Xanax Addiction Treatment

Xanax is a brand name of alprazolam; a drug belonging to the class of medications known as benzodiazepines. A sedative, commonly used in the short-term management of anxiety disorders, Xanax is addictive if not used prescriptively. Also known as xannies and bars, the abuse potential of Xanax is high and many prescriptions go on to be misused.

Understanding Xanax addiction

  • Benzodiazepines decrease the level of excitement in the brain, thereby helping to ease symptoms of anxiety. They have a calming and sedating effect, making them particularly helpful for a number of conditions. From anxiety to sleep disorders, Xanax is prescribed for a range of medical complaints.
  • Extremely fast-acting, the effects of Xanax are felt almost immediately. The fact that those effects wear off relatively quickly can mean that many individuals are compelled to consume more of the drug. As dosage increases so too does the user’s tolerance. To feel the effects of the drug, a user needs to consume greater quantities to chase the initial high.

While Xanax is a prescription drug, it is often consumed recreationally or in violation of a prescription.

The effects of Xanax

Many people who use Xanax describe its effects as being calming. Unlike drugs that elicit feelings of euphoria, Xanax renders users more relaxed and quieter. Many people who use Xanax in the safe and prescribed manner tend not to experience side effects or only do so when they first start taking it.

Unpleasant side effects tend to occur when the dosage is increased or it is consumed inappropriately. Taking the drug may cause poor concentration, confusion, a lack of coordination and muscle weakness.

If someone consumes too much Xanax or it is taken with other substances, particularly alcohol, they may experience shallow breathing and a weak heartbeat. In an effort to chase its initial effect, an individual may raise the dose to such a level that it results in a coma or death by overdose.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction Withdrawal

The warning signs of abuse

Long-term use of Xanax can cause depression, chronic fatigue, breathing difficulties and sleep problems. Ironically, as dependency increases, feelings of panic and anxiety may heighten as cravings kick in and an addict is faced with the stress of trying to get hold of more of the drug.

When someone spends a disproportionate amount of time procuring and using the drug, alarm bells should ring. Similarly, asking others for pills or purchasing them on the street is risky, red flag behaviour.

Someone with a Xanax problem may begin to miss work commitments or may repeatedly fail to meet family responsibilities. An increase in tolerance due to overuse will likely result in higher and higher dosages, cravings and an inability to stop taking it.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction treatment

Treating Xanax addiction

Over time, the brain and body become used to Xanax. If usage stops, the body demands the drug by means of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms including insomnia, weakness and nausea. In the case of habitual, high-dose users, delirium, hallucinations and convulsions can also occur.

Treatment for Xanax addiction involves countering both the physical compulsion to take the drug and the psychological craving to continue its use. The effects of withdrawal can be painful and traumatic. As such, it’s important to reduce Xanax slowly over time to lessen the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.

Simply stopping taking Xanax is unsafe and potentially fatal. Unsupported attempts to quit are more likely to result in failure and make future attempts more difficult. Whether by means of self-referral or intervention, it’s crucial to get professional support and treatment.

A medically-monitored detox in a controlled and caring environment will ensure minimal risk is incurred and the individual will be as comfortable as possible. Counselling and therapy are essential elements of any treatment programme and can enable an addict to see how patterns of thought and behaviour led to Xanax abuse and addiction. Therapy can help an addict to form healthier ways of dealing with the root issues of their addiction and devise coping mechanisms to stem the compulsion to seek out the drug.

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