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Prescribed medication

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:02 pm
by 7985
Hi guys
Returning newcomer after 9.5 years of sobriety. During that time, the desire to drink was lifted and ALL the promise & then some came true. I relapse two years ago. I’m almost 30 days sober and working the program. I’ve been diagnosed with depression & anxiety during my sober years and found medication that works and I do not abuse it. My sponsor is fine with me taking antidepressant, but wants me off Xanax. We tried tapering off the first two weeks and flushed them one the 2nd week. I made it one day and went into a complete panic. My head was spinning I called a rehab facility and was completely nuts! Called my doctor and immediately got more Xanax. I was honest with my sponsor and we’re currently working on tapering off again. Again, I do not abuse this drug and don’t want too. But I can’t speak or be open in meetings without them. I’m completely a ball off raw skin and want to run as far away from AA as possible. We both agree I’m not “intoxicated” quite normal and open and willing. Am I fooling myself? Am I cheating the rooms of A.A. on the medication?

Re: Prescribed medication

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:58 pm
by Brock
I made it one day and went into a complete panic. My head was spinning...

We both agree I’m not “intoxicated” quite normal…
Welcome here 7985.

Well done on coming back after your slip. For me the answer lies in the two sentences quoted, in the first case a person who doesn't need this medication would not have such a panic attack, and in the second case a person who doesn't need the medication would not feel ‘normal’ when they take it. So to me it seems plain you need this to lead what others might consider a ‘normal’ life, and your doctor agrees. I find in AA we are quick to say that taking medication according to doctors direction is fine, but also quick to exclude tranquilizers, as though it’s not medication.

Perhaps somewhere down the road you may find a solution to the problem without medication, but for the time being I would say let’s be happy alcohol is out, and not be so hard nosed about tranquilizers.

Re: Prescribed medication

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:12 pm
by tomsteve
a sponsor is NOT to be playing doctor. a sponsor has no right to say what medications a sponsee can and cant be taking.period.
there is a pamphlet titled,"The A.A. Member— Medications & Other Drugs." its worth a read.

Re: Prescribed medication

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:48 am
by Jojo2
tomsteve wrote:
there is a pamphlet titled,"The A.A. Member— Medications & Other Drugs." its worth a read.

Here is the link to read this pamphlet online ... ther-drugs

P-11 - A.A. Member—Medications and Other Drugs

The A.A. Member—Medications and Other Drugs — Report from a group of doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. members share their experience with medications and other drugs.

Copyright ©
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Re: Prescribed medication

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:16 am
by positrac
Well done on returning and learning to live sober once again. I hope you'll see the points that led you to relapse and reframe and learn new tactics to prevent these from occurring again.

About your situation and that you are 30 days sober as this means you are still in a transitional period. I have learned over the many years sober that I am NOT allowed to take on and or quit too many things at once as I'll fail and dive into depression and isolate myself.

I would suggest at least get one good clean year of sobriety and work the steps with your sponsor and then get your medicine reviewed and I mean honestly with yourself reviewed and see if you can find a new prescription that is capable and yet not addicting.

When I started my medicine some 10 years ago I was extremely expressive of my sobriety and refused anything that holds major addictions. A good doctor knows how to hear their patients and see the bigger picture

One day at a time and keep coming back.

Re: Prescribed medication

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:41 am
by PaigeB
You should have a discussion with your DOCTOR about all medications.

Let them know you are in recovery and they can chose drugs other than Xanax - which is a notoriously lovely and addictive drug. Like a solid form of booze really... I would want my sponsee off them too! I know because I had some in my purse for 2 years of my sober time. They ended up going to dust, but that is because I KNEW how rough they are and only took about 5 of them for panic attacks over about 6 months time. I did not get addicted to them, or even dependant on them. My doctor went through a lot of options before we quit trying... The AA program kicked in and it helped me cope w/o drugs.

But here's the deal... you may need medical help to taper off. You definitely need to talk with your doctor about that AND about what other medical aids are available to you. I think my doc had me take a pill at night to help with sleep but it also had a lasting effect through the day. Lorazapam - slow to start working and long lasting, it is hard to get addicted to, but it is possible. AND antidepressants can be like uppers - you might need to cut BACK on them to ease the panic attacks. I tried a lot of different ones before I got on a low LOW dose of Duloxotine.

Once you and your DOCTOR have decided on your medical care, tell you sponsor. Funny thing? My sponsor is a pharmacist. I TELL HER what is going on with my health. She has not made any suggestions or directives - yet. :lol:

Re: Prescribed medication

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:19 pm
by Brock
tomsteve wrote: a sponsor has no right to say what medications a sponsee can and cant be taking.period.
there is a pamphlet titled,"The A.A. Member— Medications & Other Drugs." its worth a read.
That is also what the pamphlet says, the very first point it makes -
•    No A.A. member should “play doctor”; all medical advice and treatment should come from a qualified physician.
All medical advise from a doctor, as was done in this case. I never had or do I want a sponsor, and things like this influenced that decision. Further, I don’t understand why a sponsor would ask about medication, when it says that’s between the patient and the doctor, and for the same reason why a sponsee would volunteer such information, it’s simply none of the sponsors business, (apart from possibly confirming that the sponsee told the doctor that they are in recovery).

Re: Prescribed medication

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:52 am
by Db1105
If your Sponsor is giving you medical advise, you need to find a new Sponsor.

Re: Prescribed medication

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:52 am
by Blue Moon
7985 wrote:Hi guys
Am I fooling myself? Am I cheating the rooms of A.A. on the medication?
Who cares if you’re cheating the rooms of AA? AA will survive. What’s important is whether you’re cheating yourself.

I’m not a doctor, but I do know that going cold-turkey with any benzodiazepine is generally considered a big No, especially the shorter half-life ones like Valium, Xanax, etc. Going cold-turkey with a benzo that had been taken with alcohol could be tantamount to suicide.

So on this evidence, the bigger fool here seems to be your sponsor. This is what gets AA sponsorship a bad name, and rightly so. I suggest finding a sponsor who understands a bit more about alcoholic recovery using AA’s Steps.

But ultimately, you’re responsible for everything that goes into your system (or not). I’ll go out on a limb and say the prescribing doctor didn’t know you were drinking. Yes, you’re fooling yourself that you weren’t abusing Xanax, because on the label it says “avoid alcohol”. When doing X while taking a drug that says “avoid X’, the drug is getting abused (i.e. ab-use – abnormally used; not used in the normal way it’s intended for).

The fact you may not have been consciously aware you were abusing a drug is not the point at this stage. All that matters right now is that your body has been affected in an unintended way. After a few weeks of getting physically detoxed, you can then look at any intent / motives.

As you agree that getting off the Xanax is the ideal approach, that seems a worthwhile objective. So the next action is to go seriously talk it over with the prescribing doctor. Oh, and be totally honest about the drinking and anything else you may have felt was irrelevant or unrelated. I would even consider getting a second pro’s opinion (definitely so if they had been aware you were drinking but prescribed Xanax anyway).

They may agree that it's a good idea and help you to taper off safely, perhaps switching up to a different benzo with longer half-life to ease any withdrawal.