Xanax is a brand name for alprazolam, a benzodiazepine drug. Various mental disorders, including anxiety, can be treated effectively with this medication. It is considered a central nervous system depressant, and it works as a fast-acting tranquilizer. Xanax is a prescription drug which means a medical doctor, or psychiatrist, will have to deem it necessary for a mental or emotional and sometimes physical condition. Most doctors are reluctant to prescribe Xanax. Addiction to Xanax is now one of the leading problems surrounding prescription drug abuse. It is thought to be an effective drug, but if it is overused or taken for an extended period, it most often leads to misuse and addiction for many people, even if they are not currently addicts.
Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 1.7 percent (or 4.8 million people) misused prescription benzodiazepines in the past year. (NSDUH, 2020)
What Is Illicit Xanax?
Since the illegal drug market primarily comes from Mexico and China, drug cartels have been creating copycat prescription pills. Many of the illicit Xanax pills on the street are not alprazolam but are Fentanyl and other drugs. That is the first type of illegal Xanax. The second counterfeit pill is sold online as Xanax, but it is often cut to a bare amount of alprazolam and will include other ingredients like baking powder or vitamin C. The last type of illicit Xanax is actual Xanax but is sold or given to friends or relatives without a prescription. All types of illicit Xanax can be life-threatening, especially the first kind that involves Fentanyl.
What Does Xanax Addiction Look Like?
People who are addicted to Xanax will likely see many doctors at once to get the same prescription for Xanax or lie about different symptoms or ailments and approach numerous doctors for a Xanax prescription. This behavior is called doctor shopping. Other signs of Xanax addiction will include:
- Appearing sluggish and intoxicated
- Falling often or staggering
- Borrowing money frequently for sudden emergencies
- Misplacing important objects constantly (keys, cell phones, wallets, checkbooks)
- Lying about their symptoms to family or friends
- Driving while taking Xanax
- Drinking alcohol or using other drugs while taking Xanax
- Panicking when they run out of Xanax
- Taking double doses of Xanax
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they do not take Xanax
What Are Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms?
Xanax is a physically addicting drug. It will cause physical addiction within several weeks of continuous use. Physical dependency on Xanax means the person must take it every day and often keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. Xanax detox symptoms are dangerous and include:
- Grand mall seizures
- Extreme anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Excessive sweating
- Racing pulse and high blood pressure
- Muscular stiffness or discomfort
- Hand tremors
- Suicidal thoughts
- Intense cravings for Xanax and other benzodiazepines
Does Xanax Make You Aggressive?
The research indicates that people who abuse Xanax have disrupted the normal functioning of the brain. Xanax is meant to calm electrical activity in the brain to feel relaxed and content. However, after stopping Xanax, people can experience a surge of neural activity that causes anxiety, anger, and confusion. It is a warning sign that you or a loved one is addicted to Xanax if they are aggressive when they do not take Xanax or are running low.
What Do Experts Recommend as Treatment Options for Xanax Addiction?
The National Institutes of Health provide current research on benzodiazepines. In addition, they recommend that when someone is addicted to Xanax, they detox slowly in the form of a taper to prevent seizures and other medical conditions.
Despite a modest decrease in the annual number of benzodiazepine prescriptions dispensed, the current level of prescribing represents significant overuse. There are well-recognized harms from the long-term use of benzodiazepines. These include [physical] dependency, cognitive decline, and falls. The management of dependence involves either gradual benzodiazepine withdrawal or maintenance treatment. Prescribing interventions, substitution, psychotherapies and pharmacotherapies can all contribute. (NIH)
River Walk Recovery Provides Personalized Xanax Detoxification and Treatment
The first necessary component to treatment programs for Xanax addiction begins in medically supervised detox. This phase is critical to help the individual slowly taper their Xanax intake while being medicated with other safe and non-addictive drugs to help them sleep, feel calm, and prevent cravings. The next step is evidence-based therapy methods that start in detox. At River Walk Recovery, we provide behavioral therapy and one-on-one counseling in detox when the patient feels better. Call now to be admitted and to speak to the clinical staff for answers and support.