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Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience:  APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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My question is a follow up to the last question I asked in regards XXXXX XXXXX medication Xanax which I have uses for many-many yrs. first for severe panic attacks, phobias that develope and some ADHD symtons. However later on after 3 pelvic surgery's and a probable injury to bladder in my 20's when I had my first son during a long and also long hard forcep delivery not only exhaustion and post-pardem depression panic attacks interfere with functioning etc. Found Xanax very helpful. Since and app. 20yrs.+ later- Developed a severe and disabling urinary illness along with the worst Chronic Pain 24/7 much like labor-type pain accompaning by urgency and frequency interuptions night and day. I no longer drink and have not since became ill 20=yrs ago and am on many addictive medication for pain along with Xanax which had already been using. Question is; Why do some say Xanax has the same effect in Brain? as alcohol? I find this hard to believe and helps me function better?? What is really true
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 5 years ago.
Hello:

Xanax has the same effect in the brain as alcohol because they are in the same class of drugs (yes, alcohol is a drug) and travel to the same receptors in the brain. That means that if you take Xanax and alcohol at the same time, you are in danger of overdose, because they potentiate each other. It is very dangerous to take both at the same time.   

You may have noticed that when you drink alcohol you calm down, because alcohol is a Central Nervous System(CNS) depressant. Xanax and any benzodiazepine is also a CNS depressant. They help you to function better because they calm you down.

The danger is that both of them are terribly addicting, they potentiate each other, and the withdrawal symptoms are life-threatening.

There are much better drugs that you can take for the anxiety such as Zoloft, Effexor, Lexapro or Pristiq. Please ask your doctor about this.

Warmest regards,
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience: APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
Carol Kryder LMFT and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I do not drink any alchol and am not taking Xanax just for anxiety. I have many internal illness and have been classified perm. disabled from them. Although 30yrs. ago when I was in my mid 20's suffered greatly from what we now know as panic attacks that were so bad I was not able to leave the house and I had a baby to care for also. Probable a lot of post pardem depression/ Ver long and hard labor-delivery that damage the bladder on forcep for I was very strong and determined to have him not only vaginally but also without any use of drugs.In my 40's I was diag. with a very painful and crippling urinary disorder/illness called Interstitial Cystits complicated by too many pelvic surgerys and have nerve damage to the bladder. Also many intestinal problems. I gave up drinking and having fun over 15yrs. ago.SO Sorry to hear Xanax has the same chemical make-up as alcohol for I was proud to have had more then 15+ yrs. of sorbiety I thought. These is a huge disappointment to here again that they are thought of as the same and have the same damaging effect on the brain as alcohol, hoping not to be the same for I feel drinking has terrible effects on your mental thinking and functioning and social behavior. I do not think I am able to get off of Xanax and I do of course take Zoloft started app. 10+yrs. ago due to the long-severeity of the amt. of day and night pain I experience 24-7. I appreciate your answer and wish you could tell me a little more now if you understand my circumstances?? Can I ask you a second question and that being is it really true that taking Xanax without alcohol affecting me and my behavior as if I was using Alcohol and being an Alcohic? Pls. if you can help me figure this out? Thank you for your first answer and I do trust you know what you are talking about.. So I will put in a bonus it able to tell me a little more about this. Thank you- Debbie.
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 5 years ago.
Of course you can ask another question, and thank you for the bonus.

It is not so much that Xanax affects your body the same as alcohol (alcohol is much worse as far as damage to internal organs), but being in the same class of drugs, it does have addictive qualities.

I don't think anyone acts the same way on Xanax as they do when being drunk, but that may be a cultural difference. When you think about people drinking, it is usually in a social situation, and it is much more likely that they will make a mistake in judgment or commit a social blunder due to the lack of inhibition alcohol usage causes. Xanax is specifically prescribed for relief of anxiety, and usually not meant for recreational use. Therefore, it is less likely that one might make a social blunder while on Xanax. You take Xanax to calm down. You drink alcohol to have a good time.

However, you say that you cannot give up the Xanax, and I think you may want to consider that you have a dependence on the Xanax.   There are many people who are addicted to legal prescription drugs. I am sure you have noticed that you are not as alert while taking Xanax and really should not drive a car.

Again, I think culturally, we as a society are more comfortable with a drug that is prescribed by a doctor. It gives us a sense of validity, while there is a significant prejudice against heavy drinking and drunkenness. Some people still believe it is a character defect.

I can appreciate that you have had many serious medical problems and have needed relief of your anxiety, depression and pain. With a history such as you have, it is easy to become dependent on the drugs that make you feel better. That is why it is so important to take these drugs under the supervision of one doctor, so that doctor can be aware of all the drugs you are taking.

Please let me know if you have further questions.

Warmest regards,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you and I do understand some of it? I still do not understand if medically needed and yes under the care of one DR> although have also been review and have had to carry the long list of meds. with me when looking into more help to get better and get bladder function and going through surgeries only to be disappointed to no success for there is no cure for what I have and some of us nothing left to do but to kept under the care of Dr. supervise care for pain control and of course anxiety and many other disorders. Why do I still feel as if I should be made to feel shamed and blamed for things that help me remain as functional and out of bed not in so much pain and insanity that I would be better dead. No one can survived with level 6-8 level pain daily and no real end in site so far and I have tryed it all?
And NO I do not feel less alert on the medications on and in which in combo with and mostly Xanax and pain meds. Without would not think of getting behind the wheel for am not able to think nor function clearly with the amt. of pain I have. Think it is far more harmful to drive if upset and unable to concentrate lacking focus from dealing with way too much discomfort. Not only that but the pain alone is so very tiring. It's a tough argument I know. But for me, I know what is true. Thanks for all.
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 5 years ago.
Bless you, dear lady. You are carrying a heavy load. Please do not allow anyone to make you feel ashamed.

Warmest regards,

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