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Bill
Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3705
Experience:  35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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Hello. You have no way of knowing me and may be ethically/legally

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Hello. You have no way of knowing me and may be ethically/legally unable to help me, but I thought that I would give it a try. I am a veteran of the first gulf war who has used the VA healthcare system. About 15 years ago I had a problem with alcohol and prescription drug medication. I have been clean and sober for quite sometime. About six weeks ago I had an incident that re-traumatized me into sever PTSD symptoms. I've been unable to leave my home since. I've failed a class (I'm being put through college through the VA). The VA hospital will not help me due to my illness over 15 years ago. I need a benzodiazepine, like xanax or clonazepam. I know it is a short acting drug and it is addictive, but I also know how well it helps me temporarily during my acute symptoms. A recent doctor from outside the VA prescribed Xanax XR, but it is completely unhelpful. I've not slept more than two hours per night for over three weeks. I am seeking help via my VA/Voc Rehab counselor, but cannot afford to fail another class or not be able to leave my home. I do not want to break the law. Is there a legal way to be prescribed xanax or something like it that will help me sleep and get through this in the short term until I can get some real help? I am not wealthy. I am a disabled veteran 50% service connected disability and have SSD. Thank you and Respectfully Sandy
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Sandy! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.


Let me make sure I understand: you used to have good results with benzodiazepines; but you tried Xanax XR recently and it didn't work. Is it because of the extended release part of it and you need regular Xanax or because the medication itself is not alleviating the anxiety at this time?

Are you, then, seeking something like Ambien to use short term? Can the doctor who prescribed the Xanax XR prescribe for you?

You have disability; are you then on Medicare? Can you call psychologists/therapists who accept Medicare and start working on PTSD therapy more quickly than the VA schedule?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.


Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ambien caused me to have a blackout where I went for a drive and received a drug related DUI. This was over two years ago. I've never been in trouble with the law before and do not intend to again. The charges are still pending. I DO NOT drive under the influence. This was a fluke. In addition, and coincidentally, my State coverage AHCCCS (Arizona) ended tonight and I am no longer eligible for benefits trough this program and thus the doctor who prescribed the xanax xr. My understanding is that Medicare no longer covers any benzos I do take 20 mg Celexa (my only other drug) to help target anxiety. I'm unsure why the xr does not work. I certainly do not get any immediate relief nor good sleep. I'm guessing the short acting xanax or clonazepam works better in the short term. I'm not looking to become addicted to any drug and I understand benzo's are notorious for such addictions. I do know for a fact that they work for me in the short term.... 3 weeks to 3 months. I have had PTSD for a very long time and only acute PTSD/panic/anxiety a few times in my life. (From childhood, from returning from the first gulf war and more recently). It really is a kind of hell. I can't do anything. The VA has been terrible. My VA/Voc Rehab counselor is trying to get me the only help I can get with no other insurance, but this is the government and it takes time even if they will help me at all. I really am suffering. Is there a legal way to receive an online legal prescription for a short term solution or am I naive? I do not with to break the law. I only need help. It would be a mercy, seriously. Thank you and Respectfully, XXXXX XXXXX XXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Expert:  Bill replied 1 year ago.
Hello- Thank you for asking the question. I have over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families & am happy to reply.

Sandy- I have read what you have written and will try and consolidate my response to allow you to move forward with this issue.
1) It is illegal for any Doctor to prescribe Benzos or any medication online.
2) I would continue to work with your VA/Voc Rehab Counselor to see what pans out.
3) IN THE MEANTIME, YOU ARE ABLE TO RECEIVE MEDICAL TREATMENT INCLUDING MEDICATIONS at the Community Mental Health Center in the county in which you live- regardless of your ability to pay.

IF you need assistance in identifying the mental health center in your community, simply, respond to me with your Zip Code City and State and I will be happy to identify the Center and 24 hour number you can contact to access services.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards, Bill

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. I certainly do not wish to break the law. I will contact the agency who prescribed the xanax xr and see if they can still help me without the state insurance Arizona AHCCCS. I'm pretty certain they may be able to help with the consultation, but not with the medication costs. As I said, Medicare no longer covers benzos. I will contact them and see what they can do. In the meantime, I will continue to work with my VA/VR counselor. It appears I have no other legal choice other than to wait for help. This is unfortunate since I am suffering daily. I appreciate your advice and will give you a good recommendation. Thank you. Sandy.

Expert:  Bill replied 1 year ago.
Sandy- I understand and make sure you check with the Community mental health center in the Arizona County in which you live- here is a link for the entire states programs:

http://store.samhsa.gov/mhlocator

I hope this helps and wish you the very best.

I appreciate your Positive Rating!!!!!

Kindest regards, Bill
Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3705
Experience: 35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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