Out of all benzodiazepines, Xanax is the most popular one. The drug is very commonly prescribed to treat anxiety disorder, and it can be very effective in managing the symptoms. Unfortunately, the addiction potential is often ignored, which is quite concerning since the number of benzodiazepine addiction cases has increased considerably.
Xanax addiction can occur in various situations. It can either happen to those who use the drugs on prescription or in someone who obtained the medications without a prescription. Xanax should only be used short-term – otherwise, it can be very dangerous.
Once a Xanax addiction has developed, it is crucial to treat it before it worsens. Moreover, it is essential to know what the symptoms of Xanax addiction are and how it can be treated in case a loved one ever goes through this experience.
Xanax is the brand name for a medication known as alprazolam, and it is a benzodiazepine drug that is offered by doctors to people who are dealing with anxiety disorder. The medication is used to treat stress, generalized anxiety, or panic disorder. It is one of the most prescribed benzodiazepines in the U.S. for anxiety disorders.
The medication can be effective for mental health problems as it has a calming effect on one’s central nervous system and brain. Basically, it will enhance the effects of the brain’s chemical known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GAMA). GAMA works by telling brain cells to relax.
The exact Xanax dosage will depend on a few factors, such as the person’s age, medical condition, and how they respond to the treatment in the first place. The medication comes in oral tablet form. In general, Xanax should be taken no longer than two weeks, although in some cases, it is prescribed to be taken as needed for when panic attacks happen.
Xanax abuse is something very likely to happen, especially in people who take the drug for longer periods than advised. In fact, it is one of the most abused benzodiazepines in the U.S. The medication can calm down the brain and central nervous system, and people who are suffering from anxiety disorders will seek this calming effect.
Abuse happens when someone is craving the drug at all times and it’s all they can think about. The brain chemistry is altered by Xanax – therefore, it will require the medication frequently. Xanax abuse can happen when an individual takes more than their prescribed dose, use the drug more frequently, use someone else’s Xanax prescription or buy the drug illicitly.
Every part of someone’s life will be affected by Xanax addiction. Their personal, professional, and financial life will all take a blow. What’s worse is that the addict will not care, as their Xanax consumption is a priority for them.
The Causes for Addiction
Xanax addiction has many causes. Similar to stimulant drugs, Xanax can offer euphoric feelings or a sense of feeling “high”, which can become addictive. The person may start chasing these effects all the time in an attempt to feel happier.
There are a few risk factors for benzodiazepine addiction. Some of these include:
- An alcohol abuse history
- Dealing with an antisocial personality disorder
- Having some co-occurring psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder or depression
- Substance abuse history in the family
- Being between 18-25 years old
Fear of withdrawal may be another reason why someone keeps abusing Xanax, especially if they already built some tolerance. They think that the benefits and drawbacks brought by Xanax addiction are greater than the consequences of withdrawal.
Xanax Addiction Symptoms
How Xanax addiction manifests in people will be different from one individual to another. But in any case, Xanax will affect everyone, especially if they develop an addiction and don’t get help for their problem. Some of the most common effects of Xanax addiction and abuse include:
- Chest pain
- Double or blurred vision
- Social isolation
- Memory impairment in the short-term
- Decreased libido
- Muscle coordination issues
- Suicidal thoughts
- Erectile dysfunction
- Mood swings
- Shortness of breath
- Slurred speech
Signs of Xanax Addiction
Usually, people who are close to the addict will slowly start to notice some changes, not only in the behavior but also in their overall lifestyle. Some obvious signs that someone has a Xanax abuse problem are:
- Suddenly giving up on important activities or hobbies
- Being willing to do anything to obtain Xanax
- Increasing their Xanax intake without talking to the doctor first
- Using the drug in harm-promoting cases very frequently
- Being unable to stop using Xanax
- Losing their job, ruining their relationships and friendships, and using all of their money on Xanax
- Using Xanax even though they are losing relationships, their job, and their money
- Dealing with withdrawal symptoms when not using the medication
Going Through Xanax Withdrawals
Xanax withdrawal is what happens when someone has been using the medication for extended periods and built an addiction. The drug has already changed the chemistry of the brain, and the addict craves it all the time. When they try to quit, they will experience bad symptoms such as:
- Xanax cravings
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle cramps
Xanax Addiction Treatment
Xanax addiction can be treated by going to a rehabilitation center. There, the individual dealing with the problem will go through detoxification.
In order to avoid withdrawal, the person may have to start using lower amounts of the drug gradually, and they will do so under supervision. Once they do not have the drug in their system anymore, they will be able to finally stop abusing the drug.
Sometimes, therapy is also necessary for treating Xanax addiction and underlying problems. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most commonly used one in this situation.
Call On Real Deal For Help
With Real Deal, not only can you get rid of your addiction, but you will also be able to treat co-occurring disorders. We offer a detoxification program as well as individual therapy. Treating addiction has never been easier.
Once you are recovered from the addiction, you can return to your normal life with new forces. Real Deal will do everything necessary to make sure you are comfortable during your recovery journey and that you do not engage in dangerous behavior or go back to the addiction.
Make sure to get help for someone as soon as you discover their Xanax addiction problem. Not doing anything can be life-threatening for the addict.