Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Xanax is a medication classified as a benzodiazepine, which means that it has a sedative effect. It is also categorized as a tranquilizer. Many people addicted to Xanax started substance abuse after being prescribed medical treatment for panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and anxiety caused by depression. Xanax is a drug that has a high addiction potential for drug abusers, with severe withdrawal symptoms.

What is Xanax? 

Xanax is used to treat panic disorders, anxiety disorders, or disorders that cause panic, fear, or helplessness in situations where one usually wouldn’t feel that way. It works by enhancing the production and reuptake of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, shortening or eliminating the crippling symptoms of anxiety. Generally, taking Xanax involves oral ingestion of a pill. Other names for Xanax are alprazolam and the brand name Niravam.

Xanax Effects

Some common side effects of alprazolam used for treatments of anxiety include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Headache pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Impaired coordination
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Decreased salivation
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Nasal congestion
  • Decreased or increased libido
  • Menstrual disorder
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Fast heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Agitation/restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Increased salivation
  • Nervousness
  • Tremor
  • Talkativeness
  • Incontinence

There are other side effects not listed here which include severely adverse reactions. Talk to a doctor or a pharmacist to learn more information about those effects.

Xanax Addiction, Treatment & Side Effects


Signs of Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Some of the most common symptoms and signs of Xanax abuse include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor motor coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Inability to reduce the amount taken normally
  • Doctor shopping for extra pills or prescriptions
  • Asking family, friends, and social and work circles for their Xanax pills
  • Buying Xanax or other sedatives illegally
  • Spending a disproportionate amount of time using, getting, or recovering from Xanax abuse
  • Engaging in risky behavior after Xanax abuse, such as driving while drugged

Withdrawal after abusing Xanax can be particularly dangerous. There is a strong recommendation that a person addicted to Xanax receive help from a professional program or a drug rehab treatment center offering medical detox.

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

The lack of alprazolam in the system causes withdrawal symptoms, including cognitive problems that can last for weeks. This can be coupled with severe anxiety and trouble sleeping. Other benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Memory problems
  • Respiratory depression
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Psychosis
  • Muscle pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Sleep troubles
  • Sweating
  • Tingling sensations
  • Vomiting

In some cases, individuals who stop taking Xanax suddenly may begin to suffer from seizures, convulsions, or tremors. Because of the severity and complexity of symptoms associated with Xanax withdrawal, medical detox offers drug abusers the best chance at relapse prevention and the successful beginning of a recovery journey.

Long-Term Side Effects of Xanax Abuse

Drug abusers who start using Xanax in larger doses are more prone to becoming addicted sooner, but most can fall prey to dependency in a month or less even on small doses. When people take drugs of abuse like benzodiazepine for a long time, the brain starts to forget how to operate effectively without the Xanax drug. Xanax harnesses control over emotional responses, thought processes, memory, consciousness, and even muscular coordination, all parts of the intended use for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. All benzodiazepines ramp up the production of neurotransmitters known as GABA, which are responsible for calming nerve impulses that lead to emotional expressions like anxiety and panic. Xanax can also produce turbulent mood swings that sometimes result in violent, aggressive, or hostile behavior. 

Xanax can cause appetite to wane and may lead to weight loss, or binge eating episodes when users experience a surge of hunger. While the effects Xanax has on neurotransmitters paint a picture of stimulation, these drugs make users quite tired. For this reason, lethargy is widespread and can conversely lead to weight gain. Users may become extremely forgetful and others will take note of this. It can get so bad that individuals miss deadlines for work and forget about family functions they are meant to attend.

Xanax Addiction Treatment

Xanax treatment seeks to break the cycle of emotional and physical dependence from the drug’s effect. DayBreak offers a full continuum of care, treating drug and alcohol addiction, and the emotional and mental health issues influencing substance abuse. Our levels of care range from drug detox to residential treatment, employing holistic modalities in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy and rest in sober living housing. You don’t have to stop taking drugs and alcohol alone. Contact DayBreak to find out if this is the right treatment center to help you on the path to sober living and relapse prevention.

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