When it comes to treating your generalized anxiety and panic disorder, Xanax is one of the prescribed medicines you will take. It helps you calm your senses and nerves, which gives you a relaxing sensation for a short timeframe.
Despite its medicinal impact, a lot of users are prone to abusing this substance as reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Likewise, a lot of U.S. states are experiencing this dilemma, that includes California; and we are going to talk about it in this post.
What is Xanax?
It is a known brand name for the generic drug alprazolam that is under the Benzodiazepine class. This prescribed medicine is commonly used for treating anxiety and panic disorders.
Likewise, it is also used to help patients overcome alcohol dependence, so the person can avoid painful alcohol withdrawal effects. Despite its proven benefits, benzos are highly addictive with around 8,000 deaths due to overdose in the U.S. in 2015.
How Does It Work?
Patients usually take this medicine orally, and then it dissolves and mixes in the bloodstream, where its effects can kick in minutes. After, its peak results last for an hour, and the individual will feel its euphoric effect.
Due to the pleasurable high feeling of this substance, it is intentionally abused by many individuals. Also, they commonly abuse it along with alcohol, sedatives, and uppers.
Statistics About Xanax Addiction
There is a rampant case for the drug abuse of this prescribed medicine in California and other parts of the United States. To illustrate this growing dilemma, here are some statistical data regarding Xanax addiction.
- Around 10.3% of the population engaged with the abuse of this substance are within the age of 18 to 25 based on the 2013 reports of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
- Meanwhile, 5.7% of the people abusing Xanax are within the age group of 26 and older.
- Most abusers of this substance take this along with alcoholic drinks, where 50% of the 176,000 patients reflect this scenario as reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.
- Around 55% of the abusers get their supplies from a friend or relative with the prescription.
- 3% – abuses occurred happened on prescribed medications
- 4% – illegally acquired from dealers
- 70% – population of teenagers who abuse this substance from sneaking supplies from their family member’s medicine cabinet
- There is a consistent increase of 9% for the population of Xanax abusers
What are the Causes of Xanax Addiction
Meanwhile, here are some of the common reasons why people abuse this prescribed medication:
- Peer pressure
- The curiosity of trying new things and mixing substances
With that, it is always a must to abide by the prescription of one’s doctor when taking this medicine.
Methods of Using Xanax and Its Effects
This prescribed medication usually comes in a pill form that is orally taken by the patient. Its effects usually start in minutes and last for an hour. Meanwhile, here are the typical effects when one is under medication with Xanax.
- Euphoric sensation
- Relaxed mind and body
- Slightly irritable
- Reduced sex drive
- Dryness of the mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breathing
- Reduced ability to speak well
- Slight seizures
- Inability to concentrate
- Short-term memory loss
Likewise, the person’s driving skills will greatly reduce when under the influence of this substance. With that, it is highly recommended that you stay at home when medicating with this prescribed medicine.
How Life Threatening is Xanax Abuse
When an individual abuses this medicine alone, its side effects won’t be that life-threatening. However, when a person abuses this medicine along with other illicit substances, sedatives, and antidepressant drugs, that’s where it becomes dangerous.
Some of the dangerous combinations with this prescribed medication are alcohol and cocaine. In contrast, around 50% of the hospitalized cases of Xanax abuse is due to stand-alone misuse of the drug. With that, we cannot undermine the detrimental side effects of this substance.
What are the Withdrawal Effects of Xanax
Withdrawal effects are a common thing when one abruptly stops from medicating with this prescription drug. In line, here are the observable withdrawal symptoms from stopping the intake of Xanax.
- Being restless and irritable
- Light seizures
- Muscle aches
- Uncontrolled sweating
- Confusion and lightheadedness
- Chest pains
- Inability to sleep
- Extreme sadness
Further, here are some rare withdrawal signs that can be experienced on some occasions:
- Hypersensitivity to light and sound
- A distorted image of reality
- Getting a strange crawling feeling on one’s skin
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
Technically, it will be challenging to tell if one is addicted to this prescribed substance already. Nevertheless, there are observable telltales to determine if the individual is addicted to this medicine.
In line with this, here are the main signs for determining Xanax addiction.
- When the person doesn’t take the pill, he or she will feel restless and uncomfortable because it seems like something is missing.
- The individual will experience a few of the withdrawal symptoms due to missing out on his or her dose.
- The patient will think something wrong will happen to him or her because of not being able to take the drug.
Meanwhile, here are some questions one can ask oneself or others, to pre-qualify if there is an addiction to the said substance.
- Was there a time when you overdose on Xanax? How many times was it?
- When was the last time you tried to stop taking the medicine but you failed?
- Are you craving for the drug even when your duration of using it ended?
- Do you spend so much to have sufficient supplies of this medicine?
- Do you tend to take more than what is prescribed by the doctor?
- Do you use this medicine even when you are no longer anxious or depressed?
Get Professional Help
There are various medical and behavioral treatments for Xanax addiction, and you will need the expertise of a doctor to get an appropriate treatment recovery plan. If you feel like you need to have one, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your nearest rehab recovery center or contact us today.
It’s never too late. Seek professional treatment today.