Each year, thousands of Americans become dependent on Xanax. Often, patients are shocked, confused, and ashamed of their addiction. They believed that Xanax dependency couldn’t happen to them. But Xanax doesn’t discriminate: it’s a potent drug, and anyone can become addicted.
Xanax addiction isn’t a moral failing. It’s a medical concern that deserves compassionate care. The right care can help patients quit Xanax once and for all. Read on to learn more about Xanax addiction and withdrawal treatment.
What is Xanax?
Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is often prescribed for anxiety. This medication can help manage the symptoms of anxiety or panic disorders. Most patients take Xanax orally once or twice a day. Xanax generally comes in small white, pink, or blue pills. Sometimes, it may appear in long white bars. Xanax bars are often sold on the streets for illegal use.
People who abuse Xanax may crush up the pills to snort or smoke. These practices are very dangerous. Snorting or smoking the drug may damage the mucus membranes in your mouth and nose. It can also cause respiratory problems. Patients who have started abusing Xanax need to get help right away. Without treatment, Xanax addiction can destroy your quality of life.
What Does Xanax Do?
Xanax works on the brain and central nervous system. The drug boosts the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a naturally occurring brain chemical. GABA helps you feel calmer and more relaxed. If taken as directed, Xanax relieves anxiety and insomnia. Some patients also find that Xanax eases their muscle tension.
However, patients can quickly develop a tolerance for this drug. Soon, you may find that you need to take higher doses to achieve the same effects. As your body acclimates to daily Xanax doses, you may develop a physical dependency. Once that occurs, you might need help quitting Xanax.
What Are the Side Effects of Xanax?
Many patients turn to Xanax to feel calmer and more relaxed. In higher doses, it also causes drowsiness, dizziness, or changes in your sex drive. Some patients may develop serious Xanax side effects, such as hallucinations. Memory problems and loss of coordination are common, too. These side effects are often a sign that you’re taking too much Xanax.
Sometimes, Xanax can cause liver problems. Seek medical care right away if your skin or eyes turns yellow. This symptom, known as jaundice, can be a sign of liver damage. The damage may be reversible with prompt treatment. Delaying care can cause permanent organ damage.
If you take high levels of Xanax, you may pass out or have trouble breathing. These symptoms are a sign of an overdose or other medical emergency. If you suspect a Xanax overdose, call 911 right away.
Is Xanax an Opioid?
Xanax isn’t an opioid. Instead, it belongs to a class of medication known as benzodiazepines or “benzos.” Benzos have legitimate therapeutic uses, but patients often misuse these medications. Benzos create a sensation of relaxation and general wellbeing. Many patients enjoy the effects of a “Xanax high.” Soon, they start taking the drug more often.
Doctors often prescribe a low dosage or tell patients to skip their medication every few days. These precautions can help prevent dependency. But patients can still develop a tolerance. You may find that you need to take higher doses to achieve the same effects. Soon, your body is dependent on the medication.
If you’re struggling with Xanax addiction, you’re not alone. Dependence can occur within weeks of starting Xanax. Each year, thousands of people develop a dependency. Xanax withdrawal treatment centers can help. These clinics help you get rid of medical drug dependence and reclaim your life.
Can You Overdose on Xanax?
Xanax overdose is possible, and it can be fatal. Sadly, benzo abuse is on the rise. In 2019, these drugs played a role in almost 10,000 overdose deaths. Patients who overdose on Xanax often combined the medication with other drugs.
Xanax and alcohol can be a fatal combination. Opioids can also trigger a fatal overdose when taken with Xanax. Unfortunately, patients struggling with addiction often find that Xanax no longer provides relief. They may take Xanax with other drugs to produce similar effects.
If this sounds familiar, it’s time to quit. Substance abuse treatment centers in South Florida can help you safely detox. Xanax withdrawal treatment centers gradually wean you off the drug. The medical staff provides the care and support you need to quit Xanax for good.
How Much Xanax Is Too Much?
Doctors often prescribe patients 0.25-0.5 mg of Xanax per day for anxiety. Sometimes, your medical team may prescribe up to 10 mg per day. But patients aren’t meant to take Xanax forever. Medical providers often use Xanax to stabilize patients with severe anxiety. After a few weeks, they reduce the dosage.
Unfortunately, many patients quickly become dependent on the drug. By the time your doctor tries to lower your dosage, you might already be hooked. You or someone you care about may begin secretly taking higher doses or combining Xanax with other drugs. Sometimes, patients start to buy their Xanax on the street.
But illicit drugs are often cut with harmful substances like fentanyl. Xanax bars bought on the street can trigger a fatal overdose. Borrowing a friend or family member’s prescription is risky, too. You may take too much of the drug or trigger a drug interaction. If you’re taking Xanax without a doctor’s supervision, you may develop dangerous complications. That’s why medical supervision is crucial when taking Xanax for a medical condition.
Supervision is also vital when trying to overcome dependency. The staff at Xanax withdrawal treatment centers helps patients taper off their medication. They can ease withdrawal symptoms and make sure patients don’t trigger a dangerous drug interaction.
Why is Xanax Addictive?
Xanax produces a sense of calm and wellbeing. Many people enjoy these effects, and they start taking the medication daily. Unfortunately, Xanax tolerance develops fast. Within weeks, you may find that your original dose no longer delivers results. You might start to take higher doses of the drug. Before you know it, your body is dependent on it.
Xanax dependency can be physical and psychological. If you have anxiety, you might experience a relapse when you try to stop taking the drug. You may also struggle with rebound depression, insomnia, or paranoia. Xanax soothes these symptoms temporarily, but the symptoms return with a vengeance when you stop taking the drug. That’s why Xanax is so hard to quit.
Once dependency occurs, most people can’t stop taking the medication on their own. Without medical care, the detox process can be painful and risky. You may relapse and return to Xanax, or you might try to self-medicate with other drugs. Self-medication during detox is incredibly dangerous. Sometimes, it can produce fatal results. A Xanax withdrawal treatment center can provide a safe place to detox.
How Do I Know If I’m Addicted to Xanax?
It can be tough to admit that your Xanax use has become a problem. Many patients are in denial about the extent of their drug use.
If you’re not sure whether you have a dependency, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have several Xanax prescriptions from different physicians?
- Have I ever bought Xanax illegally?
- Do I lie to my medical team or my family about how much I take?
- Has my Xanax use interfered with my job or my responsibilities?
- Have my family or friends ever expressed concern about my Xanax use?
- Have I ever mixed Xanax with alcohol or opioids?
- Do I develop withdrawal symptoms when I’m not taking Xanax?
- Have I isolated myself from others to hide my Xanax use?
- Have I gotten into legal or financial trouble due to my Xanax use?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have become physically dependent on Xanax. Your dependency may have progressed into a full-blown addiction. If you’re addicted to Xanax, don’t despair. Treatment can help you overcome your addiction and achieve sobriety.
How Can I Tell If My Loved One Has a Xanax Addiction?
Dealing with a loved one’s addiction can be painful and confusing. Your loved one may deny that they have a problem. They might conceal their drug use and invent excuses to hide the symptoms.
Not sure whether your loved one is abusing Xanax? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Has my loved one become listless, irritable, or groggy?
- Have they lost interest in the things they used to enjoy?
- Do they sleep for most of the day?
- Have they reported thoughts of suicide or acted aggressively toward others?
- Have they lost their job or experienced financial problems because of their symptoms?
- Are they in legal trouble for drug or alcohol abuse?
- Have I caught them hiding pills or lying about their drug use?
- Have they stolen medication or money from family members or friends?
Because Xanax is a prescription, people struggling with addiction may consider their drug use “safe.” They might argue that using a prescription drug doesn’t qualify as “drug abuse.” Keep in mind that patients who take Xanax for legitimate purposes can still become addicted. Even if a doctor has prescribed Xanax, your loved one can still abuse it. A treatment center can help your loved one safely quit Xanax.
Can Xanax Abuse Cause Depression?
Depression and anxiety are common side effects of Xanax abuse. Drug abuse causes chemical and hormonal imbalances within your body. Your depression or anxiety may worsen when you try to stop taking Xanax.
Fortunately, these side effects are treatable. A withdrawal center can provide medication to relieve your depression. Therapy can help, too. Most patients overcome their depression once they finish detox and pursue recovery.
How Long Does Xanax Rebound Anxiety Last?
Patients who try to detox on their own often develop severe anxiety. This “rebound anxiety” is one of the most common and devastating effects of Xanax abuse. Your rebound anxiety may be worse than before you started taking medication. Most patients find these symptoms unbearable, and they quickly return to taking Xanax.
A withdrawal center can help soothe rebound anxiety. Medical treatment can bring your anxiety down to a manageable level. As the drug clears your body, rebound anxiety usually lifts. Long-term anxiety medications like SSRIs can help, too. These medications can help bring your brain chemistry back into balance.
How Long Does Xanax Stay in Your System?
Xanax doesn’t stay in your body very long. In fact, most patients stop feeling the effects of their last dose within hours. Patients usually clear the drug from their bodies within a few days. But if you’re a heavy Xanax user, your last dose may stay inside your body for up to a week.
Withdrawal symptoms can last much longer. Some patients report symptoms for 2-4 weeks after their last dose. Symptoms usually peak after a few days, but these symptoms can be intense. Many patients find them intolerable without medical intervention. That’s why most people have a tough time quitting on their own. Medical support makes the withdrawal process much easier and safer.
How Can I Get off Xanax?
Quitting Xanax “cold turkey” is usually a recipe for disaster. Most patients develop intense withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety. Xanax withdrawal can trigger seizures, too. In rare cases, these symptoms can be life-threatening.
A withdrawal center provides the support you need to quit safely. During treatment, the medical team tapers you off your medication. They reduce your dosage slowly, over several weeks. A slow taper prevents or lessens withdrawal symptoms. The medical team also provides treatments that ease any remaining symptoms. They work with you to manage insomnia, headaches, or irritability.
People who abuse Xanax sometimes struggle with co-occurring conditions like alcoholism or anxiety. As you quit Xanax, it’s important to seek care for these conditions, too. If other conditions aren’t treated, you may substitute one addiction for another. Some patients quit Xanax only to become heavy drinkers. Comprehensive addiction treatment can help prevent such outcomes.
During treatment, your medical team can identify and treat underlying psychiatric concerns. They discuss your use of other substances, like alcohol. If you need help quitting multiple substances, the team develops a customized treatment plan. With the right care, you can finally achieve sobriety.
Medical Detox Saves Lives
For thousands of people, developing a Xanax dependency is easy. But quitting is much harder. Many find it impossible to quit on their own.
If you’re struggling with dependency, you don’t have to go it alone. Xanax withdrawal treatment centers are here to help. The right support prevents dangerous withdrawal symptoms and side effects. The medical staff keeps you comfortable as you work to taper off Xanax.
If you’ve already tried and failed to quit, don’t give up hope. Summer House Detox Center in Miami, Florida, offers Xanax detox programs to help people safely recover from benzo abuse and dependence. Contact us today at 800-719-1090 to learn more about Xanax addiction treatment.