Xanax… a prescription to Hell!

“I want a new drug… one that won’t make me sick… one that won’t make me crash my car or make me feel three feet thick” – Huey Lewis

My grandfather took Valium, a benzodiazepine as prescribed by his doctor daily for 10 years. One night while watching the evening news he learned the drug was considered addictive and new warnings had been issued by its manufacture. Alarmed he never took another valium from that day forwarded. His decision cost him his life. For the next three weeks he suffered horrible depression and withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug and committed suicide in the family dining room at 59 years old. It didn’t have to end that way, a medically supervised detoxification could have saved his life and been completed in 3 – 5 days. Sadly, he suffered and died in silence.

For years, I was addicted to Xanax… which is the younger cousin of Valium, and just as dangerous. I was prescribed the drug initially for panic disorders and depression. Like my grandfather, I took the medication as prescribed, and like my grandfather when I tried to stop using it…. my world fell apart.

The effects of Xanax abuse go far beyond the symptoms the drug creates. The real effects of Xanax abuse are seen in what it does to an addict’s life, mind and relationships. Since Xanax – including its generic form, alprazolam – is the most widely-prescribed of the benzodiazepines, it is also the most widely abused of these drugs. And there are hundreds of thousands of people who are suffering the effects of Xanax abuse. Between 2004 and 2010, the number of people who visited emergency rooms who were suffering from the effects of Xanax increased from 46,000 to nearly 125,000.

After opiates (pain killers), Xanax is one of the most popular drugs of abuse. Because one’s body builds up a tolerance to this drug, those who are addicted can reach extraordinary levels of Xanax consumption. For example, a CNN report on Michael Jackson’s death stated that before he died, he was taking ten Xanax a night, which was a reduction from his earlier consumption of 30 – 40 Xanax a night.

A person who is accustomed to taking Xanax may not exhibit signs of being “high” but they may not be able to conceal the other symptoms of Xanax abuse.

You might see a person manifest these symptoms of Xanax abuse:


Thoughts of harming oneself




Chest pain

Uncontrolled muscle movements



If you see signs of Xanax abuse and want to help someone get off this drug, you may need to get the person through a medical detox before they can go to rehab. Xanax and other benzodiazepines can require a very careful period of weaning before it is safe to discontinue them. Symptoms like seizures and severe mental disturbances can result if the drug is discontinued without careful support.

A person who has become dependent on this drug – which means they have come to rely on this drug psychologically as well as being physically addicted – will probably need rehabilitation before they can embark on a new, sober life. When a person is addicted, they have found an escape from life’s problems and now they must learn how to have a productive, enjoyable life while also not needing this kind of escape. This normally takes some time and also takes learning sober living skills.

A person who is addicted to a drug will very often feel that life will be unbearable without that drug. This is one of the reasons that an addicted person will fight the idea of rehab. Very often, they are just taking the drug they are addicted to so they will feel “normal,” so they can function in daily life. You take the drug away that they think makes them feel “normal” and they may not believe they can cope with life.

But they can. It takes a thorough, effective drug rehab program.

Recovering from the effects of Xanax abuse is difficult and even dangerous to do alone. Many people must be weaned off Xanax by a physician, sometimes in a medical detox environment. But when they are off the drug, the person will still need to recover from the damage the addiction does to mind, body, spirit and life. This is where the Narconon drug recovery program can help.

This addiction recovery program is drugless, meaning that no drugs are ever prescribed as part of treatment. The focus is on repairing the damage that addiction does, whether that addiction was to Xanax, opiates, alcohol or any other substance of abuse. There are some fifty Narconon recovery facilities around the world. In each one, the program is the same, taking on average eight to ten weeks to complete. The Narconon recovery program is structured so that the individual has tools that help him succeed in life and remain drug-free. The Narconon program not only addresses the debilitating effects of drug abuse on the mind and body, but also resolves why a person turned to drugs in the first place. As a result, a person can graduate from the program into a new life free from drug use.

Narconon is one of many programs available to anyone living in addiction. A quick google search is a perfect beginning to a new life. You’re reading this on the computer now… why not take a minute and do some research of your own? Learn how this and other programs can help someone you care about who is trapped in Xanax addiction.

This is my journey… this is my life.

Rob Cantrell

Stop Apologizing For Everything In Life….


“I’m sorry… so sorry… please accept my apology!”… Brenda Lee

With everyone’s every deed made public on the Internet these days, we’ve suddenly all developed a lot more to apologize for. But we haven’t actuallyfda18bbbd9623de7069c95a48b33cc07 gotten any sorrier, so all that means is that the number of fake apologies have gone up. And we’ve started to develop some pretty universal techniques for “apologizing” without really apologizing. One of the popular go-to phrases is “I deeply regret …” It’s such a useful tool in the unapologetic person’s arsenal because it doesn’t require you to admit you did anything wrong. I don’t know if it’s technically correct, but it’s common to send “regrets” to a friend whose loved one has just died, and nobody takes it as an admission that you were responsible for their uncle’s death.

For those who feel that “deeply regret” is admitting too much responsibility, they can upgrade to “mistakes were made,” the highest level of non-apology, used at the highest levels of government. Presidents as diverse as Reagan and Clinton have used the phrase, which one-ups “deeply regret” by not only leaving it open whether they are actually the culprit but existentially questioning whether there even is one.

All agree that mistakes were made, but by whom? God? The universe? Can we ever really know? Isn’t it a waste of taxpayer dollars to launch a special investigation into something that can never really be answered? Shouldn’t we leave it up to the philosophers?

0e413c244463af3d836f0ea4f4ed95c4I wouldn’t think I would have to explain this, but apparently some people require it: You can only apologize for yourself. Maybe there are some gray areas, like apologizing symbolically for a group you are part of, but you sure as hell should not be apologizing for the person you are apologizing to.

This happens all the time, often in a fairly harmless attempt to save a little face, like in a sports discussion. “Jeff, I think a lot of folks misunderstood that statement, and for that I apologize.” Maybe he really meant that folks misunderstood because “I worded things badly” or “I shouldn’t have said X” and thought it would be implied, but he never actually takes anything back, so I don’t know.

But that’s just a bit of language hedging we’re probably all guilty of. Sometimes people are a lot more deliberate about pointing the finger at other people, like the pastor who advised parents to punch their gay children. He later said, “I apologize to anyone I have unintentionally offended. I did not say anything to intentionally offend anyone in the LGBT community … It is unfortunate I was not more careful and deliberate. I can understand how these words could be misunderstood without the context of years of ministering to the people of God at Berean Baptist Church. I have received nothing but notes of appreciation and support from the people within the church.”

Some people use apologies like a get out of jail free card. “I’m sorry if this offends anyone” has sort of turned into a slang phrase that really means, “All right, folks, get ready for the edgy truth I’m about to lay down!” They don’t even intend to deceive you; this is just a new slang use of language, like when people decided to use “bad” to mean “good” or “sick” to mean “awesome.” Unfortunately, not everyone has gotten the memo on the cool kids’ slang these days, so quite often anyone using this kind of language just comes across as a very stupid person trying to trick you.

People apologize ahead of time not only for what they’re going to say, but bbafe3478f5d18d1a2da736c8107a88ealso for what they’re going to do. It’s like when someone gets caught emailing during a meeting and apologized by saying, “It’s going to happen and I’m sorry if it bothers you.” He is just going to keep doing it while they are talking about whatever they are talking about, but he said he was sorry first, so I’m sure they will have to get off his back.

Apologies do not always work at repairing damaged relationships for a reason. The reason is: many people have a misunderstanding of what an apology is and what it is for. And many people avoid offering their apology because of this misunderstanding. For many people apologizing means admitting they are wrong and the other person is right. It’s an attempt to try to restore harmony in the relationship by admitting they are less than and the other person is better.
For other people it is a meaningless word…said to try to make the other person stop being angry. This version of the apology may sometimes work, but it frequently does not because it is more of a manipulation than a sincere way of communicating.

So how do you apologize if you don’t think you did anything wrong?
The apologies that I see repairing a damaged relationship all have some things in common. These apologies are more about acknowledging the other person’s feelings…that they felt hurt and that you regret saying or doing something that felt hurtful. I call this kind of apology “The Reparative Apology”. It is called by that name because it repairs damage to a relationship.
5e3abe45da72e0d244297315e9842b9bThe key thing that makes this apology sincere and work better is this: You are not admitting you are wrong. You are simply noticing that the other person is hurt, and sharing with them that you did not want to cause them pain. And…you regret saying it in such a way that they felt pain. You wish you had said it in a way that was not so painful to them.

The reparative apology is said like this:
1. “I’m sorry I said something so hurtful.”
2. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
3. “I wish I had handled it differently.”

It may not sound like much, but the results are magical. I’ve noticed all three parts of the apology are useful. And I’ve noticed that saying just one or two of the parts don’t work so well. It works best when all three parts are said together, in the order listed above.

You can offer the Reparative Apology just after you said something hurtful or 10 years after you said it. It will repair damage either way.

If you try this apology out, I think you will see it has an impact and success that other apologies lack.
This is my journey… this is my life!
Rob Cantrell

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