Xanax And Addiction: What You Need To Be Aware Of
Xanax has become more prevalent in recent times, becoming a hot topic in pop culture music and circulating more around the younger, unprescribed crowds. When misused, the drug Xanax can become extremely dangerous and have significant complications. A person who begins to misuse Xanax could become addicted to it quickly, leading to severe issues, such as death.
For those prescribed Xanax, its important to recognize the signs of addiction and make sure that you are communicating with people you trust if there is ever an issue. Xanax can be useful in treating you if you are in need, but there are rules to follow to ensure proper use.
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What Are Signs I Might Be Addicted To My Anxiety Medicine
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, common signs that you might be addicted to your anxiety medication include:8
- Taking your anxiety medicine for longer than intended.
- Taking your anxiety medicine more often or in larger doses than prescribed.
- Spending a considerable amount of time getting your anxiety medicine, using it, and recovering from its side effects.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after the effects of your anxiety medicine wear off.
- Needing larger doses of your anxiety medicine to achieve the same results.
- Experiencing impaired performance at school, home, or work due to the effects of your anxiety medication.
- Trying to quit or control your use of anxiety medication but failing.
- Experiencing strong cravings for your anxiety medicine.
If you think you might be addicted to your anxiety medication, you should speak with your doctor immediately.
Follow Your Withdrawal Schedule
If a withdrawal schedule is used, with timed reductions in dosages, it is very important to follow the schedule exactly as it is written. It is also important to not go backward on the schedule. If life circumstances do not permit advancing a stage , do not go back to higher doses, just stay at the stage you are on until it is safe to go forward.
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What Is The Best Anxiety Medication
These days everyone wants to know what medications are the best for treating anxiety. Hypothetically, it would be nice to have a chart of medications with specific criteria comparing each specific drug and showing people which drug is regarded as the best. The problem is that the criteria would be considered too complex to adequately determine a specific best and worst drug.
Generally if a medication is approved for a certain condition, it is considered effective. Individuals will have different reactions to a drug based on genetics, whether they are using other drugs, how long theyve been taking it, and their dosage. A medication that works well for one individual, may not have much of an effect in another. For this reason, psychiatrists must experiment to find out what medication works for addressing anxiety on a case-by-case basis.
What Is Anxiety And What Are The Best Non
Are you looking for non-addictive treatments for anxiety? This guide to anxiety disorders and treatment options both medicinal an holistic might help educate you on your options. Below is our list of top non-narcotic and non-addictive treatments for anxiety. Read on for detailed descriptions of each treatment option:
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What Are The Alternatives
For patients who have a history of substance abuse or who are vulnerable to addictive drugs, benzodiazepines like Valium are not recommended. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, overuse of Valium can cause surges in the level of dopaminea neurotransmitter that creates feelings of happiness, contentment or euphoriain the brain.2 These dopamine surges reinforce the need to use more Valium in order to get the same pleasurable feelings. Fortunately, there are other prescription drugs that can control anxiety, muscle tension or seizures without exposing the user to the risk of abuse, including the following:
How Do They Treat Anxiety
Well, these drugs correct neurotransmitter deficiencies that often cause anxiety. SSRI medications are generally slow-acting, and it may take anything between two to six weeks for results to show. Even so, these drugs are well tolerated. 30 to 50% of anxiety patients experience mild side effects in the first few weeks of SSRI medication.
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Medication Isnt Your Only Option For Anxiety Relief
Anxiety medication wont solve your problems if youre anxious because of mounting bills, a tendency to jump to worst-case scenarios, or an unhealthy relationship. Thats where self-help, therapy, and other lifestyle changes come in. These non-drug treatments can produce lasting changes and long-term relief.
Exercise Exercise is a powerful anxiety treatment. Studies show that regular workouts can ease symptoms just as effectively as medication.
Worry busting strategies You can train your brain to stop worrying and look at life from a more calm and balanced perspective.
Therapy Cognitive behavioral therapy can teach you how to control your anxiety levels, stop worrisome thoughts, and conquer your fears.
Yoga and tai chi Yoga and tai chi are mind-body interventions that engage you emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Data has shown their efficacy for many different medical conditions, including anxiety.
Mindfulness and meditation Mindfulness is a state of mind where you learn to observe your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a present, compassionate, and non-judgmental way. It often brings a sense of calm and relaxation.
A List Of Non Addictive Anxiety Medications
Anxiety disorders affect more than 18 percent of adults in the U.S. in a given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health 24. These disorders cause symptoms that can make daily activities difficult. Medications are sometimes used to help alleviate some symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Some of these medications, such as benzodiazepines, may be addictive and are used only on a short-term basis. Other antianxiety medications can be used on a long-term basis without the risk of addiction. See your doctor to determine whether medication is appropriate to include in the management plan for your anxiety disorder.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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How To Treat Anxiety Medication Withdrawal
The symptoms of anxiety medication withdrawal are serious, and include increased anxiety, restlessness, muscle spasms, insomnia, headaches, nausea and vomiting, depression, short-term memory loss, and even auditory, tactile, or visual hallucinations. If you or a loved one is experiencing anxiety medication withdrawal, the best way to treat the symptoms and combat your addiction is by seeking professional help.
Are Some Anxiety Meds More Addictive Than Others
Some people struggle to successfully medicate their anxiety. They try multiple drugs, like SSRIs or SNRIs, without landing on one formulation that truly eases their symptoms. They may try non-addictive anxiety meds like buspirone. But if none help ease the anxiety, at that point, their doctor may turn to the heavy-hitters, known as benzodiazepines or benzos. Drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Valium, and Rohypnol are used for severe anxiety and panic attacks.
With careful supervision, a patient can thrive on one of these medications and keep their anxiety at bay, even stop panic attacks in their tracks with these fast-acting drugs. They can live a productive, normal life without interruption from anxiety when a benzo is taken as prescribed.
But medications like these can become physically addictive. If a benzodiazepine isnt taken as prescribed, and if a patient isnt getting the same results they were getting, there can be a temptation to take more of the drug until they get the feeling they crave.
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Safest Medications For Anxiety
The first thing to realize is that different anxiety disorders require different types of medications. So even if there is a “safest” anxiety medicine, the problem is that your own anxiety may not be helped by that specific medication. Furthermore, different levels of anxiety may require different types of medications.
It’s important to remember that all medicines have a risk for side effects, especially medications that affect brain chemistry. In addition, everyone has different needs, different brains, and even different chemical imbalances that may lead to anxiety. That’s why you should never take any medicine without your doctor’s approval and supervision.
Finally, anxiety medications are not a cure. It is helpful to consider non-medicine treatments, like therapy and self-help, so that eventually you can wean off the medication.
Sleeping Pills Can Have Serious Or Even Deadly Side Effects
All sedative-hypnotic drugs have special risks for older adults. Seniors are likely to be more sensitive to the drugs effects than younger adults.
And these drugs may stay in their bodies longer.
The drugs can cause confusion and memory problems that:
- More than double the risk of falls and hip fractures. These are common causes of hospitalization and death in older people.
- Increase the risk of car accidents.
How Addictive Can Xanax Be
If you are using Xanax over a very long period of time, it can become highly addictive. Like other benzodiazepines, Xanax carries a high risk of becoming addicted to it as long-term use lessens its effect on you. Once you build up a tolerance to the drug, your body will need more of it to achieve the same level of calmness.
Xanax is one of the most prescribed psychiatric medications in the United States, making it easily accessible. It can be easily prescribed to those who have panic disorders, and if it ends up in the wrong hands, it could be misused. People will go to great lengths to achieve the same feeling that Xanax brings.
Adderall And Ritalin Essentials
Adderall and Ritalin are both branded medications. Adderall contains two prescription stimulants: amphetamine and a member of the same chemical family called dextroamphetamine. Ritalin contains another stimulant called methylphenidate . Stimulants are helpful in the treatment of ADHD because they can:
- Change the normal levels of two important brain chemicals , dopamine and norepinephrine, and thereby
- Improve the ability of children and adults with the disorder to focus and pay attention
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Anxiety Meds: The Basics
There are several different anxiety disorders, each with different symptoms. Your healthcare provider will choose an anxiety medication thats right for you.
Numerous common anxiety medications are used to treat anxiety disorders, including benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , beta-blockers, monoamine oxidase inhibitors , and tricyclic medications.
Medication doesnt cure anxiety. Instead, anti-anxiety medications provide relief from the symptoms of anxiety, allowing you to focus on living a normal life.
While anti-anxiety drugs are safe for most people, some can cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms when used over a long period of time or abused.
If you have an anxiety disorder, medication alone may not be enough to help you bring your symptoms under control. For better results, your healthcare provider may suggest psychotherapy or encourage you to make certain changes to your lifestyle.
Sleeping Pills Are Usually Not The Best Solution
Almost one-third of older people in the U.S. take sleeping pills. These drugs are called sedative- hypnotics or tranquilizers. They affect the brain and spinal cord.
Doctors prescribe the drugs for sleep problems. The drugs are also used to treat other conditions, such as anxiety or alcohol withdrawal.
Usually older adults should try nondrug treatments first. According to the American Geriatrics Society, there are safer and better ways to improve sleep or reduce anxiety. Heres why:
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How Does Xanax Work
Like all benzos, Xanax generates its effect by acting on your brain. When the drug is used it decreases levels of excitement in certain areas of your brain, creating its hallmark sedative and tranquilizing properties. It is this action which decreases anxiety or a sense of panic and makes it easier for a person to fall asleep.
To do these things, Xanax changes certain chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters. When these chemicals are altered, you begin to feel the drugs effects. This activates the reward and pleasure systems of your brain, which reinforces a persons abuse, encouraging them to use again and again.
Due to its ability to work quickly and potently, physicians usually prefer that individuals only use this drug for the short term. Any longer, and patients are exposing themselves to the risk of a physical dependence. So in circumstances of abuse, when a person returns to Xanax for a second use, and so forth, the potential for dependence and addiction run high, due to this quick effect.
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Should You Treat Anxiety With Medication
Any time you decide to treat a mental health condition with medication including anxiety you want to be confident that you understand all your options. Taking the time to discuss your treatment plan with a psychiatrist, doctor, or other healthcare provider is well worth it. Youll be able to learn more about your options, including what alternatives there are to medication, as well as any potential benefits and drawbacks certain medications might have.
Be sure to have a candid conversation about what medication can mean for you should you decide to take it.
When Is Anxiety Medication Needed
Not all cases of anxiety need to be treated with medication, especially when symptoms are mild, transient, or dont cause functional impairment. In fact, many people can reduce their symptoms with cognitive behavioral therapy alone.
According to 2014 research, the most common anxiety disorders include the following:
- specific phobia
- panic disorder with or without agoraphobia
- social anxiety disorder
- generalized anxiety disorder
The study also reported that most people who seek professional help for anxiety tend to have GAD, panic disorder, or social anxiety disorder. People with specific phobias are least likely to seek professional help.
What Can I Take In Place Of Ativan
When considering alternatives to Ativan, important factors to consider include:
- What specific condition Ativan is being used to treat or augment
- Important patient characteristics including other mental health concerns such as depression or bipolar disorder
- Whether the medication is intended to be used in an emergency, inpatient, or at-home setting
- Potential for abuse and patient sensitivity to the class of medication, which may include a history of drug misuse or abuse, alcohol dependence, or history of placement in treatment programs
- The use of other prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications that may result in harmful drug interactions
- Age, with special considerations for younger and older adults
Depending on the reason Ativan is being prescribed, there are several classes of medications that could be used as alternatives to Ativan including:
- Other benzodiazepines: Klonopin , Valium , Xanax , midazolam, Halcion
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Who Can Prescribe Anxiety Medication
If you’re looking to get a prescription for anxiety medication, no matter what type of anxiety you have, it may be more available to you than you’d think. A licensed psychiatrist or your general healthcare provider can prescribe the medication for you if they feel the fit is right.
You also have the option of online psychiatry right here on the Hims platform.
Common Anxiety Signs And Symptoms
- Feeling tense, restless, or nervous
- Having a sense of impending doom, danger, or panic
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly or hyperventilation
- Social, recreational, or occupational activities given up or destroyed due to drug use
- Continued drug use despite knowledge of damaging physical or psychological consequences
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Xanax Addiction: Recognition And Treatment
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Xanax addiction is a type of substance use disorder wherein a person has developed tolerance to Xanax, which leads to dependence and withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it. More precisely, in Xanax addiction, an individual continues using the drug or seeking more of it despite the harmful consequences it causes.Xanax is a medication that belongs to the class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Doctors prescribe this fast-acting tranquilizer that acts on neurotransmitters in the brain to treat anxiety, panic disorder, and anxiety linked to depression.The main causes of Xanax addiction are the impact of the drug on the brains reward system, but various factors could play a role, such as genetics, underlying mental health problems, and the environment.The most pronounced symptoms of Xanax addiction include withdrawal symptoms when a person stops, needs to keep taking the drug, and engages in risky behaviors to obtain it.The main misconception about Xanax addiction is that a person can just stop taking the drug, and their problem will be solved. Xanax has a strong addiction potential, which is why the person needs a well-structured treatment.
Treating Addiction To Anxiety Medication
Professional treatment for addiction to anti-anxiety medication honors the existence of the underlying mental health disorder by searching for effective, alternative solutions. Thus, when you attend rehab, you wont be thrown back into the agonizing throes of untreated anxiety.
Instead, youll be encouraged to explore new ways of coping with and managing your disorder. These might include immersion therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or other forms of talk therapy. Replacing benzodiazepines with SSRIs or SNRIs could be advisable as well. In a medically supervised rehab, this transition can be an easy and comfortable one. Alternative medication support is frequently supplied until the effects of new anxiety medications manifest.
At Recovery Bay Center, we offer medically assisted detox for alleviating the discomfort caused by withdrawing from benzodiazepines. We also provide a comprehensive suite of mental health services and inpatient rehab. If you want treatment for generalized anxiety disorder and overcoming your prescription pill addiction, we can supply it. Call us today at 833-991-2955.
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