Xanax is a commonly-prescribed medication that is used to treat chronic anxiety. While it is one of the most often-prescribed medications to treat anxiety, it is a potentially dangerous drug and can easily cause some people to become dependent on, or addicted to, taking it on a regular basis. Xanax is the brand name of the generic counterpart alprazolam.
GABA receptors bond with alprazolam in the brain to help ease anxiety, calm the central nervous system and give the feeling of relaxation in an overstimulated and anxious person. Xanax is categorized as a benzodiazepine. Many people who are prescribed Xanax use the word “benzo” interchangeably when referring to the brand name of the drug.
Xanax is designed to be used on a short-term or intermittent basis. Problems with addiction occur when a person begins taking Xanax, multiple times a day, every single day. After only four to six weeks of regular use, the GABA receptors in the brain begin to require a higher dosage of the drug to maintain the same level of effect. Since Xanax increases the amount of feel-good dopamine in the brain, it can be very easy to see how a person could become addicted to the feel-good high and relaxation that the medication provides.
If you are currently taking Xanax and are worried you may become, or have already become, dependent on the drug, here are some common overuse symptoms you may be experiencing. If you experience any combination of symptoms on the list on a regular basis, you may need to speak with your doctor or a licensed professional about seeking treatment for addiction.
People addicted to Xanax need to undergo an assisted medical detox and other therapies to help determine and address the underlying causes of the addiction. A Xanax detox treatment will consist of a five to seven-day safe medical detox in a licensed facility. You will have access to 24-hour medical care while you detox.
Xanax Addiction Symptoms
-Sleeping problems or insomnia
-Increase in anxiety or the number of panic attacks
-Excessive shaking or tremors
-Heart fluttering or other heart-related problems
-Migraines or headaches
-Muscle and joint pain
-Mania or psychosis
Even if you do not currently have any of these symptoms, misuse of the drug Xanax or experimenting with your dosage can easily lead to a dependency in a short period of time. Xanax typically remains in the system for up to 15 hours. Extreme Xanax abusers can take up to 35 pills per day to maintain their habit and the high that they receive from the drug.
Even if you follow the dosage instructions prescribed to you by your doctor, there is still a risk that you could become dependent on the drug. If you begin to experience rapid mood swings, your focus is primarily on taking or obtaining Xanax, you no longer enjoy hobbies or getting together with friends and family to socialize or you miss school or work quite frequently, you may already have an addiction to Xanax. You should seek professional and medical attention immediately if this is the case.
If you decide to reach out to a licensed detox facility for Xanax addiction treatment, a professional intake counselor will be able to answer any questions you may have about the facility, the treatment and costs and the different types of programs available. They will give you an overview of detox from Xanax and what you can expect throughout the process. They will discuss your options and treat you with respect, care, compassion and understanding.
Xanax is a very serious drug with very serious side effects. Many movie stars, television stars and singers have overdosed on Xanax. Prescription medication addiction has risen exponentially in the last decade. People who abuse Xanax are more likely to indulge in other self-destructive behaviors like excessive gambling and drinking and driving.
While Xanax may be a legally-prescribed medication in the United States, it does not mean that it is less dangerous than drugs like heroin or cocaine. In many cases, prescription medication can be even more dangerous because it is readily available and much easier to acquire, in some cases, than illegal substances. If you think you may have a dependency or addiction to Xanax or any other drug, confide in a friend or loved one and seek treatment to regain control of your life.