though i don't advocate that) but that you're drinking when emotional.  and booze as an emotional support tool can quickly become problematic.

have you been keeping track of how many drinks and how often?  if not, you may want to jot down how much you drink each night that you do drink.  (and also may want to note why you're drinking that night.) make sure it's not escalating either in amout or frequency.  once or twice a month probably isn't like the picture of perfect behavior, but you may decide that it's not a problem.  but if it starts to get more frequent and you're drinking 3 glasses instead of 2....

take care of yourself. 

and feel free to PM me about this if you want... i can share my been there, done that with you if you're worried that you are about to actually go there and do that.

penny

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Another POV: Not all people in 12-Step organizations are down on the use of psych meds. That includes sponsors, as well. I've known many who have been on ADs, benzos, etc.

Only point is: These organizations are made up of many, many people. Not all of them are closed-minded about meds. And concensus about these things may vary a great deal between particular meetings, or even geographically.

I agree with ncc. There's lot of support out there, not necessarily 12-Step. And I am not questioning your experience with AA, Sylvia. Just wanted to add that it is not always the case.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Threadjack...

No problem, Revlow. And, you are right it could have been my experience. I will always be grateful for AA saving my ass. The 12 steps are amazing, in their simplicity and power to heal.

Sylvia

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hi all, i think if i can get to sleep (i take lunesta) that helps with the urge to drink, because i can always have that option to go to sleep.  i dont think anything in AA is against taking ANY medication that is prescribed by a doctor who you are honest with.  if you are lying to your doctor, they'd have a problem with that.  but you can take xanax or whatever your doctor recommends and not worry about being judged.  if you do go to the meeting, you can even share your feelings on it or share what i just said. 

that being said i like the harm reduction ideas and non-AA stuff better, because you can grow as a person and "recover" on your own terms and you can make anything your "meeting" (a walk in the park, a phone conversation with your friend), because a lot of the point of the meeting is just a symbolic gesture of your willingness to devote time to getting better and recovering.  but lots of people swear by the 12 steps and you will definately meet sober friends if you are smart about it and stick with the people who have a lot of sobriety time.

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