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Question: I have abused alcohol for approximately two years now. I am 26- years old. I began when my little brother died & I had difficulty coping. I have always suffered from anxiety & depression but didn't begin to experience severe mental & emotional issues until the death of my brother. Throughout the past summer, I began to notice the ways in which my alcohol abuse was affecting my husband, finances, etc. I noticed that the alcohol abuse had intensified my anxiety and depression, rather than "numbed" the pain. I tried counseling, but didn't find it helpful. I began seeing a psychiatrist approximately 3 months ago. I was prescribed an anti-depressent (Lexapro 10mgs) and an "upper" (dexidrine). The medication has worked very well for me. I have had absolutely no desire to use alcohol; no cravings, thoughts, etc. I have been in social situations in which others are drinking & I have had no desire to drink. The thought of my previous lifestyle makes me sick. I feel like a whole new person now that alcohol is not in my life. My father is addicted to cigarretts and my great- grandfather was suffered from alcoholism. Other than that, addiction does not run in my family. I am a social worker & work with many addicted individuals. I guess I am wondering what advice you may have for me.. I am concerned about my recovery, knowing that I should be addressing my use but it doesn't seem to be a problem right now. I have read many times that individuals ultimately cannot overcome addictions unless the address the issue. I also worry that I may have traded the alcohol addiction for another compulsive behavior (I haven't identified any) because I see my clients doing that frequently or I may be exhibiting quirky addictive behaviors & am not aware of it. Is it normal to use actively for 2 years, discontinue & not have cravings or thoughts of use? What should I be doing to work on this, if anything if I don't find addiction treatment methods effective? Should I have bloodwork completed or any other physical exam to ensure that my active use has not affected my health? If so, what should a physician look for? Thank you in advance!!!
Submitted on: October 28, 2008
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