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.
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?
Signs of a Xanax Addiction
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.
Abuse of Xanax results in a wide variety of physical symptoms. Some, such as drowsiness, extreme fatigue and nodding off, are in direct opposition to others, such as insomnia. Other physical symptoms can be caused by many other drugs or disorders, so it can be hard to pin down which symptoms are caused by Xanax use. Some of the physical symptoms to be aware of include:
- Memory problems, including total amnesia for the time when under the influence of the drug.
- Increased depression. Ironically, patients often take Xanax to ease depression, only to have it boomerang and increase their symptoms. They take Xanax to feel better, but ultimately will only feel better when free of the drug.
- Decreased inhibitions. This is problematic not only in social, work or family situations, but it also leads to a lack of fear of in dangerous circumstances. This can lead to an increase in risky behavior and the possibility of physical harm.
- Thoughts of suicide or of harming oneself.
- Dizziness and fainting.
- Hallucinations, often paranoid, which leads to agitation and unfounded hostility.
- Hyperactivity, nervousness and restlessness, often accompanied by unusually heavy sweating.
- Decreased urination.
- Constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
- Flu-like symptoms such as headache, joint pain and muscle weakness.
- Blurred vision.
- Impaired coordination and balance.
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Muscular twitching, tremor and seizures or convulsions.
Side-Effects of Xanax Use
The chances of harmful side effects from Xanax become greater with the rise of dosage.Among these symptoms are:
- Joint pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Slurred speech
- Decrease libido
- Rapid heart rate
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.
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.