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Xanax Addiction

Xanax is prescribed to patients who have been diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety disorders or panic issues. As classifications go, Xanax is deemed a short-acting benzodiazepine. It also referred to as Alprazolam and Niravam. Taking Xanax can provide the user with a complete sensation of relaxation and euphoria. This is what Xanax can be such a habit-forming drug. Although it is manufactured legally, most of the Xanax that is made around the world ends up falling into the illegal narcotics trade.

IMS Health provides sales figures and other date to the pharmaceutical industry. In surveys conducted by IMS Health, they have found that the number of Xanax prescriptions has risen from 29.9 million to 37.5 just in the last five years alone. This makes Xanax number five on the list of prescribed drugs taken by citizens in the US.

Xanax can be taken in pill form or it can be crushed up and snorted like you would with cocaine. It can also be crushed up, heated until it melts and injected through a needle like you would with heroin. A person who becomes addicted to Xanax will often go way beyond the recommended dosage. It’s not unlikely for them to develop a habit of taking anywhere between 20 to 30 Xanax every day. Obviously at this level, the potential for devastating physical and emotional effects increases.

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How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted?

The answer to this question will differ from one patient to the next, and depends on several factors. The number of pills taken is an obvious factor, but it must be balanced by a searching exploration of the patient’s motives. Those who are using the drug recreationally may become addicted in a shorter period of time, perhaps because of the higher incidence of using other substances and an already developed pattern of addictive behavior. Those who are using the drug to alleviate discomfort may continue to use it in higher dosages than recommended or for a longer period than prescribed.

Signs of a Xanax Addiction

Studies indicate that more than a third of patients who use Xanax for a long time experience a worsening of depressive symptoms.

When first taking Xanax as prescribed, a fairly low dose is effective in treating symptoms. However, continued use allows the user to become accustomed to the substance in both physical and psychological ways. Physically, the body learns how to adapt its chemical makeup in an attempt to return to a more “normal” state. The result is that the patient needs ever-increasing dosages in order to achieve the same effect. This gradual buildup of tolerance becomes an addiction when the patient feels that the only way to control uncomfortable symptoms is to take increasing doses, and becomes anxious about maintaining a supply. Ironically, the anxiety and depression that are often the reason Xanax is prescribed in the first place are also symptoms of dependency and addiction.

If you are concerned about your reliance on Xanax or about the possibility that a loved one is misusing the drug, deliberately or inadvertently, you should familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of Xanax addiction.

Behavioral Signs

If you have been prescribed Xanax, the first sign you should look out for is going over the prescribed dosage. Often, Xanax is prescribed to be used “as needed,” which makes it hard to determine when a patient is abusing the drug. Each time you find yourself about to take a Xanax pill, ask yourself whether it is really necessary. If not, don’t take it just to ease normal tension or relax after a stressful day.
Feeling anxious about whether you have enough Xanax on hand or where you’ll get it from is another sign that should not be ignored. An extremely important sign is “doctor shopping.” This refers to patients who look for another prescriber when their own doctor becomes reluctant to refill their prescription. If your doctor urges you to use less Xanax, pay attention!

Side-Effects of Xanax Use

The chances of harmful side effects from Xanax become greater with the rise of dosage.Among these symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • Vertigo
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Tremors
  • Itching
  • Slurred speech
  • Decrease libido
  • Rapid heart rate

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Beyond those physical symptoms, there are also potential emotional complications that can arise from Xanax abuse. A person who is a habitual Xanax user can lose inhibition which might manifest itself in them taking more risky behaviors. They can also experience mood swings. On the upside of euphoria, there can be increased hyperactivity. On the down swing, a severe depression can lead to suicidal thoughts.

Withdrawal Symptoms

When a person attempts to quit Xanax cold turkey on their own, they will often experience some very intense withdrawal symptoms. Among these conditions are migraine like headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, exhaustion, vertigo and a heightened sense of anxiety. During a withdrawal, someone who has become addicted to Xanax might feel compelled to go back on the drug to stop the pain. This would then foster the abuse cycle repeating itself again.

Xanax Addiction Treatment Help

There have been many effective programs developed for the treatment of Xanax addiction. If a person was originally prescribed Xanax for the treatment of a depression disorder, they might require a substitute drug to help with those symptoms. However, someone who is merely abusing the drug for recreational purposes will need to rid the Xanax from their system and engage in serious therapy.A medically supervised detoxification is the best approach to kicking the Xanax abuse habit. After a successful detox, the patient can then begin the important therapy work to understand the causes for the addiction. It is through that understanding that the addiction cycle can be broken. The chances for relapse are diminished when professional guidance is embraced.

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