Xanax is a prescription benzodiazepine used to help manage the symptoms of several physical and psychological conditions. While it is highly effective when used as directed, Xanax, like other benzodiazepines, is highly addictive and widely abused. In 2018, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the number of overdose deaths linked to benzodiazepine abuse increased by more than 800% between 1999 and 2017.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine or “benzo.” Medical and mental health providers frequently prescribe it to help patients struggling with panic disorders, sleep disorders, seizures, and pain linked to chronic muscle spasms. Xanax, also called alprazolam, is a sedative. Sedatives work within the body to produce feelings of calm and relaxation. They also work in the central nervous system to slow the speed at which the brain and body communicate. Therefore, it reduces how quickly the brain receives signals from other areas of the body and vice versa.
Xanax is available in pill form. However, there are several sizes, shapes, and colors. Unfortunately, the wide variation of the drug makes it easier to reproduce illegally and increases the challenges associated with identifying real versus fake pills. Xanax is illegal to possess without a prescription; however, rates of addiction and overdose continue to rise, leading to the need for comprehensive addiction treatment.
Is Xanax Addictive?
Xanax is considered one of the most addictive benzodiazepine drugs available. The highly desirable effects are felt quickly, especially for someone struggling with unpleasant symptoms of a physical or psychological health condition. Xanax and other benzodiazepine drugs cause feelings of relaxation, calmness, and pleasure. In time, tolerance for the effects of the drug develops, leading you to need higher and more frequent doses of the drug to maintain desired outcomes.
Many drugs require an extended pattern of misuse and abuse before tolerance, dependency, and addiction develop. Benzodiazepines are different. Even when used as directed, an addiction to Xanax can develop in as few as three or four weeks of regular use. Tolerance for the effects of the drug can develop in just a few days. Xanax addiction often occurs even when used as directed by your doctor. For this reason, many providers limit Xanax prescriptions to no more than thirty to sixty days.
What are Xanax Addiction Symptoms?
Xanax addiction does not take long to develop. The signs and symptoms of Xanax addiction are similar to those of other benzodiazepine drugs and include physical, emotional, and behavioral changes. Common Xanax addiction symptoms you may see in a friend or loved one with a Xanax addiction include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Blurry vision
- Problems with coordination
- Slurred or slow speech
- Mental health changes
- Increasing (often voluntary) isolation from friends and family
- Doctor shopping to get new prescriptions for more Xanax
- Coma, seizure activity, and death linked to Xanax overdose
Xanax addiction can lead to changes in one’s mental health. Long-term, untreated Xanax addiction can lead to new or worsening anxiety, depression, memory problems, nightmares, hallucinations, mood swings, psychosis, and suicidal thoughts.
Does Xanax Addiction Require Inpatient Treatment?
When you are actively taking Xanax, many symptoms of addiction are not apparent. However, when you try to stop using Xanax or reduce the amount you take, withdrawal symptoms occur quickly. Due to the severity of some Xanax withdrawal symptoms, seeking help at a residential inpatient treatment center, like Grand Falls Recovery, is the safest and most effective way to overcome a Xanax addiction.
When deciding to quit Xanax, it is essential to do so in a supported treatment environment. Suddenly stopping Xanax can cause significant and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Most Xanax withdrawal symptoms will begin within 6-8 hours after your last dose, lasting for a week to ten days, depending on the person and the severity of their addiction. Many Xanax withdrawal symptoms are difficult to manage without help. They can include shaking, tremors, panic attacks, heart palpitations, elevated blood pressure, racing heart, body aches and pains, and other life-threatening symptoms best addressed in an environment where medically supported detox is available.
How to Find Residential Xanax Addiction Treatment
Withdrawing and achieving sobriety from Xanax addiction is possible. However, it can be complex and challenging to manage without the support and guidance of a therapeutic environment. Undergoing detox as part of a medically supported detox program can help reduce the intensity of many unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that typically accompany Xanax withdrawal. Let Grand Falls Recovery help you find freedom from addiction. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you begin your sobriety journey.