I Need a New Drug

OK, “times are bum and getting bummer,” as the old song goes. I don’t drink (allergic to hooch), do not want to get into the illegal stuff, thanks, and I do not want an anti-depressent. I know why I’m anxious and depressed and curl up in a fetal position and whimper to myself every 20 minutes or so, it’s because my life sucks right now and is apt to continue sucking for another year or two. So there is no need to fiddle with my brain chemistry, which goodness knows is delicately balanced enough as it is.

I can’t get a goddam appointment with my goddam doctor till July the goddam 29th, but when I do see him, I am going to plead with him for some pharmaceutical assistance to get me through these Hard Times. I told a friend I was going to ask for some Valium, and he said, “Jesus, that’s like St. Joseph’s Downers for Children, you want something stronger than that!

Any of you know which tranquilizers I should ask for a prescription for?

Neely O’Hara

Don’t go running for the shelter of a Mother’s Little Helper - you’re a stronger person than that.

If you know why you’re down, then you know what to do to get un-down. You don’t have to do it all at once, either. Re-think some priorities. Get some more exercise (I know, I know - humor me). Look at things from a different perspective. Take up a completely new and un-Eve-like hobby or interest. Paint your nails a different color, buy that string bikini even if you never wear it anywhere except into the bathtub.

I don’t really know you at all; however, I do know enough about you to recognize that you’ve already made some BIG changes in your life. That shows that you’ve got the inner strength and fortitude to do what it takes to make your life better.

Like the silly ad says, “Just do it.”

What a great feeling of accomplishment you’ll have at the end - and if all else fails you can go to the doctor and say “I tried it Plnnr’s way and it didn’t do shit - give me drugs. Now.”

This ends today’s Sermonette.

“Who’s stoned? I’m travelling incognito!” - Neely O’Hara, *The Valley of the Dolls * (movie)
Eve, I hear percocet is coveted by those who wish to dull the pain of everyday life.

Allergic to Percocet and Darvocet. And I don’t think a doctor would prescribe them as anything but painkillers, anyway.

Also allergic to exercise, reordering my priorities and looking at things from a different perspective.

Well, in one long-ago period of anxiety, I resorted to Valerian root which is sort of a sedative tea. It’s related to catnip, so your cats might like it too.

The downside is that a tea brewed from used dishtowels and floor mops would smell and taste considerably better.

You might want to look up L-Theanine. It’s a derivative of green tea and it’s meant to be a ‘mood enhancer’, among other things. Just a thought.

In that case there’s only one thing left to do - wallow in your wretchedness. Get down and dirty with the black funk and gunk that is your life. Take off all your clothes and slither around in the foul-smelling miasma that is your condition until you reek of road-kill, the sewer, and a fat, hairy old man’s jock strap. Pretty soon you’ll get tired of it and say, “This is boring, and besides, I stink.”

Or you could turn Goth. How do you look in black? Are you allergic to clove cigarettes and white makeup?

You might consider Neurontin (gabapentin) or Gabatril (tiagabine). Both of these medications are marketed as anticonvulsives, and hence indicated for epilepsy (often used as an adjunct to another drug, since they’re not hugely effective on their own).

Gabapentin seems to increase the release of the neurotransmitter gama-aminobuteric acid (GABA) from neuroglia, while tiagabine is a GABA re-uptake inhibitor. Both boost the levels of GABA available to GABA receptors, and that is their putative mechanism of action. Benzodiazapines, like Valium (diazapam), boost the action of GABA by “allostearic enhancement” of the firing of GABA receptors; they basically make GABA work better than it can on its own. GABA is one of the major inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain, and deficiencies in GABA signaling have been implicated in anxiety disorders (though there’s little evidence these disorders are always caused by a “chemical imbalance”).

At any rate, these drugs might be worth a try before hitting the benzos because of their lack of abuse potential. Gabapentin is especially nice, as it’s rapidly cleared by the kidneys and has virtually no pharmacological interactions worh worrying about (with the exception of adding to the sedation caused by any other sedating drugs you might be taking).

I’ve never tried either, but I’m told they both are mildly anxiolytic drugs that usually lack troubling side-effects besides sedation and some cognitive impairment (both of which will be experienced with benzos to an equal or greater degree).

Another thing you might try is Buspar (buspirone), which has no direct effect on GABA signaling, but rather is a serotonin 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist and a dopamine D(2) receptor antagonist. These effects are again behind the putative mechanism of action of the drug as an anxiolytic/antidepressant. The side-effects are usually mild if you have any, but the ones I typically hear about with this drug are dizziness, headache, drowsiness, rapid heartbeat, and nausea.

According to what I’ve read, your best bet for overall efficacy, safety, and quality of life would probably be an antidepressant, especially of the SSRI or SNRI class (Prozac and Effexor being typical examples). You hopefully understand that any drug which can actually make you less anxious is going to have some effect on your brain and the chemicals therein. If an effective drug is what your after (and not the latest snake oil from the supplement pushers), there’s no avoiding that. Probably the best pure anxiolytics on the market are benzodiazepines, since they calm you down without knocking you completely on your ass, but they also induce rapid tolerance and can be pretty addictive. Neurontin and Gabatril hit the same overall system (supposedly) as benzos, but are more sedating and stupifying than anything. None of these are usually much good for depression, and benzos can actually worsen depression. SSRIs or Effexor, when they don’t cause agitation (and work at all) are good for both anxiety and depression. Effexor has the downside of being difficult to stop taking rapidly, as that can cause some pretty severe physical sickness. All these drugs can have the problem of causing anorgasmia and other sexual side-effects. Buspar, in principle, might actually increase libido, but I’ve never heard of such a thing in practice; rather I’ve heard of some rare, but really bad reactions to Buspar; but when it works, it apparently works pretty well.

Good luck to you, Eve! I say, just because you know why your life sucks, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for some help with getting through the sucky stuff; that includes antidepressant medications and therapy. Stay away from narcotics and booze if you can. And as for supplements: caveat emptor. Often they lack noticible side-effects because they don’t actually do much of anything to your central nervous system. Also, they can have some unforseen liabilities, as we saw with St. John’s Wort (got a lot of AIDS patients sick or dead because it boosts the levels of drug metabolizing enzymes in the liver, thus interfering with the effective dosing of antiretrovirals…nobody regulates this stuff at all, so we usually find out bad news the hard way).

Best wishes! :slight_smile:

Please reconsider a tranquilizer for anything other than a short-term solution. I’ve been in trouble with painkillers and know several people in Narcotics Anonymous who started their downward spiral with long-term use of tranquilizers or painkillers for a legitimate purpose.

My husband was just diagnosed with social anxiety and general anxiety disorder recently. He was given Ativan about a month ago, but has only taken it three times. He was also given relaxation techniques for when the anxiety starts. In fact, he’ll be seeing his psychiatrist at 3:00 (EST) today to find out what medicine he’ll be put on for long-term use.

What exactly is it that puts you off about anti-depressants? Is it the “evening-out” of your moods? If so, I can understand that. I was on Prozac after I first got clean, but not only did I not have the lows that I was experiencing, but it took away any natural highs. Good God! You just don’t DO that to an addict! :wink:

There are so many anti-depressants these days. It just takes awhile to find the right one. I’ve heard Lexapro is good. I may try that one myself when I get some more clean-time under my belt. I’m trying drug free for awhile. ::sigh:: :rolleyes:

Good luck.

Eve, another vote for anti-depressants. Prozac changed my life.

Good luck to you and feel better!

I was going to amuse Eve with my “I Need a New Drug” parody entitled “You Need a New Couch” but it’s not turning up in search.

I have a friend who uses Ambien occasionally for sleeplessness. She’s a hyper little thing naturally and chronic insomniac to boot. So her doc gave her Ambien for every-now-and-then when she has to catch up on her sleep. (8 hours guaranteed - no exceptions)

My dad recently started Lexapro (an antidepressant) and is having wonderful results from it. He’s sleeping longer and feels better. But this pill is for long time use.

If looking for something long term but not habit forming, try Melatonin. DeHusband uses it - it’s a synthetic version of the “sleep” hormone and you take it 30 minutes before you want to sleep. It helps drop you into a natural sleep and doesn’t give you that dopey feeling in the morning. Melatonin is over-the-counter and very mild.

Valerian root? L-Theanine? Melatonin? Feh. Tree-huggin’ hippie crap. Might as well suck on a daisy.

I don’t want to take anti-depressants, which fiddle with your brain chemistry and have to be taken for three months before they even start working—I just need the legal, prescribed equivalent of an occasional cocktail after a real hard day.

If my doctor says no, then I’ll have to call my friend Terry, who can get me anything from laudanum to Lydia Pinkham’s . . .

I dunno. With AD’s my mom usuall gives up on one and moves the patient to the next if she doesn’t see any results by six weeks. She sometimes sees improvement in under a week, or anywhere from two-to-four weeks. YMMV, of course, but the three month figure sounds too long.

Also, again, any drug that gives you the “prescribed equivalent of an occasional cocktail” is fiddling with your brain chemistry. If you want a chemical to do something to you, you’re messing with other chemicals to do it. There’s no getting around that. So if it’s “brain chemistry” you’re worried about, you better stay away from all drugs, period.

Having said that, the closest thing you’re going to get to a good booze-buzz is a minor tranquilizer, a.k.a. a benzodiazepine. Ativan or Xanax might be good options if you don’t want too much of a hangover the next day. Klonapin might be good for a more gradual and prolonged effect.

Oh, also, don’t buy GABA-containing supplements. They probably won’t hurt you, but the won’t do squat for anxiety either, because GABA won’t cross the blood-brain barrier; it has to be synthesized in the CNS.

It sounds like you’re looking for. . .

One that won’t spill
One that don’t cost too much
Or come in a pill
One that won’t go away
One that won’t keep you up all night
One that won’t make you sleep all day
One that won’t make you feel too bad
One that won’t make you feel too good
One that won’t make you nervous
Wondering what to do?

Well. . .

Pot’s about as legal as it gets and satisfies most, if not all, of these requirements. No one’s going to care if you buy an ounce from someone and have an occasional toke.

Do the doper thing, get a bikini wax :cool:

OK, now we’re cookin’ with gas. When I see Dr. Feelgood on the 29th, I’ll say “Valium? Ativan? Xanax? Klonapin?” to him and see what he says.

(He’ll probably say I sound like Bart Simpson conjuring up zombies)

Take two kitties and call us in the morning.

Seriously, would a non-medicinal approach like getting a loving pet be worthy of consideration?

I have two kitties. Brain-damaged Lillian and Bond-villain Dorothy. Too big to choke down with a glass of water.