Xanax is a potent benzodiazepine that mental health professionals and doctors prescribe for anxiety, namely generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and insomnia. When used long-term, it can be quite addictive. However, it is the #1 prescribed psychiatric medication in the U.S. It gives a person a feeling of calm that is activated by the central nervous system (ANS) and boosts a chemical in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Approximately 70 percent of teens get it from their family’s medicine cabinet.
Developing a tolerance to Xanax can be fast, and for the person to achieve the same effects, they need to take more. Those with a Xanax addiction can take up to 20 or 30 pills a day. When stopped, however, withdrawal symptoms can be intense and begin soon after stopping the drug.
In 2010, there were 124,900 emergency room visits, more than doubled from 57,400 in 2005, for emergency room visits due to Xanax’s recreational abuse. 17.3 percent abused prescriptions from their doctor. 4.8 percent got them from a friend or relative, while 4.4 percent came from a dealer. In 2013, 50 million prescriptions were written for Xanax; this is an increase of 12 million from 2006 at 38 million. Since 2008, prescription rates for Xanax have been steadily increasing by 9 percent.
Once someone starts showing signs of addiction, it affects their family, school, work, and social life. Some of these signs are:
Getting off Xanax takes time and is never recommended to go “cold turkey.” Medical supervision is vital to ensuring that someone comes off the drug safely and has the least amount of effects. It means slowly reducing the drug until it’s entirely out of an individual’s system.
You can overdose on Xanax, which can result in several effects that cause severe health problems, including coma. Some other symptoms of overdose include:
Getting immediate treatment for an overdose can save a life, so it’s crucial if you or someone you know overdoses, to get to a hospital asap.
Overcoming an addiction to Xanax takes customized treatment that includes detoxification; this ensures the drug is out of the person’s system, and the brain can go back to its pre-addicted state. Although someone with an addiction to any drug can relapse, so it’s integral, those risks are addressed in treatment. There are many ways in which a person can get treatment for Xanax addiction, so contacting a recovery center should be the first step.