Xanax is usually prescribed to treat patients who have panic disorders or anxiety problems. It should only be used by people who have a prescription for it as it is highly addictive. What makes Xanax so effective is that it works by stifling the inhibitory receptor in the brain in order to essentially decrease any abnormal excitement significantly. Anyone who uses Xanax is at risk of becoming addicted to it, even people who use it in accordance with a prescription. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, that risk increases for those who consume high dosages for long periods.
Warning Signs of Abuse
The main issue with Xanax consumption is that addiction develops over time, and many people who abuse it are often unaware of the serious dangers they face. According to the 2011 Treatment Episode Data Set Report, 60,200 people who received some type of drug abuse treatment were addicted to benzodiazepines like Xanax. Compared to the 22,400 people who were treated for benzodiazepine addiction in 1998, the number has almost tripled and illustrates a huge problem is only growing each year. Learning how to recognize the warning signs and symptoms of Xanax addiction can be a powerful weapon against abuse. No aspect of a Xanax abuser’s life is safe from the drug’s negative effects, so it is very important to look for some or all of these signs:
- Suffering relationships. This includes marriage troubles and/or strained friendships.
- Family problems. This may involve neglecting responsibilities and family members.
- Work problems: Xanax abusers tend to skip work or become unproductive at their job, sometimes during a withdrawal period when they have not taken any pills.
- Economic struggles. This may include worry over a lack of money, irresponsible spending or wasting money on drugs.
- Xanax thoughts: Abusers of the drug may have constant thoughts revolving around Xanax and how to get more of it.
- Cognitive impairment. This includes slurred speech or difficulty articulating words.
- Weight loss. Stress, lack of appetite, and unhealthy lifestyle choices can cause a sudden loss of weight
- Xanax tolerance. Addicts who use Xanax for long periods typically build up a tolerance for it and start experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they have not taken it, or they use other drugs when their access to Xanax is limited or nonexistent
Side Effects of Xanax Abuse and Addiction
Because Xanax is primarily a central nervous system depressant, virtually all of its potential side effects will involve how the mind works and the impact on its functioning. Each of the following side effects from Xanax abuse can be especially likely in cases of prolonged use.
- Lack of coordination. This means an inability to move normally, a worsening of reaction time, and unusually low competence when performing simple tasks.
- Slurred speech. Brain functions are intentionally slowed with Xanax and with that, cognitive skills, thought processes, communication, language, and verbal interference slow.
- Confusion. Disorientation, haziness, aimless wandering, and a general obliviousness can occur.
- Memory loss. This may include a slight case of impairment when attempting to remember something; usually only short-term memory is lost and in some cases only temporarily.
- Sedation. This includes varying levels of sedation, ranging from mild to severe and lasting up to three to four days for those who take large dosages of Xanax.
Teen Xanax Abuse
Young people may have prescription medication addictions and require the same level of help as adults. The 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey has reported that 7.4 percent of teenagers were using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes throughout the prior year. In the study, all prescription medication was grouped into one category, so while it encompasses many brands, Xanax still remains a very popular choice among both adults and young people.
Treatment for Xanax Abuse
When someone is displaying any warning signs or symptoms of Xanax abuse, it is time to seek help and make sure that person has access to a wide variety of treatment options. People who are abusing or addicted to Xanax can use inpatient or outpatient treatment programs, depending on the severity of their addiction. Xanax will eventually take over a person’s entire life; the key signs of this progression are uncontrollable thoughts of the drug that interfere with daily activities, lying about usage, and feeling an overpowering need to have more if it. Neither Xanax nor any addiction should have that much power over anyone’s well-being and rob someone of a healthy future. Here at Futures of Palm Beach, we provide a safe, stable environment where we offer the most effective methods to help cope with any withdrawal symptoms, using medication if necessary, as well as group and individual therapy sessions. We also offer a complete, inclusive support system that includes counseling with family members. Together, we will work to restore a healthy, active lifestyle and heal every area that was damaged until Xanax is no longer a threat. Going through an addiction is an agonizing experience and our goal is to make sure your treatment is free of as much frustration and worry as much as possible. Qualified experts are here and ready with a proven track of life-changing recoveries that are real and inspiring. Xanax addiction has been stifling your happiness long enough, and now it’s time to take control. If you or someone you know is abusing Xanax, please contact us today so we can give you more information about our comprehensive recovery options, and let us help you start the healing process right now.