“It’s the worst mistake I’ve ever made. I wish I had never gotten that prescription filled.”
That’s the regret Kelly says sums up her experience with Xanax. At the age of 20, Kelly says she didn’t realize what she was getting into when her doctor offered a solution to her mild anxiety – a supposed convenient solution that came in pill form.
She visited her physician with concerns about the anxiety she was experiencing each day before work. It wasn’t debilitating, but it wasn’t pleasant either. Kelly was hoping for help with this ongoing struggle. Her doctor prescribed 4mg of Xanax daily. Kelly accepted the doctor’s advice and started taking the pills.
No Anxiety, No Tips
Over the next four weeks, Kelly didn’t experience any anxiety, but she discovered this “relief” didn’t come without a price.
“I was living in a fog. Then I started falling asleep at work! I’m a waitress, almost always on the go, so that’s a pretty impressive feat. More than once, my friends told me I was drooling out of the side of my mouth a little bit. That’s not really what people want to see when ordering dinner, you know?”
As the weeks went by, things only got worse. Kelly says couldn’t carry on a conversation; she couldn’t function. Her boss suspected drug addiction and promptly fired her. When she tried to explain about the Xanax prescription, he either didn’t believe her or didn’t care.
At this point, Kelly admits she didn’t know what to do. She didn’t want to experience the anxiety she had been feeling before the medication, but was definitely not happy about where her life was going while on the pills, either.
Life on the Slippery Slope
After two months on Xanax, Kelly decided the benefits didn’t outweigh the costs. When her prescription ran out, she was happy to stop taking it, but the pills weren’t done with her. Kelly says she she almost instantly began craving the drug once she didn’t have that bottle of “little helpers.”
Kelly made an appointment at the clinic and asked her doctor for more Xanax. When he wouldn’t refill the pills, she simply went to a different physician. He wrote her a new prescription, but Kelly soon discovered that bottle didn’t last very long. On top of that, the pills were starting to wear off a lot faster, so she was doubling up the dosage.
This pattern continued for a few weeks longer. Approximately six months from her original doctor’s appointment, Kelly had finally reached an all-time low. She knew she had become physically and psychologically dependent on Xanax. She couldn’t get a new job – she couldn’t really do much of anything. She knew she needed to stop…she just didn’t know how.
Getting Clean Isn’t Easy
Kelly quit taking Xanax. She recalls, “I still couldn’t function properly. I had to make it through withdrawal first.”
She experienced the typical withdrawal symptoms associated with Xanax. “I was anxious – even more than I was before starting the drug. I couldn’t sleep. I threw up a lot. Several times I was so depressed I just wanted to end it all.” Fortunately, Kelly’s friends and family supported her through this and she was able to come out on the other side Xanax-free.
Kelly says she’s determined to find non-pharmaceutical solutions for her anxiety and recommends others do the same.
“If I could give anyone out there some advice it would be this: Don’t jump into the arms of a prescription when all it offers is temporary relief and a painful withdrawal in the end. It’s just not worth it.”
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