If you have ever been prescribed a benzodiazepine or know someone who has, you most likely have been educated on the addictive qualities that these medicines can have. This is especially true for a type of benzodiazepine known as Xanax (Alprazolam). Xanax is a common drug in the United States, often known by name even by those who have never seen it before. Because tolerance to Xanax can develop quickly, many are at risk of becoming addicted to this drug.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a type of benzodiazepine and is the brand name for Alprazolam. It is a prescription sedative prescribed to help patients with anxiety and panic disorders. It belongs to the class of benzodiazepines that work on the central nervous system to produce a calming effect.
Many believe that Xanax is safe because it is a prescription drug that doctors prescribe to their patients. However, Xanax has addictive qualities and is usually abused because it causes a sense of calm in its users. It is often taken in a higher dose than prescribed or in combination with other drugs or alcohol to achieve a “high.”
How Xanax Abuse Starts
Most individuals who become addicted to Xanax were either prescribed the medication by a doctor or received it from friends and family. Some individuals may even buy it on the street. Because the drug is highly addictive, tolerance develops quickly; this means that the person using the medication will have to take higher doses to achieve the same effects. It is not unheard of for someone struggling with a Xanax addiction to take between 20 and 30 pills in one day. Once the person has become dependent on Xanax, any attempt at stopping consumption will result in withdrawal symptoms.
Signs of Xanax Abuse
Recognizing signs of Xanax abuse can help you spot someone who may be struggling. There are several signs to look out for, but it is important to note that symptoms will vary from person to person.
Potential signs of Xanax abuse include:
- Slurred speech
- Nausea or vomiting
- Poor coordination
- Dry mouth
- Impaired cognition
- Missing school or work
- Legal trouble
It is also essential to know how Xanax can be consumed, as this can also be an indicator that someone is struggling. Individuals abusing Xanax may take higher doses in the form of multiple pills, snort it, inject it, or mix it with other drugs or alcohol. Typically, Xanax is combined with opioids and alcohol to achieve the desired effects. An overdose of Xanax or combining it with other drugs can result in severe complications, including:
- Reduced respiratory rate
Treatment for Xanax Addiction
Treatment for Xanax addiction will often begin with the person undergoing a medical detox, which can include the person being placed on a tapering program that is medically supervised. This way, no complications occur during the detox. Stopping the drug abruptly can result in serious health complications, including seizures, coma and possibly death. The best place to detox from Xanax is at a treatment facility that offers medical detox and has experience with individuals struggling with Xanax addiction, such as Authentic Recovery Center (ARC).
After detox, the central part of treatment begins. Treatment begins with rehab therapy. At this point, the patient will start to uncover the underlying causes of their addiction, including any past traumas, possible emotional stress and other potential causes that could’ve put them at risk. From there, the person will begin learning how to identify their triggers and use healthy coping mechanisms to deal with triggers, complicated emotions and other negative events in life. Following treatment, the patient will then be referred to a substance abuse aftercare program such as support group meetings or a sober living home.
It is essential to know that addiction is a lifelong battle that you will continuously have to work against to maintain your sobriety for the long-term. This means participating in aftercare, such as continually going to support group meetings, having a sponsor, and consistently working on your coping methods and mental health to maintain a healthy, happy and sober life.
Your aftercare program should focus on you as an individual and cater to your specific needs. When searching for aftercare programs, make sure the facility offers individualized treatment and covers various concerns to help you transition out into the world following treatment. Do your research and always ask for recommendations from your treatment staff.
Xanax addiction is common in the United States, often beginning due to a lack of knowledge about the drug. This prescription medication is often seen as safe because it is regulated, but it is also highly addictive. Many find themselves taking a higher dose than average to achieve the desired effects, an indication of tolerance, which can lead to developing addiction. Knowing how to recognize the signs of a Xanax addiction will help you or a loved one get the treatment needed sooner rather than later. Treatment will often begin with a medical detox and then continue into various therapies. Following treatment, an aftercare program is usually set for the individual to participate in. Xanax addiction treatment at ARC is comprehensive and individualized, allowing for maximum healing. Call us today at (866) 786-1376 to learn more. You don’t have to struggle on your own; reach out and get the support you need to heal.