You’ve heard of Xanax.
Even if you don’t know the nitty-gritty details, you’ve at least heard of this anti-anxiety medication.
You’ve likely heard more about Xanax abuse than you’ve heard about the prescription drug itself.
You’ve likely heard of people addicted to Xanax more than the types of disorders it helps treat.
Because Xanax addiction is an epidemic that reaches far and wide, crumbling the lives of people all over the United States.
What was once used as a tool to improve the mental health of people battling panic disorders and anxiety disorders is now a significant cause of drug abuse among people with otherwise stable mental health.
Xanax is the fifth-most prescribed drug in the entire country. It is mainly prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and insomnia. Even so, its powerful effects take hold of the user and quickly lead to an addiction to Xanax.
To better understand this powerful anti-anxiety medication and its effects, let’s first go through the purpose of the drug, signs of a Xanax drug addiction, and withdrawal symptoms.
Is Xanax Addictive?
Xanax, generically known as alprazolam, was initially prescribed as an anti-anxiety drug used to treat panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and a wide variety of anxiety disorders.
It certainly can reduce the crippling symptoms of anxiety disorders and panic attacks, but more often than not, it turns into a crippling disease of addiction.
This shouldn’t come as a shock, though.
Benzodiazepines, the class of drug that Xanax falls under, are notoriously (and dangerously) addictive.
Interestingly, many users become hooked as they desperately seek treatment for their panic disorders or anxiety disorders.
Initially, the anti-anxiety drug takes the edge off of panic attacks, allowing the person to breathe a little more easily.
However, once the drug grabs ahold of the brain, a drug addiction quickly settles in.
The user begins to fear a life without the medication, often turning to it pre-emptively in hopes of avoiding panic attacks altogether. This, in turn, increases anxiety that initially was not there.
So what does the user do?
Pops a few more Xanax bars to beat the anxiety symptoms.
While this may be innocent in and of itself, no brain can avoid becoming addicted to Xanax when it is used so enthusiastically.
The effects of Xanax can best be described as euphoria. Anxiety and panic all but dissipate, along with them, any care in the world at all. Rather than providing an energetic and optimistic high like cocaine or an amphetamine might offer, benzodiazepines remove any worry or care that you may have.
As you can imagine, the effects of Xanax are a lot like heroin.
Naturally, this attracts many people with no anxiety or panic disorder of any kind, simply chasing the high.
Xanax is dangerous for both users battling anxiety disorders as well as users simply engaging in substance abuse. Regardless of the reason the user begins popping Xanax, an addiction to Xanax is likely to form.
Xanax Addiction Signs and Symptoms
The most notable sign of a Xanax addiction is wildly swinging moods. As with most drug addictions, those addicted to Xanax will display moments of joy followed by moments of total despair and rage.
Because any drug abuse directly impairs the brain’s chemical balance, you can always expect unstable mental health as a result of drug abuse.
Most notably, the telltale signs of a Xanax addiction usually include:
- Lethargy and difficulty staying awake
- Extended periods of sleep, beyond what is normal
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Memory problems
Xanax Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms for people who abuse Xanax will mimic those of any benzodiazepine. However, Xanax withdrawal is among the most dangerous as this anti-anxiety drug leaves the body rapidly, causing a significant downswing in the body.
Xanax (alprazolam) withdrawal symptoms often include:
- Inability to sleep
- Severe mood swings
- Elevated anxiety
- Severe panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts and ideation
- Excessive sweating
- Heart palpitations
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Slurred speech
- Nausea and vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms
Because it leaves the body so quickly, it is best to go through a treatment program at a drug rehab treatment center. Many of these programs provide a safe space for medical detox. Still, they also offer behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and relapse prevention therapy, so that the user can reintegrate into a healthy life.
Our treatment center is fully equipped to help people who abuse Xanax fully detox from the drug healthily and safely. We offer behavioral therapies and support throughout the entire recovery process, and our primary goal is to equip users with the tools needed for successful relapse prevention.
If you or a loved one needs helping to break an addiction to this dangerous anti-anxiety medication, please do not hesitate to give us a call.