Xanax is the brand name for the central nervous system depressant alprazolam. It is a prescribed medication used to treat anxiety, including social anxiety disorder and panic disorder. When taken as a physician recommends, there is a low risk of Xanax addiction. However, misusing the drug by mixing it with other substances or taking a higher dosage than prescribed can lead to dependency issues.
Why Is Xanax Addictive?
Alprazolam produces a pleasant, sedating effect that helps those with anxiety disorders cope with stress. The effects appear almost immediately but only last a few hours. That can set up a cycle for overuse. As a person builds up a tolerance for Xanax, larger and more frequent doses are necessary to achieve the desired sensations. Even people who use the drug exactly as directed may be at risk for developing dependency due to the effects Xanax has on the brain’s pleasure and reward centers similar to those of opioids. In fact, clinicians may use Xanax to help ease the symptoms of opioid withdrawal during detox.
Prescription addiction is a serious problem in the United States. Experts estimate that nearly 12% of prescription drug users develop an addiction. However, only a tiny percentage of those are willing to admit they have a problem. The powerful sedative and pleasure-producing effects of drugs like Xanax make at-risk patients even more vulnerable. At-risk patients may include:
- People who use or abuse other prescription medications
- Those with a personal or family history of substance use disorders
- Those suffering from untreated co-occurring mental health conditions like depression or bipolar disease
If you or someone you love is struggling to control their Xanax use, it’s time to find a treatment program, such as the one we offer at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida.
Symptoms and Risks of Xanax Addiction
There is a false sense of safety when someone uses medication that their doctor prescribed. However, medicines that are safe for limited short-term use can become dangerous when abused.
If you are concerned about your Xanax use or that of someone you care about, watch for the following telltale signs of misuse:
- Intense cravings to use Xanax
- Slurred speech
- Unable to quit or decrease use despite the desire to do so
- Complaints about headaches or feeling light-headed
- Continued use even after abusing Xanax has caused negative social, personal, or financial consequences
- Significant time and resources devoted to obtaining the drug
- Lying to doctors or stealing money to pay for Xanax
- Dangerously low blood pressure
- Digestive issues
- Failure to meet responsibilities at home, school, or work due to Xanax use
- Inability to focus or remember things
- Taking larger or more frequent doses than prescribed
- Using Xanax in unsafe situations such as while driving or putting yourself in unsafe situations to obtain/use the drug
If you’re at high risk for Xanax addiction and seeing the symptoms above, it’s vital to get help. Over time, Xanax use can lead to a range of health risks.
Long-Term Health Risks
The long-term health risks of Xanax prescription addiction include the following:
- Dangerously low blood pressure
- Depression or increased anxiety
- Impaired cognitive function
- Loss of impulse control
- Psychotic episodes/delirium
- Brain damage
- Accidents caused by lack of coordination while sedated
- Suicidal ideation
The most serious risk of any drug or pill addiction is death by overdose. Overdose deaths from this drug category are increasing in the U.S., but help is available.
Seek Recovery from Prescription Addiction at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida
Programs for treating prescription medication addiction are effective and help millions of people live without the destructive and dangerous effects of substance use disorder. Our caring staff knows that Xanax abuse needs treatment, which is why we take it as seriously as other types of drug abuse. Call Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida at 866.294.5306 to learn more about our medically supervised detox programs and treatment facilities.