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.
Other Medications For Anxiety
There are other medications used for clinically significant anxiety that may not have the same abuse potential as Valium.
For instance, some antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac and Zoloft , have been used in the treatment of anxiety successfully. The medication BuSpar may also be useful in treating certain types of anxiety, and it does not have the same abuse potential as Valium.
Though these medications may not be significant medications of abuse, they still may produce mild withdrawal symptoms if an individual discontinues them on their own.
They should only be used under the supervision of a physician and not for reasons other than their prescribed purposes.
Counterfeit Street Drugs Tied To Deadly Overdoses
Law enforcement agencies across the US are warning against a new super pill that is said to have caused at least 9 deaths in Florida in just a few months. This super pill is fake Xanax.
People are purchasing the counterfeit drug under the impression that they are getting Xanax, a powerful Benzodiazepine prescribed for anxiety, panic disorders, and insomnia. However, what they received instead was Fentanyl, a highly addictive Painkiller commonly prescribed to cancer patients to treat extreme discomfort.
Fentanyl is 100 times stronger than Morphine and 50 times stronger than Heroin.
Police were notifiedof the latest overdose case when an 18-year-old was hospitalized. Investigators said he reported having taken a Xanax, however it didnt test positive for the drug.
– Wane Indiana TV News
The counterfeit pills are manufactured to look exactly like a 2mg Xanax pill, even bearing a fake XANAX label and a similar shape, size, and color.
The pills are said to be mass-produced in illegal labs with the intention of being sold on the streets.
Consumers have no idea what they are buying when they purchase prescription drugs on the street and just one pill can be deadly.
– FDLEs Danny Banks, an Orlando special agent, washingtontimes.com
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What Is The Difference Between Different Types Of Benzos
While all benzos work on the same basic neurochemical pathways, they can work in different ways depending on the formulation. For this reason, some of these medications may be more appropriate for treating short-term anxiety or panic attacks, while others can aid in treating insomnia problems. Still others can help prevent seizures or ease some symptoms of depression. Based on these various actions, benzos are classified to some degree by subtypes correlating to the GABA receptors that mediate the bodys response, as described by Trends in Neuroscience. Generally, these subtype receptors include:
- Alpha 1: sedation, seizure management, and short-term amnesia implicated in addiction
- Alpha 2: decreased anxiety and muscle relaxation
- Alpha 3: muscle relaxation
- Alpha 5: muscle relaxation and short-term amnesia
There are also beta 3 and gamma 2 subtypes, which appear to be implicated in all of the above responses, including the potential for developing an addiction, particularly for the gamma subtype.
Another difference between different types of benzos has to do with how long they stay in the body to do their work. For example, short-acting benzos may be used to treat intermittent anxiety issues or other short-term, non-chronic conditions on the other hand, long-acting benzos may be prescribed when a chronic mental health disorder needs to be treated over a long period of time, with a consistent concentration of the drug in the body.
Other Common Anxiety Medications That Can Be Addictive
Ativan is a benzodiazepine and it works by attaching to GABA receptors in the brain. Ativan is highly addictive so doctors usually only prescribe it for short-term use spanning 3 to 4 months. However, many people become physically dependent and abuse it. Heavy abuse of lorazepam or using lorazepam with alcohol or other drugs can cause insomnia, headaches, weakness, memory problems, anorexia, and anxiety. Quitting Ativan abruptly can also cause withdrawal symptoms such as depression, confusion, short-term memory loss, sweating, hallucinations, anxiety, delirium, and vertigo.
Librium is another habit-forming psychotropic drug that is used to treat anxiety. Misusing Librium in any way can lead to dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and addiction. Its a Schedule IV regulated drug and directly affects the brain and central nervous system to produce feelings of calmness and relaxation. People who misuse Librium often snort the contents of the capsules or mix the powder with water and inject it. Some people also use it to curb the side effects of powerful and illegal drugs like cocaine.
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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 brain’s 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.
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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Take Our Substance Abuse Self
Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.
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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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.
The Role Of Medication In Anxiety Treatment
When youre overwhelmed by heart-pounding panic, paralyzed by fear, or exhausted from yet another sleepless night spent worrying, youll do just about anything to get relief. And theres no question that when anxiety is disabling, medication may help. But are drugs always the best answer?
Many different types of medications are used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, including traditional anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines and newer options like SSRI antidepressants . These drugs can provide temporary relief, but they also come with side effects and safety concernssome significant.
They are also not a cure. In fact, there are many questions about their long-term effectiveness. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, benzodiazepines lose their therapeutic anti-anxiety effect after 4 to 6 months of regular use. And a recent analysis reported in JAMA Psychiatry found that the effectiveness of SSRIs in treating anxiety has been overestimated, and in some cases is no better than placebo.
Whats more, it can be very difficult to get off anxiety medications without difficult withdrawals, including rebound anxiety that can be worse than your original problem.
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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.
Potential For Misuse Or Abuse
There is also a risk that some anti-anxiety medications will be misused or abused. This risk is greater with benzodiazepines, especially alprazolam .
Research published in 2020 found that benzodiazepine misuse occurs in 17% of users, with a majority of these individuals misusing these drugs in an attempt to control distress symptoms and the remainder attempting to get high.
A 2014 study involving 2,700 students in high school and middle school found that the risk of benzodiazepine abuse was 12 times higher in teens who had been prescribed these drugs.
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Understanding A Xanax Dependence
When a person takes Xanax on a regular basis, their body and brain begin to rely on the chemical changes it initiates. As use continues, your body declines to make these chemicals on its own. Or, in the least, it drastically reduces its natural production. This is called a dependence. Here too, a person will find that they need to take more Xanax to produce the feelings the drug previously offered, which is called a tolerance.
Xanax forms one of the quickest dependencies out of all the benzos. Even prescribed, daily use of Xanax can lead to a physical dependence in as little as two weeks, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Its worth noting that individuals who take their medication exactly as prescribed can encounter this too. This does not mean that they are addicted. But it does mean that they will experience some measure of withdrawal, should they stop using the drug without a slow taper.
Xanax And Addiction: What You Need To Be Aware Of
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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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Natural Alternatives To Xanax
What Big Pharma doesnt want you to know is that there is a wealth of natural compounds that are every bit as effective at relieving anxiety and depression as prescription anxiolytics.
Native societies have been using these natural remedies for hundreds of years all over the world.
Below you will find a comprehensive list of our favorite Xanax alternatives. These nootropics can be used to replace any anti-anxiety medication including Ativan.
The vast majority of these alternatives have been proven to not only have terrific efficacy but also a scarcity of major side effects.
Lets take a closer look at each one.
Anxiety Is The Most Common Mental Health Disorder Impacting 40 Million American Adults
While anxiety is entirely treatable, less than 40 percent of people suffering receive treatment. Given how prevalent and treatable anxiety isand how commonly people with substance use disorder also struggle with anxietywere going to give you an overview of anxiety, how it intersects with addiction, and some of the most popular non-addictive anxiety medications.
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Controlled Substances Vs Non
When we talk about non-controlled medications, were referring to medications that do not carry the risk of dependence or addiction according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration .
Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax and Valium, are the oldest and most well-known controlled substances for anxiety. While they have the advantage of working very quickly, they carry the risk of dependence, sedation, and tolerance buildup.
Because of this, its important for people with anxiety to have alternatives to benzodiazepines.
One of the core differences between SSRIs and SNRIs compared to Benzodiazepines is that the former substances actually treat the source of the anxiety, whereas the latter substance only treats the symptoms.
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Dosage For Panic Disorder
To treat panic disorder, youll likely take 0.25 mg of Klonopin two times per day. If your panic disorder is not well managed after 3 days, your doctor may increase your dosage to 0.5 mg two times per day. Most people find that their panic disorder is well managed with this dosage.
However, your doctor may continue to make dosage adjustments until they find what works for you. The maximum dosage of Klonopin for panic disorder is 4 mg per day.
Alternative Methods To Cope With Anxiety
Having feelings of anxiety throughout life is normal, said Salcedo. Yet when these feelings begin to negatively impact one or more areas of your life and limit functionality, it transitions into a disorder. Symptoms of general anxiety disorder typically include racing, catastrophic thoughts and difficulty breathing, she said.
“They just feel like they can’t relax like they used to,” said Salcedo of sufferers.
The disorder can also get physical, causing muscle tension, fatigue or restlessness and cause a vicious cycle. “These kinds of symptoms then can kind of feed into each other,” said LaPilusa. “The more a person worries, the more physically drained or agitated they could get, which could lead to more worry.”
Panic attacks, which are usually marked with shortness of breath, feelings of dread and a racing heart, occur in the most severe cases, said Salcedo. The attacks can last anywhere from several minutes to several hours. LaPilusa described panic or anxiety attacks as a blitzkrieg of symptoms that could even cause fainting.
Psychotherapy, particularly cognitive brain therapy, said Salcedo, is another way to treat anxiety. CBT usually spans over 12 to 16 sessions and helps patients learn to recognize and challenge anxious thoughts, along with behaviors that could be contributing to the anxiety. Within four to six sessions, people usually feel a change and improve, she said.
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Are All The Drugs Listed Above Non
No. Anyone can become addicted to any drug or any substance for that matter. Perhaps youve seen the show My Strange Addiction in which people become addicted to drinking gasoline. On an individual basis, any of these drugs can be highly addictive. However, based on the scientific measurements for addiction such as: pleasure, physical dependence, and psychological dependence these drugs score lower than most.
Also it is important to understand that just because a drug is included in this list does NOT mean that it isnt dangerous. There are plenty of dangers and long-term side effects associated with using certain drugs on this list. In no way should someone assume that just because a drug isnt considered addictive that it should be considered safe.