Courage from hearts and not from numbers grows.
- Dryden, English Poet, Dramatist, and Critic (1631-1700)
So today marks 38 days of yours truly being back on the straight and narrow, off the sauce and completely focused.
The reality of my situation is that my life vascilates between long periods of intense productivity interspersed with shorter periods of what I like to call “deep reflection.” It’s always been a proposition of either / or for me, with the middle path of balance and moderation something I’ve never been able to master, no matter how much I obsessively fantasize of drinking like the normies. The decision then becomes a choice between being an upstanding citizen, focused and diligent in my work, or being out of control in revelry and abandonment, half-part the charming philosopher and half-part the crude and outrageous blasphemer.
The truth is I love drinking more than life itself, a pretty scandalous thing for a person to admit, but in my own defense, on more days than not, I’ve chosen what’s best for those around me over that which I love best in my heart.
So I woke up this morning sober but restless and stressed out on some unforeseen and overwhelming issues that had been dropped in my lap yesterday and my roommate seeing my distress offered me a couple 0.5 MG pills of Xanax (also known as also known as Alprazolam) and I took her up on the offer, asking if she could spare four instead of two in the name of giving it an even more intense investigation, so she relented and as I began writing this, I took four 0.5mg pink pills, which equals the 2mg white pill from the picture above, the pill and dosage that’s known and loved on the streets as “Xanibars.”
A more prudent sequence would have been to investigate the drug first and then partake, but of course, being the contrarian I am, I did it backwards, popping the pills first and then searching the Internet to find the following tidbits worthy of consideration:
1) “It’s so much easier to take people off heroin. I’d rather take 100 people off heroin than one person of Xanax because I know they’ll have a year of withdrawal,” says addiction specialist Dr. Jerry Callaway.
Okay, kind of scary, but I have no plans of getting a prescription for myself and I’m not the type to bum more than a few pills from my roomie.
2) From the FDA’s adverse events data base, between 2004 and March 2011, people using Xanax reported more than 11,000 adverse events. They include 83 deaths, 107 completed suicides and 100 comas.
Sounds scary on the surface, but when you consider Xanax is the #1 most perscribed drug in America, with 47 million prescriptions in 2011, these numbers are not all that bad, especially when you consider people seeking out those prescriptions are a higher-risk category than most. Had they been given a placebo instead, those numbers might be the same or perhaps even worse. Not surprisingly then . . .
3) A spokeswoman for Pfizer, the manufacturer of Xanax says, “When prescribed and taken as indicated Xanax has a well established safety profile and is an important treatment option that has benefitted millions of patients.”
4) Users are encourage to tell their doctor if they have or have ever had depression; if you they had thoughts of suicide or harming themselves; if they have alcoholism or if they drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol; if they use or have ever used street drugs or have overused prescription medications; if they smoke; if they have had seizures; or if they have or have ever had lung, kidney, or liver disease.
Well, starting from the smoking question, at least I can say no on the last five.
5) Do not stop taking alprazolam or decrease your dose without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking alprazolam you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as seizures; shaking of a part of your body that you cannot control; headache; blurred vision; increased sensitivity to noise or light; change in sense of smell; sweating; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; difficulty concentrating; nervousness; depression; irritability; agressive behavior; muscle twitching or cramps; diarrhea; vomiting; pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet; a decrease in appetite; or weight loss.
. . . Well, I have to say that shit hit me fast. Before I even made it to writing this line, I had to lie down thinking I need to rest my eyes for just a bit, only to check my watch and realize that I’d been “resting my eyes” for four hours of nearly comatose sleep. It seems that starting off with 2mg was a bit much for this Xanax virgin, it hit me like a powerful sleeping pill more than anything else and I overshot that calm and blissful buzz so many people rave about.
Looks like this reporter will have to return again for another investigative piece on adventures with prescription meds, taking a more moderate dose of Xanax next time. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.