I had been drinking heavily, alcoholically since I was 14 and alcohol was no longer working for me. I was not finding the relief I wanted from booze anymore. So, I started searching for something else to fill that void. Not a healthy alternative because I was still so deep in my disease. No, instead I found uppers that I liked and that let me drink all night. But the problem was, when I was ready to go to sleep, I had no patience and the anxiety of having my heart racing, my teeth grinding, all happening while I was laying wide awake was unnerving. I needed to find a solution to this unbearable problem. Again, I didn’t look for a healthy option. No, instead I did my research and found that Xanax would knock me out even after a night of stimulates. Now I just had to figure out how to get my hands on them. I had read that Elvis Presley would look up the symptoms of illnesses to tell to his doctor to get prescribed whatever he wanted. And in my addiction, I thought this was a wonderful idea.
My alcoholism had made me into a bold faced liar so manipulating my doctor seemed as easy as pie. I made an appointment, told the doctor exactly what I knew she needed to hear, and was prescribed Ativan. This was like a slow release Xanax and just wouldn’t do for my purposes. So, I made another appointment with my doctor and told her my panic attacks happened so suddenly and intensely that I needed something else that worked more quickly. I told her this in a steady confident voice and I let her lead the conversation. My doctor told me, “I know the name might scare you, but I think Xanax would be best for you.” I had to do everything I could to suppress the smile on my alcoholic face. With that prescription I was able to order my drugs online and have then shipped directly to my house. I didn’t even have to interact with any other person. And just like that I had a bottle of Xanax delivered to my front door every month for $5. My doctor had thus become my best, cheapest and most reliable drug dealer.
Xanax was just too perfect for me. It was easy to get, inexpensive and the best part was no one could say shit to me about taking it because “it was my medicine prescribed by my doctor.” Countless times I defended my excessive Xanax use by saying, “If I had diabetes you would want me to take my insulin shots wouldn’t you?” I shut people down and refused to speak any more on the topic, telling them, “You’re not my doctor.” And I began taking it daily because I liked the effects.
Over the next two years, my alcohol and drug addiction progressed rapidly. I never went back to see my doctor face to face during that two year period. Anytime I wanted to up my dose or I had “lost my bottle” all I had to do was call my doctor and I was given exactly what I wanted. No questions asked. I wasn’t the “drug addict” my doctor had been warned to look out for; I had good insurance from a good job; I paid all my bills on time; I was young, always dressed nicely. I spoke intelligently, and was well informed from my massive amount of online research.
When I finally hit rock bottom and ended up in a rehab, the psychiatrist at rehab clinic looked wide-eyed at my chart and said, “You’ve been on Xanaxs for two years??? How did that happen?” He was obviously bewildered when I said, “Your doctors have been prescribing it to me.” Xanax is not meant for long term use and I should not have been taking it daily for two year, especially with my excessive drinking and recreational drug use. My mind had gone to complete mush because of my consistent Xanax use. I had once been quick witted & funny, but I had turned into a Stepford wife — too slow to react in time to make good conversation, much less a joke.
Now I am almost 18 months clean and sober and I am very active in a 12 Step Group. My mind has started come back to me, but I don’t know if I will ever fully be like I was. The Xanax rewired my brain and the damage may be permanent. I guess only time will tell. My alcoholism took many forms while I was out there and I’m so thankful to my family, my support group, and my current doctors for really caring for me and helping me get healthy. My Xanax doctor should not have prescribed me drugs for such a long period of time and made getting more so easy for me, but in the end I’m grateful. I’m grateful because my drug dealer doctor probably helped me hit my rock bottom sooner and allowed me to ask for help sooner. This could have saved me years of heartache and pain. So, for that I’m grateful.
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