Gift to God

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Kathy813, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    difficult child and I have talked recently about this online support group and how much it has helped me over the years. She even knows some of the acronyms including difficult child and easy child.

    We were in the car this morning and were talking about her new job (more on that at another time). An aquaintance of hers from high school who lived in our neighborhood opened a salon (not the one where difficult child will be working) and has been highly successful. She asked if I had heard anything about him lately and I said no. difficult child said, "Well, he certainly was his family's Gift to God." I laughed and said that is was difficult child not GTG.

    I don't want to jinx anything but she is doing well. She went to a Smart Recovery meeting last night while we met with the counselor in another room. husband and I really liked the counselor and difficult child actually talked and opened up in the meeting. She also went to the meeting without the drama that we had last week. husband and I are going back next week to see the counselor by ourselves and then the following week all three of us are going to meet with her.

    The counselor said that stress and anxiety are huge triggers for substance abuse and that difficult child's anxiety disorder needs to be addressed. Both the DBT counselor and this counselor have said that Xanax would be okay if we were in control of the medication (locked up in a safe) and gave her the correct dose each day. This would hopefully not be needed as she completes the DBT program which will teach her tools for dealing with stress in other ways and avoiding triggers.

    Of course, I had a hard time with this since it is always a huge no-no in most recovery programs. Although, she was allowed to take Klonopin in the rehab center. The counselor also mentioned another anti-alcohol drug that seems to help anxiety. I can't remember the name of it but I know it started with a C. I need to ask her the name next week.

    difficult child has signed a release for me to talk with her psychiatrist. In fact, she asked me if I would like to go to her next appointment with her so I could talk to the psychiatrist about my concerns. I am going to take off a day of school to go.

    I don't know if we are taking the right approach here and I realize it could all blow up in my face. She does seem different now but I have thought that before.

  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Kathy I think it is a really positive sign that she is willing to share her psychiatrist time with you. difficult child#1 always let me be included if I wanted to be and it was reassuring. I'm hoping you guys are on the upward slope. Hugs. DDD
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I love the Gift TO God statement! It's not that far off, actually. We are all gifts from God, and it's wonderful if our lives reflect back a gift TO God, as well.

    She's making very encouraging steps, and I'm also glad you both like Smart Recovery and the new counselor. Sounds like she's settling down, one foot in front of the other. Looking fwd. to more updates about her progress - it's so heartwarming to read. Good luck with-everything.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Kathy, I am glad she is doing well... the board can use some good news!!

    Was the drug seroquel? I know my son was prescribed that to help with anxiety... it is actually an anti-psychotic drug I think, but has show to also really help with anxiety but it is not addictive.

  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Sounds like a good update!

    I'm surprised that the counselor would be encouraging regular use of Xanax, since THAT can be addictive. Isn't there any less-addictive anti-anxiety medication that your daughter could use as-needed (instead of needing whenever it starts to "wear off" ) ?
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We talked about that. Klonopin was what was allowed in rehab. I have read that it is less addictive than Xanax. I also want to follow up on the anti-alcohol drug that also reduces anxiety. That might be the best bet.

    That is why I wanted to talk to her psychiatrist. I want to make sure that we look at all of the options considering her history.

    Like I said, I am having a hard time with it, too. But this is the third person in the medical/recovery field that has suggested that monitored use of an anti-anxiety drug would help with sobriety. It's a hard concept for me to wrap my head around but it does make sense that her anxiety leads to her using substances to try to cope with stress.

    Can anyone suggest less addictive anxiety medications? I'd like to take a list to the psychiatrist appointment.

  7. keista

    keista New Member

    Well, there's your SSRIs - Paxil and Zoloft. there's also an older drug called buspar. Like anything else, these all can have very undesirable side effects. I've read that some docs are using clonidine for axiety - minimal side effects, but from a physiological perspective it makes sense that it would work.

    by the way your post made me smile. Keeping faith that things keep moving in a positive direction for you both.
  8. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Kathy, It is lovely to hear how your daughter is doing. It sounds like she actively wants to heal. It has to be so hard to do that when your whole life is a bag of stress and you are out of control, on your own, and troubled with anxiety. She is lucky to have you.

    I do know that Zoloft has a positive effect on anxiety. But as Keista mentioned, the SSRIs can have side effects. My difficult child sweats profusely and is almost numb on them-which is why she refuses to take the Celexa. I think the level of her anxiety would determine the drug. I like the idea of finding out about the anti-alcohol drug.

    Hang in there and enjoy what you can. There is always a risk with our kids-difficult child,gtg :), or not. Why is it so hard to stop worring about the future and take a day at a time?? I am trying, but wow...
  9. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    She already takes Celexa and Lamictal.
  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Kathy, you need to speak to a pharmacist. They often know more about the drugs than the doctors. Can you speak to the pharmacist who is currently filling her scripts?
  11. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    difficult child gets her medications at the community health center where she sees the psychiatrist. The only one they don't fill on the premises is the Xanax and she gets that filled at Costco. I have been doing some research about some non benzo alternatives like beta blockers and Burspar. I have also found some natural remedies such as Kava and GABA supplements.

    I think I may suggest that she try those first.
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    I used Kava years ago. It was quite nice.
  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think that the medication the counselor mentioned was clonidine. After doing some research, I found that it helps with alcohol withdrawal and also acts as an anti-anxiety medication. I almost positive that it started with a C.

    keista, could you tell me more about your experience with Kava? Did it have a calming effect? Did you take it every day?
  14. keista

    keista New Member

    I took it daily. My issues were more depression than anxiety, but it gave a "chill out" effect. I guess that translates to calming, but that term never came to mind. I stopped taking it because the one I used got discontinued and no other brands seemed to have the same effect on me.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Clonidine is the medication you are thinking of that helps with withdrawal and anxiety. It also comes in a patch form that lasts for five days so you don't have the ups and downs of taking a daily dose.

    I would NOT encourage xanax. Your difficult child NEEDS to be able to be independent to some degree and having you handle her medications takes that away. I doubt she would EVER be able to take xanax on her own - very few addicts can even after decades of recovery and sober living. I am also shocked through to the bone that the therapist even suggested it. Heck, even my pain doctor thinks that ANY other benzo but valium is better for treating anxiety even in people who do not have addiction problems. Xanax is so short acting that it probably the most problematic of the benzos because you get that in and out effect so fast. Valium actually CAUSES depression if taken for more than a week or two or maybe three - it is a known and super common side effect which is why it generally is not rx'd for regular use.

    Amitripytline is a tricyclic antidepressant that is quite good for anxiety. It can be abused so would probably need some oversight if difficult child were to use it, but nothing at all like xanax. Temazepam and lorazepam are longer acting and less addictive than xanax if a benxo is needed. Klonopin is also used for anxiety though I don't know much about it.

    If they use ssri type medications, be sure to go with one that is just an ssri and not an ssri/snri type. Prozac is ssri but lexapro, effexor etc... are ssr/snri medications. Effexor is weird because at low doses it is only working on seritonin but if you go above 75mg/dose it is more working on norepinephrine and it is likely to cause quite a few anxiety related disorders. Plus if you do not take effexor at exactly the right time you get withdrawal from Hades setting in. Taking it 30 min late will have withdrawal setting in and it is super unpleasant for many people. Not sure why, but among the people at the alanon/AA meetings here, the ones with sub abuse issues tend to have much worse withdrawal and side effects from ssri/snri medications. One visiting speaker was a pharmacist who said that this is because the effect of addiction and the various substances on the way the brain works. It can be VERY hard to get off of effexor because the withdrawal literally convinces you that you are losing your mind. I know quite a few people who had NO clue about this and their docs didn't say a word but when they wanted to stop taking it they were in for over a month of withdrawal. there are ways to help that, but if another medication can be taken then it is a good idea. On of the common side effects of effexor is social anxiety/phobia and agoraphobia even in people who have NEVER had any of that kind of anxiety before. This is why I am cautioning you - if it can do this to someone who has NO hx of anxiety, what it would do to someone with anxiety problems is mind boggling.

    There are lots of people who have NO problems wth ssri/snri medications, but from what I have learned, if you do have problems they are going to be totally horrible. I would actually suggest a shorter acting medication than ssri/snri medications if the anxiety isn't constant - temazepam or lorazepam or clonidine maybe. Simply because they are much older medications and so much more is known about the side effects of them that we still don't know about snri/ssri medications.
  16. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Be careful with kava, it's a known liver toxin. That's why it's so hard to find these days. lt's also why Celestial Seasonings took it out of their 'relaxing' tea.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well I was going to suggest that if she is going to be on xanax that she go on the xanax XL. or XR or whatever the long acting form is called. I have been on that since it came out because we wanted to change me from klonopin. Nothing wrong with klonopin but I had been on it for about 9 years at the same dose so the doctor wanted to change me to something different to work on my anxiety. I feel absolutely nothing when I take this pill. I take it at night and it works all day long. Its a 24 hour medication. I think it would be a much better medication as far as addiction goes. You dont take but one a day because it is made so it wont work if it is crushed. Lots of these newer medications are being made this way.
  18. Well, our difficult child's are part of God's family..... so, if we are doing the mothering/fathering roles of parenting these difficult child's then maybe we are GTG's. After all, these are God's children, we are just taking care of them for Him.