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Opiate Dependency and Panic Anxiety

answered 11:02 AM EST, Wed August 08, 2012
anonymous anonymous
I have GAD and panic disorder and I am addicted to lortabs and somas. I would like to try to wean myself off by tapering because I do not think i could handle a full on detox. 

My question is concerning controlling my anxiety while I reduce my daily dosage. The opiates work well to control my anxiety and when I take less my anxiety goes up quite badly. Is there anyway I can reduce the anxiety that comes with tapering? My friend recommended xanax but I think it is going to take me at least a month to taper and the last thing I want it to get addicted again to any kind of benzo. I have been through that before and I will never do that again.

Dr. Stuart Shipko Says...

In this circumstance, tapering would be very difficult, since Lortab and Soma are both agents that reduce anxiety.  You are correct to be concerned about heightened anxiety during tapering as this is going to be a significant barrier to stopping these drugs.  Xanax is not a good choice of substitute drug for the reasons you have noted.  I do not know whether or not you require detox, but you are going to require professional help if you are serious about trying to stop these drugs.  There are outpatient treatments that taper the drugs where your anxiety can also be monitored and treated if necessary.  In the face of an underlying anxiety problem, it is particularly difficult to stop Lortab and Soma - a common addiction in people with panic anxiety.

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Page last updated Aug 08, 2012

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