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Xanax is a medication used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and insomnia. When Xanax is used for a prolonged period, the chances of developing an addiction are quite high.
Read through the article completely to know how usage of Xanax can lead to potential abuse, its symptoms of addiction, and ways to overcome addiction.
Xanax – a powerful anxiety fighter
Since the introduction of this medication in the mid-1970s, Xanax is predominantly used to treat anxiety disorders in people. However, when used for a long period the drug produces a euphoric high and that is the reason why Xanax is highly abused.
A survey conducted recently by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that in the year 2013 alone, 14 million prescriptions were handed out. That is a sharp rise compared to the 8 million prescriptions in 1996. Benzodiazepine is commonly abused by adults over the age of 50-64 which accounts for a 20% increase among this age category.
This rising popularity of the medication has captured the attention of people and current statistics claim that over 500,000 people use Xanax or any other type of benzodiazepine.
Treating insomnia without medication is possible with the help of cognitive-behavioral therapy. If this method doesn’t seem to work out, then you can go in for Xanax medication.
Xanax is widely prescribed for those suffering from anxiety, panic disorders, and insomnia.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication. It is also known by its generic name Alprazolam which is also an active ingredient of the drug. The medication works by enhancing the GABA neurotransmitters in the brain which decreases abnormal excitement in the brain and helps create a feeling of relaxation thus relieving oneself from sudden bursts of anxiety attacks and panic attacks.
Xanax is a Schedule IV Controlled Substances in the United States which means they are a prescription medication and cannot be purchased by any other means.
This drug was approved by the FDA to be used in the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks. Xanax is prescribed only for a short-term duration of 6 weeks, exceeding this can develop tolerance and increase dependency.
This medication should only be prescribed as an alternative when non-medical methods do not yield results.
Xanax is a fast-acting drug and its effects can be felt within an hour of administration. The peak effect can be felt in an hour or two. The medication is usually recommended to be taken in the morning so that you don’t experience anxiety or any feeling of discomfort throughout the day.
The effect of the medication can cause a relaxing feeling and that is why people like to continue the drug even when they stop feeling anxiety. The prime reason why it develops tolerance and dependency.
Xanax – Potential Abuse
Since Xanax works by altering the chemicals in the brain the chances of becoming tolerant to the medication are high.
Benzodiazepines can make you feel emotionally and physically dependent on the drug even when taken as per the direction of your physician.
Consult your doctor before taking the medication. It is best if you start with as minimal a dosage as possible. This is effective and it also lowers the risk of dependency on the medication.
The reason why people develop tolerance to the drug is that they are used to the effectiveness of the already prescribed dosage to a point where they no longer feel the effect of the medication. Their body then urges them to take a higher dosage than the previous one to feel the initial effects of the medication. This goes on until they reach a point where they can no longer live without the pills.
You can identify if a person has developed an addiction or not by noticing the changes in their behavior. Given below are two instances to show that a person has developed an addiction,
- Lack of Coordination
- Difficulty in speaking
- Xanax cravings
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
- Manic behavior
- Memory issues
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of interest and motivation to do anything
- Spending excessively on the medication
Once a person shows these symptoms, it affects their individual experiences and disrupts their relationship with others.
If you try to stop using the medication, you may also experience withdrawal symptoms. The longer you are used to the medication the more intense you will feel the withdrawal symptoms.
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
The following are the symptoms one might tend to experience due to Xanax withdrawal
- Blurred vision
- Muscle pain
- Numbness of fingers
- Tingling in arms and legs
- Loss of appetite
- Heart palpitations
The duration and the severity of these symptoms vary depending on the dose of Xanax intake and the duration of how long they have been taking. Taking higher doses for a long period can cause more intense and serious side effects which can last for several weeks.
On the other hand, the condition of those using lower doses significantly improved when given the right treatment.
How to overcome Ambien Withdrawal
Contact your doctor as soon as you realize Xanax is taking over you if you feel the need to take the medication more frequently than you ought to.
A lower dose will be prescribed and as days go by it will be reduced furthermore until you are no longer dependent on the medication.
Note: Xanax should be taken only when Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) doesn’t work. Take medications only under the guidance and prescription from your doctor.