Xanax is a benzodiazepine narcotic that is used in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, panic disorders and nausea experienced during chemotherapy. It is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance in the U.S. with millions of prescriptions being filled annually and is the ninth best selling drug in the country.
As a sedative, Xanax slows down activity in the brain and produces feelings of euphoria, calm and drowsiness. It also depresses the central nervous system and causes the muscles to relax. Xanax stops the brain from producing GABA-A and in turn the brain starts to rely on the drug to produce it. The drug can be taken orally, snorted or injected. Injection may eventually cause the blood vessels to close up and muscle tissue to decay.
Xanax is one of the most abused psychoactive drugs in the U.S. and prevails among teenagers and young adults. The common abuse dosage of the drug is twenty to thirty pills a day. When it is taken with alcohol or other drugs, it can result in serious medical complications and death. Some of the street names for Xanax are xannies, z-bars, bars and blue footballs.
Xanax Dependency and Addiction
Chronic abuse of Xanax will be indicated by anxiety, insomnia, anorexia, headache and weakness. Behavioral changes will also occur in the person abusing the drug. When Xanax is taken long-term or abused by increasing the dosage, the body will build up a tolerance to the drug. More of the drug will have to be taken to produce the euphoric high and anxiety relief. This behavior will lead to dependence on the drug. If the drug is not taken at the time intervals that the body is used to, and at the correct dosage, withdrawal symptoms will begin. Addiction to Xanax occurs when the person cannot stop taking the drug without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal of Xanax is different for each individual and depends on how long the drug was used and what the dosage was. If the person was also using alcohol or other drugs, the severity of the withdrawal will increase. Xanax has a wide spectrum of withdrawal symptoms which include slurred speech, vertigo, memory problems, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, tremors, impairment of reflexes and coordination, sensory distortions, hyperactivity, agitation, nightmares, mania and depression. Severe symptoms are hallucinations, aggression, suicidal thoughts and acts, rage, psychosis, delusions, schizophrenia, seizures, convulsions, coma and death.
The withdrawal process can be very difficult and death can occur. That is why a Xanax addict should be treated at an inpatient rehabilitation facility. The patient will be treated by licensed, medical professionals with extensive experience in addiction recovery. The patient will be monitored during the withdrawal process and given medications to eliminate or greatly reduce symptoms while they are being weaned off the drug. Addiction to benzodiazepine drugs requires that the patient purposefully be weaned off the drug at a very slow rate. Most often, this practice will help the patient avoid experiencing protracted withdrawal syndrome, where the symptoms continue for months or years on a sub-acute level.
Withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax can cause dangerous medical problems for the patient. A rebounding of the initial symptoms for which the drug was originally prescribed may occur at a more intense level. It will take the expertise of a medical professional to distinguish between rebound and withdrawal symptoms and treat the patient accordingly. Xanax is a short-term acting benzodiazepine drug, which causes more severe withdrawal symptoms. The patient will be taken off the Xanax by replacing it with a long-term acting benzodiazepine drug before detox begins. This will help to reduce severe withdrawal effects.
Xanax withdrawal is a serious process for anyone to endure and it should be done with the help of experienced professionals in a safe environment that is equipped to meet any problems. Finding the right rehabilitation center for you or your loved one should be a top priority in overcoming Xanax addiction.