Xanax Abuse, Addiction, And Treatment Options

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If you feel that the medication is not helping you, talk to your doctor about safely upping your dosage. Your doctor can put you on a plan to increase your dose without putting you in danger. However, people without prescriptions are able to get their hands on Xanax. Many wind up abusing Xanax by swallowing or snorting high doses. This leads to higher cases of Xanax addiction, overdose, and Xanax-related deaths. Users rely on the drug to calm them down when they feel anxious, unable to sleep, or after a stressful day.

  • Tapering off Xanax without medical supervision can be dangerous.
  • The brand-name Xanax may not be covered or may have a high copay.
  • Benzodiazepines work by interacting with the central nervous system, telling a receptor in the brain that is related to inhibitions to relax, and causing muscle relaxation, sedation, and reduced anxiety levels.
  • You’ll feel the effects of Xanax in about 10 minutes to an hour after taking a dose, and they’ll peak by the two-hour mark and subside by four.
  • Always follow your doctor’s guidelines and discuss any concerns.

An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using this medicine. There is an increased risk of cognitive impairment, delirium, falls, fractures, and motor vehicle crashes in older adults when Ambien or Xanax is used. Patients with depression should also be treated with an antidepressant and should be closely monitored. Ambien has a boxed warning, which is the strongest warning required by the FDA.

Xanax: A Highly Addictive Anti-Anxiety Drug

Using this medicine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco. Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food https://sober-home.org/ or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects.

Abusing Xanax can increase the rate of drug dependence and potentially lead to addiction. Drug dependence is a physical reaction that occurs when the brain expects Xanax to maintain its chemical balance. Essentially, the brain can no longer keep up with normal levels of neurotransmitter production, movement, and reabsorption. Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a prescribed medication in a category of drugs known as benzodiazepines.

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An article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry demonstrates that this can even be a problem if a person has only been taking low doses of Xanax over a longer period of time. While heavier use can certainly indicate that withdrawal symptoms will be more dangerous, lower doses do not necessarily mean that withdrawal will be safer. Financial insecurity – Oftentimes drug abuse is also coupled with financial issues because the user will drain bank accounts or misuse funds in order to maintain a supply of the drug. This could lead to eviction, repossession of personal items, If you are suffering from Xanax addiction, you may be putting your own (or your family’s) financial health at risk as a result. Each person is different, and the dosage tapering schedule will reflect this as will treatment protocols. The labeling information for Xanax publishes that dependence can be formed even when the drug is taken in small amounts for a relatively short period of time.

Understanding the Prevalence of Xanax Addiction

Journal of Addiction Medicine, Xanax is one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines to treat anxiety and panic disorders. However, many addiction specialists also consider the medication highly addictive. Xanax, also known by its generic name, alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorder. Other drugs in the benzodiazepine category of medications that you may have heard of include Valium , Ativan , Dalmane , Restoril , Klonopin , and Halcion .

  • People who develop a substance use disorder may show several signs of Xanax addiction and Xanax abuse symptoms.
  • As a comprehensive behavioral health facility, Casa Palmera understands that drug and alcohol addiction and trauma are not only physically exhausting, but also cause a breakdown in mental and spiritual sense.
  • Taking a benzodiazepine such as Xanax for longer than three or four weeks can lead to dependence.
  • Pfizer, the manufacturer of Xanax, has a warning on its drug information pamphlet that Xanax exposes users to risks of abuse, misuse, and addiction; and can lead to overdose or death.
  • People who are withdrawing from opiates sometimes self-medicate with Xanax.

Another thing to consider when comparing the two medications is how long they take to work. Because buspirone isn’t as potent as benzodiazepines, you will have to take it for a longer period, perhaps several weeks, before you see your condition improve. Benzos have faster onset action times than buspirone, but how fast they work depends on the benzo taken and what condition eco sober house rating it is prescribed to treat. Take this into consideration if you decide to go with benzodiazepine therapy. Xanax is also a potential drug of abuse, as it can also produce a euphoric “high” when taken outside of the bounds of a legitimate prescription. In addition to increasing levels of GABA, Xanax can also raise the amount of dopamine present in the brain.

Seizures and Xanax Abuse

Xanax is most frequently abused by people looking for its sedative effects. When you hear people talking about tranquilizers, benzodiazepines are the classic version of this type of medication. Familiar trade names other than Xanax include Valium and Ativan. These are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. Xanax can cause appetite to wane and may lead to weight loss, or binge eating episodes when users experience a surge of hunger. While the effects Xanax has on neurotransmitters paints a picture of stimulation, these drugs actually make users quite tired.

As a result, medical detox is always required for Xanax withdrawal. A tolerance break is time spent not taking the drug to avoid tolerance or dependence. Many benzodiazepines will become less effective as your body gets used to them.

Xanax is often prescribed for different types of anxiety, especially anxiety that resists other types of treatment. It goes without saying that any form of doctor shopping is dangerous. If your loved one admits to doing so, then they are likely struggling with a Xanax addiction. Doctor shopping is when a patient goes to more than one physician or clinic to get the same prescription.

If you think you or a loved one may be addicted, the most beneficial thing you can do is seek treatment immediately. Please contact Hill Country Detox today to learn more about our individualized Xanax detox program and how it can help you begin your life of sobriety. However, with continued abstinence and ongoing support in recovery, these side effects will continue to improve and subside. Medical detox and a comprehensive addiction treatment program can help to manage Xanax withdrawal and minimize instances of relapse for a sustained long-term recovery. People who combine Xanax with alcohol or other CNS depressants are at an increased risk of side effects.

  • Combining Xanax and alcohol can compound the side effects of these two substances, creating a potentially fatal reaction.
  • Rebound symptoms might require professional medical care, so seek it out as soon as possible.
  • However, because abusing a medication can worsen its effects, people who misuse Xanax may experience significant memory loss.
  • Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients.

In this case, relapse is highly likely and can even result in higher risk of overdose or other complications. For this reason, tapering off Xanax is the recommended method of withdrawal, and medical detox is needed. This is in part because the drugs are freely available on a widespread basis, and in part due to the toxic effects that they produce.

Dependence severity is increased when higher dose are taken for longer. For example, taking 4 mg of Xanax or more per day for a period of 12 weeks or longer can increase the risk and severity of dependence on the drug. In general, Xanax has a higher potential for abuse and addiction than fluoxetine.

However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted effects and kidney, liver, or lung problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving this medicine. Combining either Ambien or Xanax with alcohol is dangerous and can cause psychomotor impairment, respiratory depression, extreme sedation, coma, or even death. Use Xanax with caution and/or use lower doses in patients with severe liver problems. Patients who take Ambien should be monitored for tolerance, abuse, and dependence. Withdrawal symptoms may occur following abrupt discontinuation of Ambien.


This includes not only the taper, but also the capability to manage the withdrawal symptoms with further medical support, making withdrawal as comfortable as possible without adding further risk. This, in turn, makes it more likely that the individual will complete full withdrawal from Xanax and continue into long-term recovery. If you are using a benzodiazepine and are thinking about switching over to buspirone therapy, you are strongly advised to do so gradually under the care of your doctor. Abruptly stopping benzodiazepine use can result in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, including seizures, tremors, and rebound anxiety that is worse than the initial condition that led to benzodiazepine therapy. Rebound symptoms might require professional medical care, so seek it out as soon as possible. TheNational Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that in 2015, approximately 6.6 percent of the American adult population used an alprazolam product and 1.5 million misused a prescription sedative.

Ambien can also put patients, especially elderly patients, at higher risk of falls. Xanax is typically covered by private insurance and Medicare Part D in the generic form of alprazolam. The brand-name Xanax may not be covered or may have a high copay. A typical prescription of alprazolam would be for 60 tablets of 0.5 mg and cost about $33 out-of-pocket.

Tapering off a drug means that you gradually reduce the dosage until you stop taking it altogether. This process can help minimize the severity of withdrawal effects. If you have experienced these or any other concerning side effects as a result of withdrawing from Xanax, seek medical attention right away. Similarly, people with post-traumatic stress disorder who gradually discontinued Xanax experienced effects such as irritability, nightmares, worsened anxiety, hyper-alertness, rage, and homicidal ideation. Before taking Xanax, tell your doctor about pre-existing health conditions, any history with addiction, and other medications you’re taking.

CNS depressants, such as antihistamines and anticonvulsants, can increase the effects of benzodiazepines. If a person has been taking Xanax for a long time and wants to come off it, they should speak with a healthcare professional to work out a safe method for discontinuing the drug. The Food and Drug Administration have approved Xanax to treat certain kinds of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder .

High-quality addiction treatment is vital, and it is dangerous to attempt withdrawal without proper medical supervision. Dizziness and drowsiness are two main Xanax abuse side effects. Consistent Xanax abuse can cause both weight gain and weight loss.

Xanax falls into this category and thus poses a risk for addiction. Benzodiazepines are sedatives that typically produce feelings of relaxation or sleepiness. I learned some great tools I can use when I’m feeling down and I had a great support team here. I stayed because the solutions they gave me will serve me the rest of my life. Even those who are prescribed Xanax and take it just as prescribed can become addicted—sometimes without noticing it. Many individuals who suffer these consequences end up in the emergency room unable to control their own morbid thoughts.

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