Understanding Xanax Addiction & Abuse What You Should Know

xanax addiction

Detox is a process during which a person stops taking a harmful drug. The severity of the disorder can be classified as “mild” if two to three criteria are met, “moderate” if four to five are met, and “severe” if six or more are met. These classifications may help direct the most appropriate course of treatment.

Checking with a medical expert can reveal any potentially dangerous effects from mixing substances, and this could protect you against severe injury and dependence on Xanax. Those who take large doses of Xanax regularly are more likely to develop a substance use disorder than individuals who take low doses of the drug infrequently. Benzodiazepines rarely cause deadly overdoses when taken alone. But the drugs can cause life-threatening side effects when taken with other depressants, such as alcohol or opioids. To recover from Xanax addiction, people should taper off the prescription drug by taking lower doses over the course of several days or weeks.

  1. These users visit multiple prescribers within a short period in an attempt to conceal their dependence on Xanax.
  2. You experience mental and physical effects (withdrawal) if you abruptly stop taking the drug.
  3. However, people with more severe addictions might need the stability of an inpatient treatment center to recover.
  4. Having abused Xanax a few times, some people might attempt to take the drug under different circumstances or at different times.

This can make it difficult to simply stop using the drug once you’ve started. Some Xanax users also engage in a practice known as doctor shopping. These users visit multiple prescribers within a short period in an attempt to conceal their dependence on Xanax. To combat this problem, some states have implemented monitoring programs, which rely on electronic databases to track prescriptions for controlled substances. In some users, these behavioral changes include irritability, anger, aggression, difficulty controlling impulses, and an increased level of excitement.

Some withdrawal symptoms may last up to 12 months or longer after stopping this medicine suddenly. Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine drug widely prescribed to treat anxiety disorder. Benzodiazepine addiction is a growing concern in the United States, with around 30% of opiate overdose deaths also involving drugs like Xanax. Learn more about the risks and side effects of substance use disorders, including the signs of intoxication and overdose. Look into treatment options you can suggest to your loved one. If you are taking Xanax as prescribed, check with your doctor before taking another drug or drinking alcohol.

Therefore, a course of Xanax should be as short as possible with treatment response closely monitored by the doctor. Another concern with central nervous system cns depression is the risk of overdose, which can result in acute benzodiazepine toxicity. Overdose can occur with Xanax alone, but the majority of deaths occur when Xanax is combined with other drugs such as opioids, including heroin. Polydrug use (using multiple drugs) is common among people with benzodiazepine addiction, with 54.2% abusing opioids and 24.7% abusing alcohol. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common form of therapy for benzodiazepine addiction. CBT addresses the learning processes underlying substance use disorders.

Signs of Abuse

The Recovery Village can help you find a solution for your substance use disorder and treat any co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety or depression, that may contribute to Xanax addiction. Non-medical users sometimes take Xanax to enhance the feelings of euphoria produced by other substances. Xanax is also said to help reduce unwanted side effects caused by stimulants, opioids, and other substances. However, the non-medical use of Xanax does come with risks, including the threat of sudden death in some individuals. If someone takes Xanax regularly, it can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms; especially if taken for a long time or in high doses. Xanax can cause physical and psychological dependence or addiction even in people who take it as prescribed.

xanax addiction

Xanax also allows more dopamine, a natural chemical that transmits messages between nerve cells, to enter the brain. As a result, some users experience a sense of euphoria, increasing the potential for misuse. Dopamine is responsible for reinforcing the feelings of reward in the brain. For example, apixaban eliquis when we eat a sugary snack, a small amount of dopamine is released and we may get the urge to have another. Xanax and other substances encourage addiction through this mechanism. Yes, Xanax is addictive and is classified as a Schedule IV medication by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

What Is a Xanax Addiction?

One of the most common and dangerous interactions for Xanax occurs with alcohol. Both substances are central nervous system depressants, slowing down the body’s processes like movement and breathing. Recognizing Xanax addiction signs and symptoms can help you know when to seek treatment for yourself or a loved one. Xanax addiction can be serious and affect a person’s mood, behavior and physical characteristics. Individuals who take it recreationally often mix it with alcohol, marijuana or other drugs. Mixing drugs like alcohol and Xanax is dangerous because it’s difficult to know how the drugs will interact with one another.

The use of Xanax and other sedatives and hypnotics has some association with an increased risk of death. The exact reason for this is unclear, but it may relate to a potential increase in depression, infections, respiratory issues, and accidents. Furthermore, there is some association of Xanax with an increased risk of suicide. The potential for addiction is higher with Xanax than with lower-potency benzodiazepines like Librium (chlordiazepoxide). If you have a loved one who’s struggling with addiction, staging an intervention is often the first necessary step towards sobriety, but it’s important to be strategic and loving in your approach. Even the most well-meaning of interventions can have a negative effect if they aren’t handled correctly.

Before taking this medicine

Withdrawal symptoms can be felt within six hours of the last dose. The majority of people who misuse Xanax are between the ages of 18 and 25. A small percent of those young adults are introduced to the drug in high school. Xanax is more than twice as popular among high school seniors as the next most popular benzo.

It’s important that you consider all of your options and choose the treatment program that’s right for you. The development of tolerance is a major factor that drives a new substance addiction. You may take so much to overcome your tolerance that you quickly become dependent on the effects of Xanax—using dangerous amounts in the face of negative health and personal consequences. Therefore, treating choosing a drug rehab addiction program usually involves a gradual reduction in the amount of the substance ingested. Tapering the dose instead of suddenly stopping Xanax reduces the risk of serious withdrawal symptoms, makes relapse less likely, and ensures that the individual has plenty of social support.

You may start by calling your provider to inquire about covered programs or reaching out to individual programs to ask whether they accept your coverage. A number of different types of therapy are used in the treatment of substance abuse disorders. Sometimes family and friends can help in encouraging you to seek help and in pointing out these issues to you. Even if a person tries to stop taking Xanax, the fear of withdrawal and rebound can be so strong that the adverse consequences of stopping seem to outweigh the benefits. Xanax addiction is specifically part of a subcategory of substance use disorder known as sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder.

Sometimes called “purple footballs,” “bars,” or “Z-bars,” this drug can cause a high that includes feelings of intense relaxation and drowsiness. Long-term use of Xanax causes the user to build up a tolerance that makes the substance less effective at smaller doses. As a result, some users take Xanax more often than prescribed or in larger doses than prescribed to continue experiencing desirable effects, such as reduced anxiety and feelings of euphoria. It teaches clients how to cope with relapse temptations and life stress in a productive and abstinence-friendly manner. Behavioral therapy is an important component of recovery from drug addiction.

Professional resources

Because you don’t live at the treatment facility, it’s common for drug abuse counselors to give you random drug tests to ensure you’re on the right track. Outpatient programs are better suited to those in the early stages of substance abuse. For example, to reduce the risk of seizures, the Xanax dose is gradually tapered over weeks under medical supervision. Doctors usually start someone on the smallest effective dose to avoid the potential for addiction and withdrawal symptoms. The dose may be increased depending on the response to treatment.

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