Xanax is a common benzodiazepine that is prescribed primarily for anxiety and panic disorders. The drug is considered to be a sedative and can be highly addictive if it is not prescribed appropriately and monitored closely by a medical professional. Individuals who are prescribed Xanax, and those who obtain it illegally, are both at risk for developing an addiction. Sedatives have a calming effect on a person, and when used as a means to relieve overwhelming feelings, it can cause cravings as the drug wears off. This emotional demand quickly turns into a physical addiction that can rarely be dealt with on one’s own and typically requires professional treatment.
Xanax can act quickly and its’ effects last about six to eight hours. The drug can create feelings of euphoria and elation, which drives people to continue its’ use even after the initial disorder they are treating, such as anxiety, has become controlled. The intense preliminary effects from sedatives can cause individuals to take more than their recommended dosage. Since Xanax remains active in the system for a long period of time, people often unintentionally mix the drug with other substances such as alcohol. Xanax can also be used as a secondary drug for individuals coming down from stimulants such as cocaine.
An addiction to Xanax can have many negative effects on the body both mentally and physically. Due to the fact that it is a depressant, the central nervous system is slowed down, which can lead to a lack of coordination, slurred speech, and confusion. Xanax can also significantly reduce one’s heart rate and breathing. When combined with other substances such as alcohol, an individual can overdose or enter into a coma. A prolonged addiction to Xanax can lead to cognitive problems and memory loss in the future.
Those who develop an addiction to sedatives such as Xanax, become consumed by the drug. As the drug begins to wear down in the body, the individual will experience intense cravings to take more Xanax in order to keep their high. It does not take long for a person to build up a tolerance to Xanax. When tolerance levels begin to rise, the individual shifts their focus to finding more of the drug to maintain their high. Xanax is accessible illegally, and many times, addicts must look to resources other than their doctor to obtain it. Many of those who suffer from prescription drug addition may fill multiple prescriptions. steal pill from friends and family or obtain the drug illegally from drug dealers.
Once someone is addicted to Xanax, the signs and symptoms from prolonged use will begin to appear. Those using sedatives will feel sluggish, lightheaded, have difficulty concentrating and may even experience memory loss. It is likely that an addict will begin to pull away from everyday activities that they once previously enjoyed. If an individual is upping their dosage of sedatives, drowsiness may cause them to stay inside rather than engage in the outside world. For individuals who are obtaining Xanax illegally, this addiction can become expensive rather quickly. As a result, the user will either increase their spending for drugs, engage in illegal activities in order to keep up with their drug intake, or turn to a less expensive but more dangerous drug.
Once an individual realizes they have a sedative addiction, treatment programs are often their only hope for help. Whether an individual’s addiction developed from recreational use or through a legitimate prescription, abuse must be treated. Each person receiving treatment for an addiction must first begin with detox to rid the body of its physical dependence. It is highly recommended this is done under the supervision of medical professionals, as withdrawal symptoms can include seizures.
Many individuals addicted to Xanax will start with an inpatient program to ensure that they complete the beginning of their treatment. In a majority of Xanax addiction cases, a secondary mental illness, such as anxiety or emotional trauma, is uncovered. These disorders have been masked by the continued abuse of Xanax, and once exposed they must be treated with therapy and other non-addictive drugs. Xanax rehab is different for everyone; from intense therapy, to aftercare. Following through with treatment is key to long term recovery and relapse prevention.
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