Xanax is popular in the world we live in today. Our lives seem to be getting more demanding every day, stressing us to the point where 49.2 million U.S. citizens turn to Xanax or its generic version of alprazolam as a solution, according to data from IMS Health data of 2012.
As a prescription medication, Xanax treats the symptoms of anxiety, panic disorder, and depression-induced anxiety. It may be taken alone or with other meds prescribed by the doctor. Alprazolam, or Xanax, is the 13th most prescribed medication in the United States, according to Fox News, and is one of the most prescribed psychiatric drugs.
With Benzodiazepines, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature all become lower during stressful circumstances, and feelings of calm and relaxation are also made more apt. Xanax acts as a depressive drug, by calming the central nervous system.
Our brains send signals to our bodies to prepare us for “fight or flight,” and benzodiazepines counteract this response by stimulating the GABA receptors in the brain. Your physician may prescribe Xanax to treat your anxiety or panic disorders. It also has a short half-life and leaves the body in approximately six hours.
Best Ways to Use Xanax
Before you begin taking alprazolam, make sure you read over the medication guide provided by your pharmacist. If you have any enigmas, make sure you ask your physician or pharmacist.
The dosage for this Xanax medicine will depend on the severity of your therapeutic health, age, and how well your body responds to the medication. Your physician may gradually increase the dose until it begins to work well. Follow the directions provided through your physician carefully so side effects can be reduced.
In severe cases, a patient might experience withdrawal manifestations including seizures, so your doctor may slowly reduce your dose to prevent them. A person is most probably experience withdrawal if he or she has taken alprazolam frequently or in large quantities. If you experience withdrawal symptoms, let your physician know on the spot.
Even though it helps many people, the drug can sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (like being addicted to booze or illegal substances). Follow the directions on your prescription bottle precisely to reduce addiction risk.
Which People Take Xanax?
Even when used as prescribed, Xanax can become habit-forming when taken for a short period. And even when taken as instructed by doctors, users can become bodily and psychologically addicted to the drug.
Xanax is prescribed to women more frequently than men, based on reports by Fox News, and doctors who lack any special training in mental health write the prescriptions. The drug doesn’t treat the underlying problem, only providing temporary relief.
It is not uncommon for prescription medication users, both young and old, to misuse prescription medications for reasons other than medical necessity. Any prescription medication that is used for recreational, non-medical reasons, such as recreational use, is considered abuse.
Does everyone feel the same way? Different people respond differently to Xanax, or its universal variant, alprazolam.
A Lot of Factors Determine how Xanax Will Affect you, Including:
- When you take the pill, you’re in an altered state of mind
- Metabolism rate
- Quantity taken
As a first-time user of this medicine for treating anti-anxiety medication, you should be aware of its side effects and potential interactions beforehand. Keep reading to learn more about how it should work and what you can expect in terms of side effects and treatment.
When Xanax is Used Recreationally, how Does it Feel?
It is commonly believed that during the first few hours following the first shot, Xanax will make you feel relaxed and calm. Xanax customers report feeling more relaxed, calm, and tired than they would if they took other marijuana, cocaine, or liquor. You might pass out for hours as a result of these feelings. A higher dose is likely to have stronger effects. Those who have blacked out or lost memory of what happened reported that they forgot what happened for several hours.
Risks to One’s Health
Among 123,744 people treated in 2011, Drug Abuse Warning Network reported adverse reactions related to the recreational use of alprazolam, a proportion that was roughly one-third of ED visits for non-medical usage of pharmaceuticals overall.
Xanax abuse is likely to pose the greatest short-term health risk because of the potential for a fatal overdose, which is generally associated with the suppressing of vital life functions, like inhalation and exhalation, heart motion, blood force, and body temperature, to severely weak amounts.
You may notice vomiting, mental confusion, impaired reflexes, shortness of breath, impaired coordination, loss of consciousness, or extreme drowsiness if you do not seek immediate medical attention, as these symptoms may result in coma or even death.
More than 30% of prescription drug overdoses in 2013 involved benzodiazepine medications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Following Side Effects May Result from Xanax Abuse:
- Muscle control is lacking
- Reduced sight
- Problems focusing
- Brief loss of memory
- Breathing problems
- Talking in a slur
It is reported by DAWN that one in five ED visits that involved the nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals in 2011 also involved alcohol. Because benzodiazepines and alcohol also depress the central nervous system, they can result in a life-threatening overdose at times. Xanax may also interact adversely with drugs other than benzodiazepines. According to the CDC, several prescription excess deaths involve painkillers and benzodiazepines.
Xanax Combined with Alcohol can Cause Unpleasant Effects
Alcohol can decrease the effect of Xanax and temporarily decrease the amount of time it can take your body to remove it from your system. This leads to severe dizziness and loss of memory.
There May be Deadly Side Effects Caused by the Combination of These Two Substances. Some of These Effects Include:
- Trouble breathing
- Severe drowsiness
The Risks and Symptoms of Withdrawal
The addiction symptoms caused by suddenly stopping benzodiazepine medications are usually difficult to manage. Withdrawal symptoms are often indicators of drug tolerance and dependence on the drug.
When you discontinue taking Xanax, you might experience a rebound effect since it works by suppressing anxiety and panic. This means your brain might attempt to restore balance, and the old feelings may respond with an act of revenge.
Suicidal thoughts and behaviors may also be a condition of benzodiazepine withdrawal, as withdrawal from Xanax can result in intense distress, fear, despair, cognitive difficulties, and sleeplessness. Several of these patients also experience physical symptoms like tremblings, uncontrolled movements of the eyes, sweating, abnormal pulses, nausea, decreased appetite, headaches, and diminished reflexes.
Medical professionals should manage benzodiazepine withdrawal and reduce withdrawal symptoms by tapering off the drug in a controlled and gradual manner. Permanently longer-acting benzodiazepines may be used in specialized detox facilities with 24-hour medical monitoring and care provided by consulting physicians.
What is the Duration of Xanax’s Effects?
If taken by mouth, Xanax is promptly absorbed into one’s bloodstream, and some people may begin experiencing its effects within a few minutes after ingesting the medicine, but most people may not begin feeling the effects for about an hour afterward.
One more reason why Xanax is useful in treating panic disorders is that the peak effect occurs rapidly. Half of the people who use this medication experience the peak within 1 to 2 hours after taking the prescription. The Xanax medication is prescribed to induce states of relaxation and comfort. If you are exploring whether it is right for your situation, discuss it with your physician.
You should let your doctor know if you use Xanax recreationally. Some of the drugs will interact with many of the medications you may have, resulting in severe side effects. Your doctor can track your overall health and prevent complications.
Besides helping you feel better, your doctor can also help you to find a drug that is safe and convenient for you to use on a long-term basis to allow you to stop taking Xanax.
The Addiction Treatment Process
Xanax abuse can lead to dependency that is both mental and physical. The NSDUH published that more than seven million American adults were seeking treatment for drug abuse or dependency in 2013. Fortunately, addiction is one of the easiest diseases to treat.
When taken in high doses, Xanax can disrupt the brain’s ability to process information, and as a result, interfere with the brain’s natural ability to survive. In the long term, these neurotransmitters are responsible for controlling our mood and perception of pleasure. Therefore, by interfering in their normal function, the brain could become dependent on the chemical interactions available through the use of drugs to feel balanced or functional.
Almost all of the drug-seeking behaviors are explained by the tendency to drink or use drugs during times of stress, or in times of intense stress. Almost all addictive behaviors are accompanied by compulsive drug-seeking behavior. If a prescription is found in a medicine cabinet that is easily accessible, it is easy for it to disappear if it can be reached by anyone. The most common method by which people abuse Xanax is through abuse of prescription medications,
for instance, when they consume it after they’ve finished their prescription, consuming additional doses at once, “physician purchasing.” In the past, it has been illegal to get or use prescription drugs without a prescription or to obtain more than one prescription for the same drug.
According to NSDUH, a third of prescription medications are obtained free from family members and friends. According to the researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), that number is expected to rise by one-third by the year 2020.
It has been discovered that those who take Xanax are quite likely to develop substance abuse issues as a result of it. While this has not been proven definitively, researchers suspect that such a drug could potentially lead to becoming addicted.
There is at least one Forbes study that suggests long-term use of Xanax may increase the risk of dying from Alzheimer’s disease more than twofold, although further studies are needed to determine the truth of this theory. However, the majority of medical experts will agree that Xanax is meant to be taken for short periods in combination with mental health treatment. The use of behavioral therapies is effective in helping individuals manage anxiety symptoms and teaches new ways to cope when they are under stress.
Dual diagnosis treatment is the most optimal treatment for individuals with mental illness and addiction that occurs simultaneously. Dual diagnosis therapy, which is an evidence-based treatment model with input and expertise from medical and mental health professionals, along with scientific research, forms an individualized and care plan. FRN locations provide unparalleled medical care for those suffering from addiction, co-occurring disorders, mental illness, and behavioral health problems.
Reach out to our admissions coordinator immediately at 615-490-9376 if you have questions about the abuse of this medication or you know someone suffering from this addiction. You and/or your loved ones can rely on us for information about the best possible treatment option. Call us today to help you with Xanax abuse.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.