Prescribed (but controlled) medications in sobriety?

Old 04-20-2015, 06:29 AM
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Prescribed (but controlled) medications in sobriety?

I've been alcohol free for 32 days! Hooray! It has NOT been easy or fun but I have been feeling better "overall" than before, for sure.

However, throughout this time I have been taking prescribed medications which include: Lexapro, adderall, and xanax. I talked to my doctor about taking adderall and xanax in sobriety and he says its fine, as long as I'm not abusing them. (Note: my doctor is an ADD doctor, not an addiction specialist).

I am starting to feel like I won't be truly sober unless I am free of all mind altering substances including prescription drugs. These drugs must be controlled for a reason right? My doctor told me I should NOT stop the adderall and xanax, I've been on both for over ten years, but my doctor is definitely an over-prescriber and I'm cautious to trust his opinion 100%. I do have fairly strong ADD and I know it's going to mess up my performance at work if I stop taking the adderall (I've tried before), but I have a sinking feeling like sobriety isn't real if I'm still on it. Ditto for the xanax.

Obviously most people here aren't doctors, but I'm just curious on what your thoughts/experiences are on this issue: Will taking controlled but prescribed medicines mess up sobriety?
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:39 AM
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Hi Cambie,

Interesting.. I am not a doctor but I work in a field where I see a lot of children on meds for ADD. What I've learned over the years is the Adderall/Xanax combo doesn't make sense (At least to me). do you take the Xanax to help you sleep bc the Adderall keeps you awake? I've seen this have negative affects on the kiddos I work with. You shouldn't need a med to counteract your stimulant. It's possible that you could be taking too much. Maybe talk with the doc about a different dosage so you want nix the Xanax. Lexapro is difficult to abuse, according to my doc ( I take it too). I know I would abuse Xanax if I took it (have in the past) feeling anxious? Pop a Xanax! Don't want to deal with your depression or a bad day? Pop a Xanax and melt away... That was my MO. I'd chat with doctor about if and maybe get a second opinion. Also, realllyyy look into why you take your Adderall. Maybe try a different add med with no stimulant (vyvanse is a good one). Again, this is my opinion and experience. I am obviously unfamiliar with your situation and experience. Hugs!
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:42 AM
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Congrats on 32 days alcohol free Cambie i think it best to speak openly and honestly with a Dr
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:44 AM
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Hi. We don’t give medical advice on this site.
IF something is taken as prescribed I’d use it only as directed and not internet advised.

Try seeing another doctor if your concerned and perhaps rightly so.

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Old 04-20-2015, 06:46 AM
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Congratulations on a month sober!

Originally Posted by cambie03 View Post
I'm cautious to trust his opinion 100%.
My only suggestion is, perhaps, you should find a doctor you do trust 100%
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:55 AM
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Whether you're sober or not on prescribed meds depends on who you ask. You'll ultimately have to make that decision for yourself. I agree that you should be honest with your current doctor and also get a second opinion. If you were drinking heavily when you were prescribed them 10 years ago who knows what your natural state is really like. Under a doctor's supervision you may find you can function without one or both.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:26 AM
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Another vote for getting a second opinion from either an addiction specialist or a psychiatric doctor/nurse. I told my counselor right up front that I have an additive relationship with alcohol and that did influence some of my initial treatment. Having said that, it's entirely possible for some that psychotropic drugs may also be needed and shouldn't be viewed as break of sobriety, no more than blood pressure or heart or arthritis medicine would be - as long as taken as directed by your doctor.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:47 AM
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A reminder:

DO NOT give or ask for Medical advice.

We are not doctors or health professionals, so please do not ask for or give medical advice.

My suggestion is to find a doctor who you trust and start from there.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:58 AM
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Thanks for the responses everyone! Sorry if this seemed like it was asking for medical advice -- definitely didn't mean to abuse that rule if it seemed like it! Was just wondering if anyone was in a similar position
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:53 AM
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In my book, the question of medication in sobriety all comes down to a matter of intent.

If you take as directed a medication prescribed by a reputable physician with the intent to obtain relief from a condition that otherwise would impair your functionality or even imperil your survival, you’re still sober.

That goes for so-called "mind-altering" meds as well as others. The argument that someone isn’t "truly" sober unless completely free of mind-altering substances is based on the notion that all brains are created equal and will revert to a state of inherent perfection if unmedicated, which is patently not the case.

If you take prescribed drugs with the intent to get high or to escape reality, then no, you’re not sober.

I agree with the suggestion made by others that if you don’t trust your doctor 100%, or you feel he may over-prescribe, then seek out a second opinion.
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:03 PM
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I'm on several medications. I don't think for a second I'm not sober.

I follow my Drs directions, I never feel 'high' and I've never been tempted to take more than I need.

These drugs enhance my life - they don't diminish it like the ones I used to take, or how I used to take them

If you don't trust your Dr 100%, get a new one Cambie

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Old 04-20-2015, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
I'm on several medications. I don't think for a second I'm not sober.
What Dee said 100%.
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