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Can You Get Addicted To Xanax

Xanax Is Frequently Mixed With Other Drugs

xanax, side effects, withdrawal, how to stop anxiety

Polydrug use involving Xanax is a popular way to experience a different type of high than Xanax alone provides. Stimulants are often used with Xanax to counter the depressant effects leaving a relaxing sensation while feeling alert and awake.

Here are some combinations:

  • Xanax and barbiturates
  • Xanax and Ambien

How Does Xanax Work

Xanax falls into a class of drugs called benzodiazepines more commonly called benzos. Benzos work by actively slowing down brain activity to reduce levels of excitement and create a calming, almost tranquilizing, effect on your brain and body. This is what makes it so effective at alleviating symptoms of anxiety disorders.

The full effect of Xanax can be felt in as little as one to two hours after being administered and can stay in the body for several hours. If you are experiencing an extreme sense of panic, the relief that Xanax can provide is immeasurable.

However, the calming effects of Xanax are still only temporary. Meaning, the more you rely on it as your only treatment plan for an anxiety disorder, the more your body and brain will depend on the substance to function- and it doesnt take long for this dependency to develop. Xanax dependency can form in as little as one to two weeks of taking the drug regularly.

The longer this cycle of abuse continues, the deeper and more destructive it will become.

Symptoms Of Xanax Abuse

Due to its sedative qualities, those suffering from a Xanax addiction may lack their usual energy or motivation to engage in the things they used to love. After a long period of Xanax abuse, the user will start to lack the motivation to even participate in everyday activities. Other outward signs of Xanax addiction include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sleeping for extended periods of time
  • Weakness
  • Headache

Over time, as the dependency deepens, those abusing Xanax will need to take increasing quantities of the drug to get the same euphoric effects as before. The more Xanax that is taken, the longer these symptoms will prevail and can lead to permanent damage.

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Increased Access And Increased Accidents

In 2012, over 49 million prescriptions were written for alprazolam, the drug behind the brand name Xanax. This made Xanax the 2nd most often prescribed psychoactive medication, after the opiate narcotic hydrocodone. Some of these prescriptions were used by individuals with anxiety disorders, but many were sold for illicit use.

Increased use led to increased addiction and increased health risks. Between 2005 and 2011, emergency room visits related to Xanax use more than doubled. When these emergency room visits involved the combination of Xanax and alcohol, a fatal overdose was too often the end result.

Young adults age 18 to 25 are the most vulnerable to Xanax addiction, simply because approximately twice as many individuals in this age group use the drug than individuals age 26 and olderand Xanax is so highly addictive that any use, illicit or by prescription, will almost always lead to dependence. Because Xanax is a controlled substance, even individuals with a doctor willing to prescribe the drug will eventually be forced to turn to illicit sources after they have reached the legal limit of how many scripts can be written for a single patient.

Behavioral Treatments For Xanax Addiction

Xanax Addiction Symptoms

In addition to medications, behavioral therapy is an effective form of treatment for prescription drug addiction.

Behavioral therapy involves focusing on the causes of addiction and finding healthy ways to cope with stress and difficult emotions. Some goals of behavioral therapy include:

  • Identifying triggers and risky situations for drug use.
  • Developing a plan to avoid situations that could lead to a relapse.
  • Finding healthy ways to cope with urges and cravings.
  • Teaching tools to handle emotions more effectively without drugs.
  • Improving relationships with others.
  • Increasing a persons ability to function at work, school, and in other settings.

There are several different approaches to behavioral therapy that have been found to be effective for treating addiction:

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Getting Treatment And Starting Recovery

When youâre ready to get help for Xanax addiction, youâll want to consider the many different treatment options available. Each person is unique and may have developed an addiction to Xanax for different reasons. Finding the right program that meets your needs and budget is crucial.

Typical treatment options for Xanax addiction include:2,5

Other things youâll want to consider when choosing an addiction treatment center are:

How To Help A Xanax Addict

If you recognize some of these signs in your loved one and you suspect that they may be abusing Xanax, its time to step in and offer help.

While this may be difficult to do, there are a few ways;you can safely and calmly approach your loved one about their problem and propose the idea of professional help. Listening, for example, is a powerful tactic to ensure that an addict is heard properly.

To find out how Tikvah Lake can help your loved one with their Xanax addiction, speak with one of our experts today.

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Depression And Emotional Blunting

An association has been noted between benzodiazepine use and depressive symptoms and, in some cases, the emergence of suicidal ideation. Some evidence indicates that higher benzodiazepine dosages are associated with an increased risk of depression and that reducing the dosage or discontinuing therapy may resolve the depressive symptoms.15 Although the mechanism of this action is unclear, benzodiazepine-related depression might occur as a physiologic result of a reduction in central monoamine activity.

Emotional anesthesia may also be seen in clinical practice. This effect may be sought by drug addicts who become progressively more incapable of tolerating their emotions and life stressors.

Xanax Withdrawal And Detox

Substance Abuse : How to Conquer Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

Along with the relatively quick process of addiction that can develop, benzodiazepines are dangerous because of the withdrawal symptoms. Like alcohol, benzodiazepines like Xanax impact the GABA receptors. This means that the removal of alprazolam from the system causes a severe change in the central nervous system. The withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly painful, uncomfortable, and even fatal.

If you or somebody you know is struggling with a Xanax addiction, it is crucial that you reach out for help. Withdrawing on your own or trying to detox at home can be lethal, and should not even be an option. Without proper medical care, the withdrawal process from benzodiazepines can cause lasting damage, result in relapse, or kill the individual!

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How Xanax Causes Dependency And Addiction

Doctors usually start patients who have never taken benzodiazepines on low doses of Xanax, such as 0.25 milligrams or 0.5 milligrams. Everyone who takes the drug regularly will develop tolerance, meaning theyll require higher doses to feel the same therapeutic effect. Patients with a high tolerance to Xanax may require doses greater than 4 milligrams per day, increasing their risk for dependence.

Dependence occurs when a person experiences physical or mental withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking a substance.

Xanax withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • High blood pressure

Being dependent on Xanax is not necessarily a bad thing. People who need anti-anxiety medication to control anxiety or panic disorders may be dependent on Xanax and never experience negative consequences. As long as they communicate with their doctor about their treatment, they can develop a plan to discontinue Xanax when necessary.

In many cases, people addicted to Xanax believe they need it to relieve anxiety. But the anxiety that they experience when they stop taking the drug is actually a symptom of Xanax withdrawal. Many Xanax users refer to this phenomenon as rebound anxiety.

Large doses or misuse of Xanax can lead to dangerous side effects, including:

  • Blurred vision
  • Delirium
  • Paranoia

But people with a valid prescription may develop an addiction to Xanax because they dont know how to stop taking the drug on their own. They continue taking it to avoid withdrawal.

Medications For Xanax Addiction Treatment

Medications can be prescribed during treatment to help manage withdrawal symptoms or as a long-term treatment for anxiety. Diazepam, also known by its brand name Valium, is a long-acting benzodiazepine that is sometimes used to manage severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizure or is substituted for Xanax use during the process of the benzodiazepine tapering.

Since many people who become addicted to Xanax experience anxiety, doctors often prescribe non-addictive medications to help manage anxiety over a long period of time. However, most medications with anti-anxiety properties are also abused substances, so many opt for non-pharmacologic interventions to manage their anxiety in the long term. If you suffer from anxiety, discuss your symptoms and your addiction history with your doctor to determine the right course of treatment.

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Benzodiazepine Abuse Treatment Self

Drug abusers often deny their problem by playing down the extent of their drug use or blaming job or family stress. The most important thing that can be done at home is to recognize that there may be a problem and to seek help.;Learn more about how addiction impacts families.

  • Awareness of the signs and symptoms of abuse help with recognition.
  • The next step is to try to obtain help for the person. This can be done either through your doctor or by contacting many of the drug abuse help lines in your community.


Behavioral Signs Of Xanax Abuse And Xanax Addiction

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When Xanax is abused, it can cause strange behaviors. Some of the most common behavioral signs of Xanax abuse are stealing, slurred speech, disorientation and memory problems.

  • Stealing Many people impulsively steal when they are high on Xanax. If you notice your loved one going through random spurts of acquiring things they usually wouldnt have, they may be abusing Xanax.
  • Slurred Speech When someone is abusing Xanax, it has a strong effect on them. Since Xanax is a depressant, it can cause slurring of speech like alcohol. When someone is addicted, the side effects of Xanax wont be as noticeable because their body is now used to them.
  • Disorientation and Memory Problems Disorientation and memory loss are common signs of Xanax abuse. Xanax is used to treat anxiety by slowing down nerve cell activity in the brain; this can cause disorientation in the user. It can cause short-term amnesia or Xanax blackouts in those who are abusing Xanax. If someone is addicted to Xanax, they can end up missing large chunks of time and have no memory of what theyve done for up to weeks at a time
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    Xanax Addiction Symptoms & Signs

    Recognizing Xanax addiction signs and symptoms can help you know when to seek treatment for yourself or a loved one. Xanax addiction can be serious and affect a persons mood, behavior and physical characteristics.

    • Common signs of Xanax addiction may include:
    • Agitation
    • Slurred speech
    • Tremors

    While Xanax addiction cannot be completely cured nor can any dependency on drugs or alcohol treatment can help affected individuals address their behavior and return to a healthy lifestyle.

    Therapeutic Benefits Of Xanax

    In these circumstances, it is understandable that your physician would prescribe Xanax.;Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication;that works very quickly and effectively to reduce anxiety and help with sleep. Physicians often prescribe these medications to help patients feel better when they are very distressed, and generally patients find them helpful in the short term.

    Xanax can calm people quickly and effectively and can help promote relaxation and sleep when taken as prescribed. For those who only take the dose given by their doctor, and who only take the drug for a brief period until things settle down, these medications can be part of a coping strategy which includes emotional and practical support, as needed.

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    How To Recognize Addiction In A Loved One

    Recognizing symptoms of Xanax addiction in a loved one is the first step in understanding how to help them. Everyones unique situation means that they will experience symptoms on their terms. However, symptoms between Xanax users are quite similar.

    The following are common signs of addiction:

    • Mood changes. Your loved one may seem more irritable and experience feelings of depression or anxiety.
    • Behavioral changes. Your loved one may be acting secretive or even show signs of aggressive behavior.;
    • Changes in appearance. Your loved one may have recently lost or gained a significant amount of weight.
    • Health issues. Is your loved one sleeping a lot, appearing sluggish, or experiencing nausea, vomiting, or headaches? They may be struggling with a Xanax addiction.;
    • Social changes. They may withdraw themselves from their usual social activities and problems maintaining healthy relationships. Also, the friends they have may change. They may be developing strange relationships with people or having suspicious phone calls.

    How To Treat An Addiction To Xanax

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    A Xanax addiction has to be treated like any other drug addiction. Patients will need to cease consumption and then work through withdrawal, followed by a comprehensive drug addiction treatment program. There are many therapeutic approaches to recovery that can be effective.

    Evidence-based recovery rehab will start with talk therapy.;

    This can help change behaviors, address any underlying history of trauma and work through mental health conditions that could be playing a role. Involving the family can also be helpful, as can group therapy. Alternative or holistic therapies ranging from fitness to acupuncture can play a role in boosting overall wellness and strength against relapse as well.

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    Inpatient Rehab For Xanax Addiction

    When treating Xanax addiction, inpatient treatment is often the most beneficial. Inpatient rehab provides the highest level of care, support, and structure. Many treatment centers also offer detox services, allowing patients to go through withdrawal symptoms safely.;

    Inpatient treatment can last from 28 days to several months. The length of the program will depend on the severity of the addiction. It will also be dependent upon if there is a co-occurring disorder or not.

    Treating Xanax addiction often starts with a detox. After detox, the patient will take part in an organized treatment plan. This plan tends to include:

    • Group counseling

    Xanax Addiction Signs To Look For In Your Loved One

    Xanax, the popular brand name for the drug alprazolam, is a type of benzodiazepine or central nervous system depressant that is prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. In a therapeutic setting, it is typically only used for a short period of time, so the prescribing doctor will slowly decrease the dosage.

    Xanax is usually only a short-term solution because it comes with a high potential for dependence and tolerance develops quickly. In fact, about one in five people who take benzodiazepines like Xanax will misuse them.1 For these reasons, it is imperative that Xanax should always be taken as prescribed. Misuse and abuse of this medication, whether it was prescribed or obtained on the street, may lead to the need for Xanax addiction treatment.

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    Indications For Use And Efficacy

    Alprazolam is a high-potency triazolobenzodiazepine that is US Food and Drug Administration -approved for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. Alprazolam is biotransformed by hepatic microsomal oxidation, yielding 4 and -hydroxyalprazolam as its principal metabolites, and is metabolized by cytochrome P450 3A4 .

    The US FDAs approval for alprazolam came after 2 large, randomized, clinical trials that demonstrated short-term efficacy and clinically acceptable tolerability versus placebo . A plasma concentration range between 20 and 40 ng/mL has been suggested for targeting symptoms of panic disorder, with higher concentrations being associated with more significant central nervous system depressant effects. The side effects of alprazolam tablets are likely to be an extension of its pharmacological activity, and most commonly include drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, dysarthria, headache, memory impairment, and depression.

    Is It Ok To Take 25mg Of Xanax For Long Term Use

    Xanax: A Drug Profile
    28 Nov 2009 by Anonymous
    xanax, anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder

    I am prescribed .25mg of xanax for anxiety. From many of the posts I have read, it has been said that xanax is a terrible long term drug. I only take .25mg of the drug maybe twice a week at the most sometimes going for months without it because i only take it as needed. at this rate will my body build a tolerance to the drug? I really want to continue to use the drug as needed in the long term , considering how little I take xanax is this okay to use for many years to come or should I look into switching medications?

    Question is Closedoktoday+2Psychmajor

    if your only using it that often i dont think it should build up a tolerance since xan clears your system within the day but in my opinion valium is overall better for most people. it lasts 100+ hours in the system before termination and since you dont need to take them very often less chance to build a tolerance. this also makes it easier to taper off of if you do start building anything. i havnt been on any benzo prescrips but i have been on them and i would have to say the xan are much more addictive.


    I know this is an old post but it’s handy info I was on Xanax 0.25 X 3 times a day for 18 years for panic disorder weened off them over 6 mths and I’m fine. All the best


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