The Dangerous Side to Xanax
We live in a world today that has so much stress and anxiety. Ask most people how their stress levels are and they will tell you they are in desperate need of a relaxing vacation (or more Xanax). There are the business professionals who are overworked, oftentimes putting in well over 45 hours per week. There are the parents who are overworked and trying to take care of their children once they get home from work.
It’s a never-ending list of tasks to do, including cook, clean, help with the homework, keep the kids clean, spend quality time with the kids, take care of the outside chores, and try to have a bit of time with family and friends. Even the teenagers are full of high stress, with mounting pressures to perform academically, athletically, and socially.
Due to such high levels of anxiety, more and more people are heading to their doctors complaining of stress that they cannot get rid of, so many doctors are prescribing anti-anxiety medicines like Xanax. Don’t get me wrong, some doctors are not automatically prescribing anti-anxiety medication. There are some doctors who will encourage patients to try alternative stress reduction techniques, such as deep breathing, regular exercise, meditation, music, and more. Each doctor will have different criteria before just handing people anti-anxiety medication, oftentimes using it as a last resort.
What is Xanax?
Xanax, otherwise known as Alprazolam, is a prescription drug that helps reduce anxiety and panic symptoms. It comes from the class of drugs named benzodiazepines, which essentially depress the central nervous system and helps the calming effects of the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain.
When someone is feeling quite anxious, taking Xanax will help that person to feel much calmer in about 15 minutes, with peak effects happening within an hour. Xanax has become a popular anti-anxiety pill, approved by the FDA back in 1981. In fact, Xanax is the first anti-anxiety FDA approved drug for panic disorder therapy as of 1990.
With such a fast-acting calming effect, Xanax is the most prescribed of the benzodiazepines, but also the most abused. The drug has a very high potential for abuse because people come to depend on it for everyday living and come to like living with the relaxed feeling that it gives.
Keep in mind that everyone who becomes addicted to Xanax does not purposely become addicted. Their body gets used to that feeling of relaxation, or reaching for the pill when they’re contending with a lot of stress. They can become mentally and physically dependent upon it. When the time comes for them to try to stop using it, they have a tough time stopping. They want to, but mentally and physically, they’re simply craving that feeling of relaxation. Many believe that they won’t be able to feel that way without the drug.
Xanax is an effective anti-anxiety medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It is commonly prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD). Xanax also helps those who have panic attacks. Suffering from panic attacks can be debilitating and keep one from living a happy life. Panic attacks feel much like a heart attack, as the heart races, breathing increases, and oftentimes pain in the heart area occurs. Xanax can help panic attack sufferers to experience less attacks and feel more relaxed.
Sometimes it is also prescribed to help reduce nausea after chemotherapy. It is advised that you should never use Xanax if you are pregnant, because the drug can harm the baby while in the uterus. You should also refrain from drinking alcohol while taking Xanax, as the prescription drug can increase the effects of the alcohol.
There are side effects associated with taking Xanax, including dry mouth, drowsiness, slurred speech, and skin rash. Side effects will vary from person to person, and can vary depending on the dosage that you use.
Dependence and Withdrawal
Many people come to depend on Xanax to get through their lives without having to feel stress. It is easy to get addicted to and can cause withdrawal symptoms when one comes off of them. Symptoms may include anxiety, confusion, irritability, insomnia, depression, headache, muscle pain, and shaking. It is very important to consult with your doctor before trying to come off of Xanax, as it is necessary to taper off of it gradually.
Xanax comes in different doses such as .25mg, .5mg, 1mg, and 2mg. There are generic brands available as well. Always take the medicine as prescribed and if you have any concerns, you should discuss them with your physician.
Rehab for Xanax Addiction
Unfortunately, some people who take Xanax may become addicted to it and then take it for recreational reason. What started out as an innocent prescription can turn into a horrible habit that keeps the user doing whatever he can to get more pills. This may lead him back to the doctor or various doctors, or perhaps purchasing the pills on the streets.
Xanax addiction is actually quite common. With the relaxed and somewhat euphoric feeling that it gives users, it is easy to want more of it and come to depend on it in everyday life. But addiction of any kind is not good for you. As with any medication, Xanax has side effects and should you run out you will experience withdrawal symptoms as well. This can make for a bad time.
What to do for Xanax addiction
If you or a loved one has become addicted to Xanax, it is advised that you seek professional help via a doctor or substance abuse professional to wean yourself off of Xanax. Stopping the use of Xanax cold turkey will cause you to deal with some daunting withdrawal symptoms like confusion, body aches, shaking, etc., so weaning off is your best bet.
You may have tried to stop taking Xanax on your own one or more times. It’s quite common to relapse when you’re trying to get off of Xanax. This is why reaching out to a professional can be of great help. You can learn more effective ways to combat the disease of addiction, and create a relapse prevention plan that will help you combat the triggers and cravings that come. A team approach has proven to be very valuable when it comes to overcoming the addiction of anything. Certainly, if you’ve tried quitting on your own time and time again, and you’ve struggled, know that there are professionals that can assist you in successfully quitting.
If you’re quite addicted and have been using the drug for a while, you might want to choose to attend a detox center, as they are quite experienced in dealing with Xanax addiction. A detox center will help you get through the withdrawal symptoms much better than if you were to try on your own. You will be surrounded by professionals who will encourage and assist you as you detox. Within 5 to 7 days you will be free from most of the toxins associated with Xanax and begin to feel better.
From there, should you need more assistance, you can go to a drug rehab in order to continue your treatment.
There are inpatient or outpatient drug treatment centers that are suitable for helping those who become addicted to Xanax. An inpatient program requires you to attend the facility 24/7. Most people stay around 30 days, but they can choose to stay longer if they need.
An outpatient drug center is a facility that you attend at various times throughout the week. Many people in early recovery will attend between 3 to 5 meetings per week. They’ll be able to take part in individual and group counseling, and perhaps attend a 12-step meeting. As they become stronger in their recovery, they’ll be able to decrease the number of meetings they attend each week.
Xanax addiction affects everyone differently, so if you need the added support time, it is recommended that you get it. Should you feel that you or a family member have become addicted to Xanax and you would like to stop taking the medicine, contact your physician, a substance abuse professional, or a rehab treatment center. There is help available to wean yourself off of the medicine and help you learn how to cope with anxiety without such medicine.
We are also here to assist you in finding the type of rehab that will be suitable for you to get free from addiction. Simply give us a call today and allow a qualified professional to help you take your first step toward freedom from Xanax addiction.