Search for Addiction Treatment Centers Near You Forums Substance Abuse I’m a perfect college student, wealthy….but I’m addicted to pills….help!

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    Hi! I’m a 18 yr old college student at a prestigious university with what appears to be a perfect life. Here’s some background: I grew up in San Diego from a very wealthy family. Starting in a very highly regarded public school. I started smoking weed in 9th grade and still do. Since my parents are doctors, I started to explore all sorts of pills that I could get as easy as leaves on a tree. I started taking percocets, norcos, xanax, valium, adderal, somas, whatever.

    I wouldn’t do them during school, but I would always get pilled out and stoned after school.

    Money and supply were never a problem. I have hundreds of thousands in my bank account and never once bought pills, cuz they were everywhere. I was always on pills after school and when I went to sleep for months straight.

    Here’s the catch: My GPA was a 4.35 OVERALL for my high school time. Which means all As, all As. I got a 2350 out of a 2400 on my SAT. I volunteered for illegal mexican children at a day care 3hrs/day for 3 times a week. I played soccer games on the weekends and practiced two hours, two days a week. I got my black belt in Karate, 3 times a week for an hour each time. I ran 2 miles every day.

    My family thought I was perfect, and looking from the outside I was. What parents wouldn’t LOVE to have kid like me? Perfect grades, extracirriculars to the whazzoo, I loved to travel, talk to parents, I love politics/world events and can debate any adult on virtually any subject in terms of politics.

    But inside I was very sad. I was sad because I had so much money and I led a perfect life. But what is perfection? I didn’t feel perfect. I felt horrible, so that’s why I started taking all these pills and havn’t stopped.

    So, now I’m at college and I’ve toned down the pills. Before I go to bed I take 3 10mg ambien, and then an hour later 3-4 mg klonopin. Sometimes I’ll take a 2mg zanax and I smoke every day.

    From the outside, I do great in class. I lead class discussions. I look like a straight edge kid who’s perfect. BUT I’M NOT AND I’M SO DEPRESSED because how do I attain perfection if I already have it and it doesn’t feel like perfection? What do I do in my life to make me happy? More money? I have so much money I could buy a Bentley and a multi million dollar house along with it, and I’m 18. Isn’t that the American dream? To own a house and a car? Well I could get that tommorrow.

    What’s wrong with me? I think it’s just beause I don’t know what makes me happy. The only true happieness I feel is when I’m in my garden, or running through the hills of Rancho Santa Fe or the beautiful beaches of San Diego.


    Wow, I don’t even quite know how to respond except to say that I think you are realizing money can’t buy happiness.
    Can you try and remember what led you to this? Have you thought about seeking out help such as NA or AA? An addiction counselor? It will be anonymous so you don’t have to worry about that unless you are well known in your area, and if so, go a few towns away?

    Even though I didn’t have the money you do I didn’t really hit a bottom before I decided enough was enough. (BTW, I did the same with those Ambien.. one was never enough, had to feel the high)
    I think if I was wealthier I’d still be drinking and popping pills.

    What is your relationship like with your family? Is there anyone you can confide in?

    There’s a good side to this.. you realize it’s a problem or you wouldn’t be here!


    Hummmm… Addiction doesn’t discriminate… that’s for sure. Look, if you are done with this and want to make a change then be done with it and make a change. Who cares if someone thinks of you as perfect or “straight edge”… My family had no idea until I just told them… “Mom, Dad, I am checking into detox this morning and I thought you should know”. I was prepared for the worst (including “don’t call us again”) but SURPRISE!
    They knew something wasn’t right and while they didn’t think it was addiction they were glad to be able to place a name on it. You change when you use, no matter how hard we try to “maintain” or how “functioning” we remain at school. The light that was in us as innocent people fades and those who are closest know it.
    Even if you family disowned you, what’s the worst that can happen? You find inner peace and happiness? You have to leave school to go work a 9-5? Maybe it will be humbling and give you the dose of life you seem to be looking for.
    Either way, keep us posted. I would like to know what you will do.
    BTW, you school has a medical service (you go there when you get ill) and you can walk in there anytime and tell them that you are having a “break down” or whatever you feel comfortable calling it initially. THEY CANNOT TELL YOUR FAMILY OR ANYONE ELSE (besides those who will be involved with your care). They will even help you with time off to get well… Don’t just continue to live in hell because your scared to tell your family that you have a problem. We all have our own version of hell and while I wouldn’t have minded being a junkie and having all of that money… maybe you know how bad it can be and that is your hell.
    We have all come to that “MAKE IT OR BREAK IT” stage of life and are better for it. I hope you find what your looking for. Whatever that may be (it doesn’t sound like all that money is doing much for you… maybe you need to “go it alone” for awhile)!
    CONGRATS… you are on your way to a better life!


    Be very careful QUITTING the benzos abruptly. Cold turkey is NO way to go with this class of drugs. Get some help from a doctor. Slow tapering with valium is the best way to quit.



    I was poor my whole life and miserable.
    I got married and attained money, had two beautiful children; a wonderful husband;butthere was always a hole. I’ve been sober almost three months and it’s still hard. You say you like gardening. That’s a beautiful thing to do. I guess what I’m trying to say is addiction doesn’t discriminate, and I truly believe that something inside the addict is missing and we use our doc to fill it. Have you thought of counselling? Also, if your dad is a doctor, he’s seen an addict before. Hopefully if you talked to him he would be sympathetic? I don’t know what else to say, except keep coming.


    Benzos cause depression and emotional blunting. Using as much as you are is going to cause you much misery in your life, as you are finding out already. The more you use the worse it gets. When i was taking klonopin, I too was very sad and unhappy with my life. It was the effects of the drug that was causing the horrible feelings and destroying my life and health. Read the Ashton manual to educate yourself about what you are doing to yourself. All the money in the world won’t fix what the benzos are doing to you or what you will end up as due to their nasty effects.

    Depression, emotional blunting. Long-term benzodiazepine users, like alcoholics and barbiturate-dependent patients, are often depressed, and the depression may first appear during prolonged benzodiazepine use. Benzodiazepines may both cause and aggravate depression, possibly by reducing the brain’s output of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). However, anxiety and depression often co-exist and benzodiazepines are frequently prescribed for mixed anxiety and depression. Sometimes the drugs seem to precipitate suicidal tendencies in such patients. Of the first 50 of the patients attending my withdrawal clinic (reported in 1987), ten had taken drug overdoses requiring hospital admission while on chronic benzodiazepine medication; only two of these had a history of depressive illness before they were prescribed benzodiazepines. The depression lifted in these patients after benzodiazepine withdrawal and none took further overdoses during the 10 months to 3.5 years follow-up period after withdrawal. In 1988 the Committee on Safety of Medicines in the UK recommended that “benzodiazepines should not be used alone to treat depression or anxiety associated with depression. Suicide may be precipitated in such patients”.

    “Emotional anaesthesia”, the inability to feel pleasure or pain, is a common complaint of long-term benzodiazepine users. Such emotional blunting is probably related to the inhibitory effect of benzodiazepines on activity in emotional centres in the brain. Former long-term benzodiazepine users often bitterly regret their lack of emotional responses to family members – children and spouses or partners – during the period when they were taking the drugs. Chronic benzodiazepine use can be a cause of domestic disharmony and even marriage break-up.


    I had it all together when I was in college too. Man I was smart and beautiful. I could dance the night away and still get up and make an excellent grades in class. Pills/booze/coke/whatever was a great way to party then. However, as I got older I wasn’t as cool on the drugs as I used to be. And GPA’s don’t matter much in the real world but being a drug addict will really screw you up.

    I hope you get off them before you get to the point I was at – 37 and I didn’t have crap. A college education won’t buy you anything if your screwing up your life with drugs. Black outs are no fun. DUIs are no fun. Chasing a high is no fun.

    Addiction is progressive. Eventually you won’t be able to control it. That is true for every addict.

    Are you ready to quit? I hope you figure it out sooner than I did. I missed out on my best years because I was too stoned and stupid to care.

    Life now is better than I ever imagined it could be. I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to deal with my problem. I put myself through hell getting to this point.


    @SoCalBenz 1493981 wrote:

    Isn’t that the American dream? To own a house and a car?

    No. It’s not.

    The “American Dream” is a meaningless concept fabricated by the media and our families. Our families want us to have security, they don’t want to worry about us, so they tell us that money will keep us safe. Our capitalist country needs to sell things in order to survive and so our present society is based on the idea that money can buy happiness as long as we buy the newest and best. And so the “American Dream” tells us we need a house, a car, and a job that pays six figures in order to be successful, but that is not true.

    True success is doing what you love.

    Right now I love what I do and so even though I own neither a house or a car, I am rich.

    I’d suggest chasing a new and better dream than the “American Dream”, yours.



    So – SoCal – you have learned the hard way – the “American dream” is pure propaganda – capitalism doesn’t work. (“American nightmare” may be more appropriate?)
    But you can find another way…………….. it’s up to you.

    I want to concur with Windy on the benzos. If you are from a medical family – then you may well know that ambien, klonopin, xanax etc are about the worst group of drugs to mess with your brain chemisty.
    If you decide that your life has to change – then you will have to take advice on getting off these drugs. No way can you just stop – and the best way to go is by long slow taper from valium. (google Ashton Manual)

    Hope you find some answers…………… you are young and have your whole life ahead of you…………. so time to take up the challenge, get honest, regain control of your life…… for continuing down the path you are on just now is too horrible to contemplate?
    Hope you do……..


    Have you spoken to a doctor yet?

    I suspect your pill abuse may be contributing to your depression.

    American Dream?

    I don’t really know what that is but if there had to be an “American Dream” I can hardly imagine it would consist of merely buying a house and a car.

    Is not the freedom to pursue your own happiness what the American dream is. regardless of what it is?

    I think Thomas Jefferson said something like that.


    Hello SoCal,
    Here’s what happened to me:
    I was very successful while on drugs(school-work) VERY!
    Eventually I crashed biiiiiiiiiiiig time and lost it all. I started around the same time you did and went on untill I was nearly 40.
    Save yourself today, go to an NA meeting. Tell someone in person.
    I wish I asked for help at 18….


    Addiction doesn’t care whether or not you have money, what color your skin is, where you live, what you own, how old you are, if your male or female, it does not discriminate, at all. It is an equal opportunity destroyer. Why we have it is a whole let less important than how we get out of it.


    So Cal; everyone’s been mentioning the American Dream? Mine is at 11:00 at night when the house is quiet, I’m reading a book. I put the book down and go in and look at my little girls sleeping. I’m finally realizing that’s enough for me.


    CCGirl, that is so very very true!
    I usually have to wait up a long time on weekends to see my two girls (teenagers) sleeping, I do go in their rooms hoping to catch them sleeping and they think I’m crazy. lol

    SoCal, can you tell us how you are doing today?
    This is a wonderful forum and the people here are just great at sharing their own experiences I hope you can find the time to get back to us and let us know how you are doing.


    I noticed the word perfect in the thread title, and wonder if “perfectionism” might be driving the compulsions. Perfectionism can have debilitating effects with younger persons, and can sometimes lead to: eating disorders, drug use, OCD, etc.

    Keeping up with the Joneses, or surpassing them in this case, is a difficult and neverending task. Just food for thought, as a possible underlying reason for the drug usage and loss of happiness.

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