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Re: addiction and recovery

Posted by Elizabeth on October 19, 2001, at 13:42:01

In reply to Re: addiction and recovery - Elizabeth, posted by Greg on October 17, 2001, at 8:37:42

You guys (galtin and Greg) are right. I should have said: "not all alcoholics are especially liable to abuse tranquilizers." Certainly some -- perhaps most -- are (and indeed, nearly all abusers of benzodiazepines are also abusing other drugs, such as alcohol).

My particular concern is that patients with anxiety who have self-medicated with alcohol in the past often don't receive adequate treatment for the anxiety. Instead they are often given ineffective treatments on the grounds that they are "addicts" (and that it is therefore presumed that they will abuse anything they can get their hands on).

A note to Greg:
> I have to watch my Xanax intake very closely as there is a fine line between the use for anxiety, and just "getting high" for me.

I've heard that Klonopin isn't very good for getting high, so it might be better than Xanax. (I personally am not impressed with either of them in the "getting high" department :-) ). Librium is another benzo that also has this reputation.

> As far as stims go, I do have an rx for Adderall, but I use it very rarely. Only when I'm extremely fatigued. I really don't care for stims much.

I think this shows that you don't have a generalized "addictive personality," but rather that you prefer tranquilizing drugs to activating ones. I don't get any kicks out of stimulants or benzodiazepines, but opioids are very effective mood-elevators for me and even though I don't have an "addictive personality," I could see myself getting addicted to opioids if I self-medicated with them for more than a brief time. (I'm fortunate in that I don't have a history of self-medicating, so doctors are more willing to prescribe "abusable" drugs to me than they might be otherwise.)

-elizabeth


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