Xanax (alprazolam), like other prescription benzodiazepines (benzos), has the potential to be used. This use can ultimately lead to dependence and addiction. This is why Xanax is one of the most commonly used medications in the United States today.
What Is Xanax (or Alprazolam)?
Xanax has several uses but is predominantly utilized by medical professionals to treat anxiety. Aside from this, it’s used to medicate concerns of panic disorders, depression, and premenstrual syndrome. When used according to the doctor’s instructions, it is most often a safe medication. However, when a person uses this drug, and especially when they use the high dosages seen frequently within patterns of addiction, this action can become dangerous and, in some instances, deadly.
Why and How Do People Use Alprazolam Medications?
Prescribed Xanax use offers a therapeutic, maintainable dosage that a doctor oversees. However, recreational use is widely variable and, in turn, dangerous. The sedated and relaxed states heighten as dosages spiral out of control within patterns of use and addiction.
While Xanax is used alone, it is more often used with another drug. The user’s primary purpose is to increase pleasurable feelings, level out, or reduce negative symptoms of a certain drug. Benzos can magnify the pleasant effects a person seeks or to self-treat withdrawal.
What About Self-Medication for Stress and Other Conditions?
Some individuals don’t even realize they are abusing Xanax. This method of using the drug takes a more easily disguised form – self-medication. These drug users may have a prescription for Xanax, while others may not. These individuals may buy or receive the drug illegally.
In these cases, a person may be struggling with a valid medical need that was, is, or could be treated with Valium. The difference here is that they are not using the medication as directed by a doctor either because they’re taking it in amounts greater or more frequently than prescribed or seeking out someone else’s prescription when they themselves do not have one. Either of these cases qualifies as drug use.
Medical professionals have had many years of education to direct their prescribing choices. You or your loved one, on the other hand, are making decisions on your own, which could jeopardize your health and life. Even if you’re taking the drug to treat something Valium is prescribed for, you are still at risk of forming a physical dependence and addiction when you use it in this way.
Signs, Side Effects, and Symptoms of Xanax Drug Addiction
Any drug use can be challenging to spot at various points in its progression. However, it becomes increasingly difficult for a person to hide as it accelerates to addiction. Being aware of the following signs can make it easier for you to spot them in a loved one so that you can reach out to us for help and treatment.
Whether a person is self-medicating or using the drug to create pleasurable feelings, they first have to obtain the drug. In both of these situations, a person may display symptoms such as:
- Feigning an illness or exaggerating the extent of one they already have
- Doctor shopping or going doctor-to-doctor in an attempt to get a prescription for the drug
- Claiming they’ve lost their medication or their prescription.
- Stealing medication from you or someone else
- Resorting to purchasing the drug on the street (these pills may come in baggies or other unmarked containers)
Things You May Hear If Your Loved One Is Addicted to Xanax
As a person becomes addicted, their self-image and perception of reality often change. As this occurs, they may:
- Claim they need the drug to function
- Say they need to drug to feel good, relax, or calm down
- Say they don’t like themselves when they don’t take the drug
- Claim they’re a better person or more enjoyable to others while on the drug
- Begin to struggle with their sense of self-worth and self-confidence
- Begin to believe that finding and using the drug is more important than other aspects of their life, such as family, work, or school
- Alienate their loved ones because they believe they are getting in the way of their drug use
In addition to these things, other signs indicate the damage and danger the drug is impacting a person’s life.
Side Effects and Dangers of Xanax Drug Use and Addiction
Xanax use produces significant physical and mental symptoms, many of which will increase in frequency and severity as the addiction gets worse. These include:
- Emotional blunting
- Nausea and vomiting
If you have any other reason to believe your loved one is abusing Xanax, it is essential not to write these side effects off to alcohol, a facade some users may try to hide behind.
Xanax use can lead a person to engage in risky behaviors, endangering themselves and those around them. When a person uses Xanax, the CNS depression we spoke of also increases, placing users in danger of respiratory depression, overdose, and death. This holds particularly true when the drug is used in conjunction with others, especially alcohol and opioids, both CNS depressants. These polydrug combinations cause the risk of fatal overdose to skyrocket.
All of these dangers and more can be prevented further by seeking help.
Should Detox Be Part of My Treatment Plan?
Not all addictions require detox. However, Xanax is surely one which does. Medical detox is a portion of treatment that utilizes various medications to reduce and alleviate painful and uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. These medications help the process to proceed as smoothly and safely as possible.
As a benzodiazepine, Xanax places users at great risk during this time. Like alcohol, withdrawals from benzos can become so severe that a person could die. Our medical detox helps to protect you from this threat, precautions that you cannot safely take on your own at home.
To truly harness sobriety, however, once you cleanse your body of this drug, you should move forward and begin treating the psychological addiction in one of our phenomenal treatment programs.
Individualized Health and Fitness Treatment Is the Key to Success
If we were to treat every addiction and person the same, we would be limiting your opportunity for sobriety and successful recovery. Instead, at Vertava Health, we believe in a multidimensional approach. We craft our programs to address all aspects of your life and health impaired by the addiction.
We will help you to build enhanced social, interpersonal, coping, and relapse prevention skills while we strengthen your self-confidence, mental health, and physical health. An addiction can pollute your thoughts and emotions, which creates further distress in your life as these things manifest as maladaptive behaviors.
To achieve these issues and address these needs, at Vertava Health, we use the following treatment modalities:
- Motivational interviewing (MI)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Family therapy and support
- Mindfulness and stress management practices
- Individual and group therapy and substance use counseling
- Aftercare support
You don’t have to walk this journey alone. Our caring and expert staff will utilize these methods and more to help you shed the shackles of addiction. With our help, you can embrace the balance and health a sober life offers.
Seek Treatment at Vertava Health
Contact us now if you’d like to find out how our treatment programs can help you or a loved one beat a Xanax addiction. Vertava Health believes in new beginnings, and our confidential assessment will help you get started on the path to yours today.