As Xanax becomes increasingly popular, more and more people are becoming addicted to the sedative effects. Over time, if a person continually abuses Xanax, they can quickly become dependent on it and suffer from withdrawal symptoms when they quit. At this point, detox and therapy are necessary to treat their addiction.
Is Xanax Addictive?
Xanax is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. Because of this, it can rapidly alter the brain. As a result, it is one of the most addictive benzodiazepines on the market today. Risks are increased in those who take 4 mg/day or more for more than 12 weeks, but anyone who uses the substance might be at risk of addiction.
Between the early 1970s and the mid-1990s, benzodiazepines like Xanax were used to treat panic disorder. It has grown to be recognized as a successful treatment for anxiety, nausea induced by chemotherapy, depression, and a variety of other medical conditions.
Why is Xanax Addiction Dangerous?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine, and it is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance owing to its low potential for abuse. Despite these drawbacks, the benefits of cannabis over other medications in treating cancer and glaucoma far outweigh any risks. Thousands of individuals seek treatment each year for benzodiazepine addictions. In 2012, 17,019 people were admitted to addiction treatment facilities across the country because benzodiazepines such as Xanax were their primary or only drug of abuse, the Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Services Administration states.
Both psychological and physical dependency are features of xanax addiction. To manage both the mind and body’s responses to drug withdrawal, it is best to taper off benzodiazepines on a timetable that lowers the dosage by 25% each quarter of the detoxification period. When using the same criteria as all benzos, withdrawal must be made via medical detox to protect the patient.
How Xanax Addiction Symptoms Affects the Mind
Even when utilized for therapeutic purposes, dependence is almost always seen. The first indication of this is tolerance. Even while Xanax is taken to relieve anxiety, it loses effectiveness, which causes it to stop working altogether. Anxiety sufferers will experience a resurgence of symptoms and may feel compelled to increase their dose to keep them at bay. During this time, your brain is becoming more reliant on the drug to function normally.
People who are addicted to Xanax will be unable to avoid thoughts of the medication. Quitting without expert assistance is extremely difficult because users’ brains are driving them to use again.
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms to Look Out For
The psychological effects of withdrawing from Xanax can be severe. The mind becomes accustomed to the medication and may experience sleeplessness, sadness, paranoia, and irritability as it tries to get off it. Most withdrawal symptoms may be relieved with medical detox to make the process as smooth as possible for those undergoing detox.
According to the Journal of Addictive Behavior, as many as 44 percent of chronic benzodiazepine users become dependent on their drug of choice. Addiction is frequently caused by psychological reasons that encourage people to continue using.
The Body on Drugs Abuse
When a person’s body can no longer function properly without the substance, it has become accustomed to abusing. They are exhibiting signs of physical addiction.
Physical addiction to Xanax is marked by physical withdrawals symptoms that occur when the drug is stopped. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, extreme sweating, vision distortion, and convulsions are typical adverse effects.
Physical dependence occurs as the body becomes acclimated to the drug. The individual may feel achy all over if they don’t have it, as the body eliminates the substance. Mild over-the-counter pain medications can be used to treat this discomfort. Many end up in emergency rooms when they try to detox independently, experiencing such common adverse effects as nausea, vomiting, and agitation.
Prescribed benzodiazepine use in opiate addiction treatment as they relieve the withdrawal symptoms of opiates and can reduce cravings. Studies have shown that benzodiazepines can be effective at reducing the severity of cravings and withdrawal symptoms, which is one of the main components of addiction. This makes them a great first step in overcoming addiction and they’re often used alongside an oral medication to help with the withdrawal process.
Is Xanax Abuse a Form of Addiction?
The red flags indicate addiction is consistent regardless of what addictive substance has been used. They include:
- Use every time symptoms of withdrawal begin to appear.
- The tolerance that encourages the user to take higher doses
- Keeping away from family gatherings or socializing to use the drug is a common practice.
- Worrying about one’s Xanax supply and anticipating the next time it can be utilized are typical symptoms.
- Even though they are in a challenging situation because of Xanax usage, users continue to use it.
- The inability to limit the drug’s usage
The Prevalence of Xanax Addiction
Drug dependence is an illness that affects every individual, regardless of race, gender, or social status. Certain groups are thought to be more prone to drug addiction, and women may be more inclined to get a prescription for benzos than males because they’re twice as likely to use them. According to Erowid, there are two times as many women who are using these drugs as men.
When it comes to trends in prescription, age has a lot to do with it. According to a study from the National Institutes of Health, just 2.6 percent of people 18-35 used benzodiazepines versus 8.7 percent of those 65 and older. It’s difficult to say whether these medications are more likely to be given to an older person or if older individuals have more access to healthcare and are more inclined to get help.
Individuals using Xanax to treat symptoms or simply abusing it to self-medicate are more likely to develop mental health issues due to this abuse. According to the National Alliance on Mental illness (NAMI), about half of all people with significant mental illness suffer from co-occurring substance abuse problems.
Dependency is more likely if a person takes enormous amounts of Xanax or uses it too often. Even persons who take their medication as directed may become dependent on Xanax. Poly-drug abusers are far more likely to become addicted to benzos like Xanax due to the additional substances they consume, which frequently enhance the effects of Xanax. Alcohol, for example, is commonly taken with Xanax and poses a significant risk of injury or death, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. According to American Family Physician study results, between 3% and 41% of individuals who suffer from alcoholism use benzodiazepines.
Xanax Effects and Drug Abuse
The dosage of Xanax that a person should take varies from doctor to doctor, but the typical range is 0.5-2 mg per dose. Taking more than the suggested amount or using Xanax without a prescription is considered a misuse of the drug. Even those who adhere to a prescription can be affected by Xanax addiction and abuse.
Xanax may be abused in several ways, including:
- Taking multiple pills
- Injecting it
- Snorting it
- Taking it via blotter paper
- Taking it with other drugs or alcohol
Xanax is most frequently abused for its calming and soothing effects. Some people use Xanax in higher doses or mix it with other drugs, such as alcohol, to achieve a euphoric high.
The medication may be life-threatening if taking xanax in excessive quantities. Even when taken as directed, doses of Xanax can be fatal when used with alcohol or other medicines. When the pills are crushed or chewed, the drug is intended to enter the system gradually over time.
The following are some of the signs of a Xanax overdose:
- Slowed heart rate
- Extreme drowsiness
- Difficulty breathing
- Panic disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Loss of balance
- Muscle weakness
Treatment for Xanax abuse is determined by the amount of drugs ingested and whether other prescription drugs or alcohol were used. Medical practitioners may give the stomach a pump to remove as much unabsorbed Xanax as possible in the event of an overdose.
Flumazenil is a drug that can be used as an antidote for some types of narcotic overdoses. An IV may be inserted to provide fluids as needed. It’s critical for anyone who has taken an overdose to tell the emergency medical team everything they know about the drugs used and how much was consumed.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine derivative. It belongs to a family of drugs called central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including Valium and Klonopin. All these drugs slow down the body’s functions and bring about a calming effect.
They work by suppressing brain activity, and this suppression reduces the user’s anxiety and causes relaxation. Xanax is a very potent benzodiazepine that affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety. It acts very fast, usually within 30 minutes of ingestion.
Xanax is a prescription medication prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder, and it can even be used as pre-medication before surgery or other medical procedures. Xanax belongs to the benzodiazepine drug class, which acts on the brain’s GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors, resulting in an overall calming effect on users.
However, this class of drugs is also well-known for being addictive and can result in dependence over time if taken frequently.
Is Xanax Addictive?
Yes, Xanax is highly addictive and should not be used by anyone who has a history of addiction or substance abuse problems. If you search xanax addiction, you will find that the FDA has reclassified benzodiazepines to include Xanax and Valium as having a high potential for abuse and associated risk of dependency.
The physical dependence on the drug may develop with long-term use, which means that users will need higher doses to achieve the same effects. Alongside this physical tolerance comes an increased risk of addiction due to abusing xanax.
As such, anyone who has been using Xanax for a prolonged period must seek detox and rehab at a treatment center to counteract the risk of dependence.
What are the signs of Xanax addiction?
Signs of Xanax addiction include lying to doctors about the extent of drug use, forging prescriptions, and stealing pills. Individuals addicted to xanax often take more than the prescribed dose to experience its euphoric effects or suppress withdrawal symptoms that come with quitting cold turkey.
A person may also engage in risky behavior while taking Xanax, such as driving or having unprotected sex.
What are the withdrawal symptoms of Xanax?
One of the most common signs that someone is abusing xanax is severe withdrawal symptoms. Quitting use abruptly can cause unpleasant effects such as panic disorders, agitation, and feelings of unease. This is because the drug alters the chemicals in the brain to induce a calming effect as central nervous system depressants. Making matters worse, it also affects memory and concentration.
What is the treatment for addiction to Xanax?
Professional medical advice says a treatment plan for Xanax addiction may include a combination of therapy and medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help individuals replace drug-seeking behavior with new coping skills for stress and anxiety. Therapy also helps users understand the root causes of their addiction, so they have an easier time staying sober in the future.
Medication is used to boost treatment effects and reduce cravings while inside treatment centers. The most common type of therapy with Xanax is known as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to counteract xanax abuse and maybe from drug abuse of other prescription drugs.
How long does it take to withdraw from Xanax?
Withdrawing from Xanax usually takes between one and two weeks, but the specific timeline varies depending on the dosage and length of time someone abused this drug. A person might have withdrawal symptoms such as mood swings, trouble sleeping, and irritability. An addiction specialist can help ease the process by slowly reducing the dosage over time so the user doesn’t experience severe side effects.