Addiction is often measured, in part, by the impact it makes on a person’s quality…
Xanax Addiction: What You Should Know
Widely prescribed and widely abused, Xanax is a highly addictive drug that can get its hooks into its victims at lightning speed. Many users who start out taking the drug for an anxiety disorder or insomnia end up in Xanax addiction treatment programs, wondering how they let it sneak up on them to steal their freedom and sobriety.
Facts About Xanax Addiction
Xanax addiction is a troubling disorder, and if you are currently taking Xanax, there are some things you need to know about the risks associated with this potent, mind-altering drug:
- Xanax is actually the trade name for the medication alprazolam, which belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs. Benzodiazepines are notoriously addictive and are some of the most difficult drugs to escape from once an addiction has formed.
- When Xanax is used recreationally, or in amounts beyond those recommended by doctors, the chances of addiction and/or overdose skyrocket.
- If you decide to stop taking Xanax after using it regularly for an extended period of time, withdrawal symptoms will likely develop within 12 hours and continue for a few days. The intensity of those symptoms will vary based on the rate of reduction in dosage (going cold turkey is hazardous and not recommended).
- Symptoms produced by withdrawal from Xanax, or from any other benzodiazepine, can be harsh and severe. They could include:
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Sleep disturbance
- Feelings of unreality
- Restless leg syndrome
- Blurred or double vision
- Fatigue or weakness
- Thoughts of suicide
- Under some circumstances, these symptoms can lead to hospitalization and could even be life-threatening.
- Because the risk of dangerous side effects is so great, if you stop taking Xanax you should only do so under the care of a physician in a medical detox unit at a Xanax addiction treatment center.
- The pace of withdrawal from Xanax addiction will vary depending on how long you’ve been using it. Tolerance for any drug will grow as chemical dependency deepens, meaning you’ll need to take more and more Xanax to get the same effects — and a higher level of consumption necessitates a longer withdrawal period.
- While the physical aspects of Xanax addiction are real and formidable, like every other type of chemical dependency, Xanax addiction also has a strong psychological component that shouldn’t be overlooked. Xanax addiction treatment regimens must address the psychological side of the equation if recovery is to be lasting.
- If you originally started taking Xanax for an anxiety disorder, that condition will still be present even if you manage to overcome your chemical dependency. Therefore, if you do enter a treatment facility, you may need to receive treatment for co-occurring disorders, not just for the substance abuse.
Alprazolam dependency is a nightmare for sufferers, and if you’ve been prescribed Xanax for anxiety or insomnia, you should be extremely careful to avoid misuse or abuse.
Even if your consumption remains moderate and no addiction develops, when your final prescription is running low you should consult with your doctor to make sure you have a good, sustainable, safe plan for withdrawal.
Medical News Today: Xanax Side Effects, Drug Information