Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. Commonly used in the treatment of anxiety, Xanax is an effective short-term component of a comprehensive anxiety management treatment plan. While effective, Xanax is highly addictive and can be easily abused. When people develop a Xanax dependency or a Xanax addiction, it negatively impacts their lives and the lives of those whom they love. Worse yet, those who are addicted to Xanax can experience physical and psychological conditions that have the potential to be life-threatening.
This article will further explain what Xanax is as a prescription drug and its uses. We will also explore why is Xanax addictive and the signs of Xanax dependency and addiction. Most importantly, you will learn where you can find Xanax addiction treatment. Are you or a loved one struggling with Xanax dependency and need help? Call the treatment professionals at Atlantic Recovery today and learn more about our treatment programs.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is part of a family of drugs called benzodiazepines. This group of prescription medications produces a profound sense of calm and relaxation. Xanax is most commonly prescribed for people who suffer from anxiety and panic disorders, but it is also used for other conditions such as seizures and even alcohol withdrawal. Other conditions Xanax is used to treat include:
- Sleep disorders
- Muscle relaxation
- Pre-surgery prep
As stated in the introduction, Xanax is designed and most effective for short-term use. Because of its high addiction potential, this medication must be prescribed and closely monitored by experienced medical personnel. Even under strict medical supervision, there is a possibility that users can become dependent or even addicted to Xanax.
How Does Xanax Work?
The chemical structure of Xanax fits perfectly with specific receptors in the brain called GABA receptors. When taken, Xanax is able to fit perfectly with GABA receptors and disrupt the electrical impulses that fire between neurons. As a result, people feel a tremendous sense of calm and relaxation. Because of these effects, Xanax is effective in treating people with anxiety, panic disorders, and other related mental disorders.
The brain does produce its own “calming” neurotransmitters. There is an imbalance in those neurotransmitters in those who struggle with anxiety and its related disorders. Xanax helps people achieve calm and peace and provides comfort to those experiencing the negative and scary thoughts that come with anxiety. However, the complex interactions between the drug and brain chemistry can create a situation where Xanax dependency and even Xanax addiction can occur.
Is Xanax Addictive?
Many people think that since Xanax is a medication prescribed by a doctor, the drug itself is “safe.” The truth is Xanax is very addictive, and people can quickly become dependent on the drug. Much like other drugs, Xanax alters how neurons signal, and over time the drug takes over the production of the neurotransmitters responsible for naturally producing calm and relaxation in the brain and body. If misused, people will develop a tolerance to Xanax and will need to take more of the drug in order to feel the pleasurable effects they desire.
As people become more dependent on Xanax, they take the drug not only to achieve calm and peace—they take it in order to function on a daily basis. This often turns into full-blown Xanax addiction, and it consumes every moment of their day. If a person tries to drastically curtail their use or quit altogether, their brains “short circuit” and tries to recalibrate itself. As a result, people will experience various withdrawal symptoms that can create significant discomfort. If underlying health issues or multiple substances are being abused, withdrawal can be life-threatening.
What are the Signs of Xanax Abuse?
While people addicted to Xanax will do their best to hide their use from others, there are a host of tell-tale signs of Xanax abuse. The most common include the following:
- Slurred speech
- Mental confusion
- Blurred vision
- Impaired coordination
- Difficulty breathing
Additional signs of Xanax dependence and abuse include the following:
- Mood swings
- Periods of depression
- Hallucinations (audio, tactile, visual)
- Suicidal thoughts
Are You in Need of Xanax Addiction Treatment? Call Atlantic Recovery Today
Xanax addiction is a very serious issue that must be addressed as soon as possible. Atlantic Recovery is just a phone call away if you or a loved one are struggling with Xanax dependence. We offer several care levels that feature evidence-based programs and services that will help you address your Xanax addiction. Our experienced staff can customize these programs and services to meet your unique and specific needs. No matter the severity of your Xanax dependence, Atlantic Recovery will give you the tools and support you need to break the vicious and dangerous cycle of Xanax addiction for good.