Addiction and Abuse of Xanax
Addiction to Xanax (Alprazolam)
Xanax is a strong benzodiazepine that is commonly used to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorders, and insomnia. When used for an extended period of time, it becomes extremely addictive. In the United States, Xanax is the most commonly prescribed psychiatric medication. Seventy percent of Xanax addicts obtain the drug from their family’s medicine cabinet. Addiction and Abuse of Xanax.
Tolerance to Xanax develops rapidly, necessitating the use of more of the drug to achieve the desired effects. Someone who is addicted to Xanax may take up to 20 to 30 pills per day. If a user decides to discontinue using Xanax, they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and tremors. The onset of withdrawal symptoms indicates the development of a physical dependence.
Once a Xanax addiction has taken hold, daily responsibilities, such as school, work or family, are ignored as energy is redirected towards drug seeking behavior.
Other behavioral signs of Xanax addiction include:
- Continued use of Xanax even though it is contributing to personal difficulties
- Inability to stop using Xanax despite the desire to
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Obsessing about obtaining and using Xanax
- Loss of control over the amount of Xanax being consumed
- Legal problems that are the result of using Xanax
- Risk-taking behaviors, such as driving while under the influence of Xanax
Xanax withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of alcohol or barbiturate withdrawal, and the severity of the symptoms varies. Withdrawal from Xanax can be fatal if convulsions occur.
Normally, the withdrawal process involves slowly reducing the dosage of Xanax and eventually switching the user to a long-acting form of the drug for a period of time. The gradual taper of this drug helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a prescription benzodiazepine sedative. Benzodiazepines are initially develop to replace barbiturates. Xanax has an effect on the brain and the central nervous system (CNS). It increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that slows nerve cell activity in the brain. As a result, you will feel calm and relaxed.
Xanax is dispense in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg strengths. The pills come in different shapes and colors depending on strength. The 2 mg tablets are white, green, or yellow in color and rectangular in shape. The rest are of the color white (0.25 mg), orange (0.5 mg) or blue (1 mg).
After taking Xanax, the peak effects of the drug typically falls within one to two hours. As an intermediate-duration drug, Xanax stays in a person’s system for 12 to 15 hours.
Common street names for Xanax include:
- Xannies or zannies
- Blue footballs
- French fries
Xanax Effects and Abuse
Taking over dosage or using Xanax without a prescription is consider drug abuse. However, those who follow a prescription can still become addicted to Xanax.
Xanax abuses include:
- Taking multiple pills
- Injecting it
- Snorting it
- Taking it via blotter paper
- Taking it with other drugs or alcohol
The abuse of Xanax is commonly because it induces a state of calm and relaxation in the user. To achieve the desired high, some people abuse Xanax by taking it in higher doses and combining it with other drugs or alcohol.
An overdose on Xanax can be fatal, especially if we take with alcohol or other drugs. Overdose can also occur if the pills are crushed or chewed, as the drug is designed to be time-released into the system. Xanax overdose symptoms include:
- Slowed heart rate
- Extreme drowsiness
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of balance
- Muscle weakness
Treatment for a Xanax overdose will vary depending on how much of the drug is consume as well as whether other drugs or alcohol are consume. In the event of an overdose, medical personnel may use a stomach pump to remove as much unabsorbed Xanax as possible. As an antidote, medications such as flumazenil are administer. In order to provide the necessary fluids, doctors may insert an IV. It is important for anyone suffering from an overdose to be honest with the emergency medical personnel about exactly what substances were taken and how much.
Xanax Addiction Treatment
Finally, overcoming an addiction to Xanax isn’t easy, but people do it everyday. Medical detox and a treatment program can give someone addicted to Xanax their best chance at achieving sobriety. Talk with a treatment provider today for help finding a Xanax addiction treatment program.