What is Xanax?
Xanax abuse is becoming increasingly common.
Xanax is the brand name for the medication, alprazolam.
Alprazolam is a member of the benzodiazepine class of drugs.
The benzodiazepine class of medications is used for sedation and to treat anxiety and panic attacks.
Alprazolam is available in four strengths from the manufacturer. It comes in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg tablets.
The 2 mg strength comes in a rectangular bar shape. The Xanax 2 mg bar-shaped tablet is called a Xanax bar. The 2 mg strength can also be found in a round shape.
The Xanax Bar
Most of the other strengths of Xanax come in a round or oblong shape.
The Xanax bar may be preferred due to its higher dosage and the ability to divide the doses.
One common use of Xanax is to come down off of other stimulants, including Ecstasy.
Xanax is a controlled substance and only legally available with a prescription from a physician.
Dependence on Xanax can happen quickly, even in those who received the medication with a legal prescription.
Benzodiazepines can produce addiction very quickly.
If you have been taking Xanax for more than a few weeks, you are at a high risk of being physically dependent on the drug.
Understanding Xanax Abuse
Xanax abuse has increased significantly in the past five to 10 years.
There are multiple references to Xanax abuse and addiction in popular culture.
It is being used so much that it has transitioned into a verb. “Xanned out” and “Xanning” are a few terms that can be heard in songs and musical references. Some celebrity names even include Xan in the name.
This celebration of illegal drug use reflects the large amount of unmentioned Xanax abuse active in a variety of ages and demographics.
Xanax may appear safe since it is available via a prescription.
You may have started taking Xanax for a prescribed medical reason.
You might have noticed the dose you had been using wasn’t working as well as before, so you decided to take a little bit more or maybe a bit earlier than it was due.
Before you know it, you are now fully addicted even while trying to follow physicians’ directions.
Xanax is deceptive in its ability to calm anxiety.
It may appear harmless, and you may have kept using it with the mistaken belief that you can quit at any time.
Xanax builds tolerance over time in almost every user. This results in needing more Xanax than you used to take to feel the same effects as you used to. You may be dosing yourself trying to recapture a sense of feeling “normal.” Increasing the dose leads to higher tolerance and can ultimately breed addiction.
Without realizing it, you may be addicted to Xanax and cannot decrease use without feeling withdrawal symptoms.
Effects of Xanax Addiction
Xanax is the most widely prescribed benzodiazepine, which increases its chances of abuse.
Addiction to Xanax can develop quickly or take months to develop.
The progression to addiction can be recognized by several behaviors, including:
- Looking for someone to prescribe Xanax for you (known as “doctor shopping”)
- Taking another person’s Xanax
- Forgetfulness or short-term memory loss
- Lack of focus or ability to concentrate on things
- Secretive behavior
- Defensiveness when being asked about their usage
- Making sure to have plenty on hand at all times
Xanax withdrawal can be unpleasant. It might include symptoms like blurry vision, rebound anxiety and panic attacks, sweating, tremors, and insomnia.
To treat these feelings, many people take more Xanax. This further reinforces Xanax dependency and addiction.
Drug rehab can be required to detox and learn how to live without a benzodiazepine.
Rehab provides a community of others who are also suffering from addiction and desire a sober life. Many people save their own lives by attending drug rehab.
Learning about addiction and your individual triggers can prepare you for a new healthy life armed with understanding and coping strategies.
Your addiction did not happen overnight. Your treatment doesn’t either.
An inpatient drug rehab stay can save your life and your sanity.
Give us a call today for more information.
Mental Illness and Xanax Use
An addiction to a benzodiazepine can occur easier if you have other mental health disorders.
Anxiety, mood disorders, and trouble with insomnia may have made medications – like Xanax – seem like a good option.
If you tried it once and felt relief from anxiety, you may have thought you’d found the cure. Living without Xanax might seem unbearable.
These steps may have seemed logical initially.
Unfortunately, benzodiazepines can quickly breed physical dependence. You may continue to use Xanax to avoid unpleasant withdrawal effects. You may find yourself surprisingly addicted to Xanax, and your life spiraling out of control while trying to keep your addiction going.
An underlying mental illness is a common situation among Xanax addictions.
Even if you have an underlying anxiety disorder, other options other than a benzodiazepine can be used. You can find relief from anxiety without Xanax and the risk of addiction.
We can help untangle the confusing picture of addiction, along with other mental illnesses. Treatment of both can be more effective than treatment of each individually.
Treatment of Xanax Abuse
The Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior has defined four risk factors for Xanax addiction, which include:
- Use beyond four weeks
- Use of high or increasingly high doses
- Combining Xanax with alcohol or other sedating drugs
- Having an underlying anxiety disorder
Xanax can help quiet an overactive mind and can provide feelings of sedation and calm. It works quickly once it is ingested. This can lead some people to take it before stressful events or before sleep.
Physical dependence can happen very quickly and is why it is not recommended to use for more than three weeks.
Treatment for a Xanax addiction can involve a medically supervised detox, individual and group counseling, and a plan for the transition to outpatient care.
Understanding your triggers to want to use Xanax can help you plan for these events and prepare yourself so you do not fall back into the cycle of addiction.
If outpatient treatment is used, a support group may be recommended. Narconon is a worldwide program that can help support those who seek to remain free from drugs. A social support group is effective in maintaining abstinence from drug abuse.
If you realize that you are now addicted to Xanax and need help, give us a call.
It is important not to stop taking Xanax abruptly. Even if you want to stop taking Xanax, you will need medical supervision to prevent a fatal seizure.
Paying for addiction treatment is ultimately less expensive than continuing an addiction unchecked.
If you are worried about paying for treatment, we can help you determine your best choices.
We provide free insurance verification for every caller.
We have both inpatient and outpatient treatment to find the best combination for you.
If you desire a life without Xanax controlling your choices, give us a call today.
How to Get Help
If you are struggling with an addiction to Xanax, you can find freedom from addiction.
We are familiar with the pattern of use and dependence on benzodiazepines.
We have treated all forms of benzo dependence and addiction.
A safe medical detox and recovery are possible.
If you stop taking Xanax abruptly, it can be extremely unpleasant and dangerous. Seizures are often possible.
At North Jersey Recovery Center, we understand the physical and mental roller coaster you are on.
We can make sense of the cycle of dependence and help you find balance and peace.