Benzodiazepines for someone who used to be addicted to pain meds? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Benzodiazepines for someone who used to be addicted to pain meds?

Hi everyone, I'm 20 years old and I've been suffering with depression and anxiety for about 8 years. I was put on prozac as a teenager and it messed me up a lot so I am not willing to try SSRI's again. However during my late high school years I was heavily addicted to pain pills, literally anything I could get my hands on, but mostly norcos and vicodin. I also took a lot of sleeping pills. It kept me sedated and I didn't feel anxious all the time, but after a while I started noticing the negative effects and it was very hard to get myself out of the hole I dug myself in. I stopped that behavior about 3 years ago and the only interest I ever have in taking pain meds now is when I am actually in pain, and I take them responsibly (before I would take 5 or so at a time).
Anyway, I have recently started going to the psychiatric department for my GAD, SA & anxiety attacks that have been preventing me from living my life normally. I am doing great in school and I have a 4.0 for this semester but I have begun having anxiety attacks during class which causes me to leave the lecture and hide in the bathroom until I feel better. I also lost my job because I wasn't able to deal with customers very well as I got too shy and anxious. After seeing my psychiatrist for a while he eventually recommended valium or xanax and thinks it will help me in the long term.
I'm really scared about the thought of being on benzos, although I am a lot more mature than I was in high school and have improved a great deal. My past still lingers in my mind, and I have seen very intelligent people become addicted to xanax and ruin their lives by taking full bars of it at a time. At the same time I have been working hard for the past 3 years to better myself without medication and it hasn't worked at all, so I wonder if I might need that extra push. What are your opinions, and for anyone who have been prescribed benzodiazepines, how have they worked for you? Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 04:31 PM
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I choose my betablocker Inderal/propranolol any day of the week over my Xanax...

But benzo are ok when ones mind starts to wounder to those dark places...

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 07:11 PM
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Withdrawals are supposed to be just awful, but i find it works so good for anxiety. It seems you already like pills that make you feel good, so this isn't gonna be an exception. I find only the powerful stuff really works for bad enough anxiety like alcohol, benzos, and MAOIs. With your history id be careful. What i did to avoid benzo withdrawals was get my 30mg of clonazepam a month and have them finished by about week 3 and take a week off because they pharmacy would only give out another 30 once a month had passed. Give em a try and see if you can have some self control. You will also develop tolerance and possibly need to increase dose at some point.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 07:42 PM
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There is a medication called naltrexone that is actually used specifically for the purpose of helping those with addictions to pain meds. Starting on a dose of 5mg a day is what I'd recommend though. Going straight to the 50mg pills they have is an insane start. You will need a doctor with much knowledge about naltrexone before ever initiating treatment.

From my perspective, I don't see how many people even need 50mg+ of the drug unless they have secondary and tertiary structural dissociation. Like those with a dissociative identity disorder or complex PTSD.

Usually doses of 5-12mg of naltrexone is a good place to be at. That would be considered the low dose range. There are no pill sizes though at that range. There are only 50mg tablets I believe. Could vary depending on country though.

Doses of 100-400mg have been used. Usually people with severe opiate addictions, borderline personality disorder, or a complex trauma or dissociative disorder will benefit from those doses. The additional kappa receptor antagonism sort of comes in handy to reduce the dysphoria these individuals have. There is such thing though as too much of the drug.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 01:21 AM
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I started on 1 mg of clonazepam and after a few weeks my doctor upped the dose to 2 mg. I have been taking clonazepam every night for the past 6 years. Initially clonazepam made me happy and comfortable and reduced my anxiety makedly. But after a while it didn't do much for anxiety. However, I always take it at night because to me the drug is sedating. During the past 6 years of being on the drug I still have not been prescribed, nor have I wanted, to go over 2 mg. It still works great for sleep. I don't beleive I am addicted because I have severe insomnia thus neccessitating daily doses.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 02:03 AM
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If you used sleeping pills before you probably got quite close to the effect benzos will have. Ambien and lunesta have a very similar feel when you first start them. I actually went from such meds to benzos as my insomnia got worse to get the same effect with a longer half life and higher possible dosages. Not all benzos are equally sedating though. The commonly used ones would not be so useful if everyone fell asleep while on them but it gives you an idea how you will react and how much of a problem it might be for you.

I'm not sure but I would think something with a longer half life and more controlled dosing schedule than xanax would be a better idea if you are likely to get addicted and abuse it. Xanax is very fast and short acting so you feel great really quickly and you crash off it really quickly making you want to take another one right away. Tolerance builds fast and bad things happen if you lack the self control. Whereas if you are told to take klonopin once or twice a day with a specific dose at a specific time that is useful for your schedule and the things that stress you out you can't just slip another pill in there as easily without having to tell your doctor. Longer half life also tends to mean it start working and wears off slower so you don't feel a sudden difference in mood. I wouldn't really know though because as soon as I feel I am relying on something I want to stop using it. I found benzos the easiest thing to get off of.

The best use of benzos is with some other change or form of therapy in your life. By themselves they will not improve SA beyond when you have a functioning dose in you and that will put you on them forever. The tolerance will build the dose and changes in exact med. Eventually you often get put on something more long term with a higher side effect rate anyway. If you combine benzos with changes in activity or behavior though you can take them just long enough to confirm a situation does not need to be stressful or possibly until the situation is no longer happening but that's not as positive of step as you'll probably be back on benzos in the future.

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