Understanding Xanax Addiction
Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication known as alprazolam in medical circles. It is part of a family of drugs called benzodiazepines. It is a controlled drug which means that its misuse can cause bodily harm, dependence, or addiction. This is why it is heavily regulated and controlled by the authorities. It is illegal in America to take a Xanax without getting a prescription from a doctor first.
Still, it is the most commonly prescribed psychiatric medication in the country. In most cases, people get hold of this medicine through the family. Nearly 70 percent of the teens who have had Xanax addiction have said that they got the drug from the medicine cabinet of a family member.
You can very easily become dependent on Xanax and might require increasing amounts each time to get the desired effect you want. People who are addicted to this drug have reported even taking 20 to 30 pills a day. If an addict stops taking Xanax, they might experience withdrawal effects. The onset of such effects when the drug is withheld is a tell-tell sign of addiction. Some of these symptoms can be tremors, anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness.
Indications That You Are Addicted To Xanax
- Mood changes
- Changes in appearance
- Physical and mental health issues
- Severe changes in behavior
- Poor grades and work performance
- Financial issues
- Trouble with the law
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What Is The Evidence Of Xanax Abuse In The Unites States?
No, you would not be jumping the gun. The Xanax addiction issues are rampant in the United States. According to official estimates, people who filled up a benzodiazepine prescription increased by 67 percent between 1996 and 2013. This translates into 8.1 million in 1996 to 13.5 million people in 2013.
The prescription rates for this drug have also been rising steadily at a pace of 9 percent each year since 2008. Emergency room visits because of recreational Xanax use were also doubled from 2005 to 2010 at 124,902.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that more than 17,000 people were admitted to treatment centers across the US to be treated for addiction problems like benzodiazepines and Xanax.
What Happens When You Take Xanax?
Xanax has a long-lasting impact on the human body. It can affect the brain and central nervous system quite profoundly. Xanax in the brain can stimulate the production of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA can then slow down the nerve cell activity in the brain. This gives rise to a calming and relaxed feeling. As it is a CNS suppressant so its use can lead to slurred speech, anxiety, and loss of coordination in some cases.
After using Xanax, the effects can be felt within an hour or two and can stay in the body for 12 to 15 hours. The pill comes in different doses; 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg. The color or shape of the pill can vary depending upon its strength.
A person can also easily overdose on this drug, depending upon how much of it was taken and if other drugs or alcohol were taken with it too. The drug is designed to be time-released into the body, so if it is crushed or chewed that can lead to an overdose as well. Common overdose signs can be fainting, loss of balance, confusion, slowed heart rate, drowsiness, muscle weakness, and even coma.
In the emergency department, you might be given flumazenil to act as an antidote to this drug after your stomach is pumped after an overdose. You can be given an IV as well. It is important to provide the doctor with details regarding how Xanax was taken, how much of it, and when. Lying about these details can affect treatment and may even cause complications and death.
Why Detox At A Treatment Center?
It is important to not try and quit Xanax use on your own. If a person who is dependent on the drug tries to stop taking it on their own, it can have serious withdrawal symptoms. The severity of the symptoms can vary but if convulsions occur, the withdrawal process can turn deadly. This is why seeking professional help to detox from Xanax is not just essential, it’s potentially life-critical.
When you go through this process under the care of a doctor or trained medical staff, they know to wean you off the drug slowly. They can also switch you to the long-acting version of this drug for a while to help your body gradually get rid of the drug and learn to live with lesser amounts of it. Slowly, the drug is stopped completely and further process of recovery is started.
Xanax Addiction Treatment Programs
- Holistic Therapy Program
- Medication-Assisted Treatment Program
- Mental Health Treatment
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
- Partial Hospitalization Program