Author: Alex Thompson

Understanding Xanax Addiction & Abuse What You Should Know

xanax addiction

People who need anti-anxiety medication to control anxiety or panic disorders may be dependent on Xanax and never experience negative consequences. As long as they communicate with their doctor about their treatment, they can develop a plan to discontinue Xanax when necessary. Doctors usually start patients who have never taken benzodiazepines on low doses of Xanax, such as 0.25 milligrams or 0.5 milligrams.

  1. A small percent of those young adults are introduced to the drug in high school.
  2. About 80% of older adults achieve abstinence, while about 25% of those with complicated addiction with polydrug use achieve abstinence.
  3. The use of Xanax and other sedatives and hypnotics has some association with an increased risk of death.
  4. Taking a benzodiazepine such as Xanax for longer than three or four weeks can lead to dependence.
  5. It requires immediate attention, so seek medical help immediately if you suspect you or a loved one has overdosed on Xanax.

Schedule IV medications have a recognized medical use, but the potential for addiction and abuse. Seek immediate medical help if you suspect an overdose or dependence on Farmapram or Xanax. Treatment options include the options above to help overcome addiction and start recovery. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and require medical supervision. Fortunately, there are telltale signs of Xanax misuse and addiction, such as secretive behavior and always keeping pills on hand. Farmapram or Xanax abuse and dependence require medical supervision.

Xanax and Addiction to Benzodiazepines

It’s part of the benzodiazepine family, which is a group of psychoactive drugs that affects the central nervous system. The drugs slow brain activity, causing relaxation and drowsiness. Treatment for a Xanax overdose will depend on how much of the drug was taken and whether other drugs or alcohol were also taken. In the event of an overdose, medical providers may pump the stomach to remove as much of the unabsorbed Xanax as possible. Medications such as Flumazenil may also be administered as antidotes. It is important for anyone suffering from an overdose to be honest with the emergency medical personnel about exactly what substances were taken and at what amount.

This can lead to excessively high dosing, intoxication, and, in some cases, drug-seeking behaviors. Recognizing Xanax addiction signs and symptoms can help you know when to seek treatment for yourself or a loved one. Xanax addiction can be serious and affect a person’s mood, behavior and physical characteristics. Having abused Xanax a few times, some people might attempt to take the drug under different circumstances or at different times. Yes, Xanax is addictive and is classified as a Schedule IV medication by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

xanax addiction

Doctors usually start someone on the smallest effective dose to avoid the potential for addiction and withdrawal symptoms. The dose may be increased depending on the response to treatment. Many people take Xanax with a doctor’s prescription, but the most common way to take the drug recreationally is by obtaining the drug from someone who has a prescription. For those who have used Xanax for longer than a few weeks, their doctor may create a taper schedule. The dosage is based on a patient’s medical condition, age and response to treatment.

Additionally, about 26 percent of high school seniors in 2014 reported abstaining from all substances, including alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco. Addiction is sometimes called chemical dependency because dependence is a feature of addiction, but it is not the sole defining factor. Instead, addiction is defined as a behavioral condition involving compulsive consumption of drugs or compulsive behaviors that release dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters. Xanax should never be combined with other benzodiazepines like Valium, Klonopin or Ativan. The effects of each drug can “stack” and increase the chance of overdose.

Rare or serious side effects

This reduces the excitability of neurons (nerve cells), resulting in decreased feelings of anxiety. Addiction is now classified as a substance use disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Edition 5 (DSM-5). Benzodiazepine use can be apparent if someone appears intoxicated or there is drug-seeking behavior, but the problem can also be well concealed. Finally, Xanax is very risky because it is often mixed with other drugs. This practice is extremely dangerous since Xanax can increase the intoxication of other substances. Taking the drug specifically to feel relaxed or happy is abuse, and it can lead to addiction to the substance.

If you have less GABA, your neurons fire rapidly; with more GABA, communication between neurons slows down. However, addiction professionals report seeing more adolescents struggle with addiction to Xanax. Many of them mix this sedative with opioids, which can be a deadly combination. In 2015, more than 17 million people used Xanax and generic alprazolam products. More than 4 million of those people misused the products, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The difference between dependence and addiction

This drug can be detected in urine, saliva, and hair follicles, although the reliability of these tests is not consistent. Treatment may involve a combination of strategies, including detoxification and various psychotherapeutic and psychosocial approaches. With more GABA available in the brain because Xanax is bound to neurons’ receptors, the individual will feel calmer, relaxed, and even sleepy. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) groups symptoms of addiction into four major categories. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes the clinical difference between addiction and dependence.

What are Xanax Overdose Symptoms?

Everyone who takes the drug regularly will develop tolerance, meaning they’ll require higher doses to feel the same therapeutic effect. Patients with a high tolerance to Xanax may require doses greater than 4 milligrams per day, increasing their risk for dependence. Doctors like prescribing Xanax because it has a short half-life, meaning its effects wear off more quickly than long-acting benzodiazepines, such as Valium (diazepam). People who need the drug can take it for the short-term treatment of anxiety or panic attacks without disrupting their entire day. Doctors prescribe the medication to treat anxiety, depression, panic disorders and phobias.

But the drugs can cause life-threatening side effects when taken with other depressants, such as alcohol or opioids. Those suffering from Xanax addiction and abuse frequently combine the substance with alcohol or other pills — particularly Opiates — to get a better high. In addition, approximately 40% of alcoholics regularly abuse Xanax.

Detox is followed by proven therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or family-based therapies. Therapy can help individuals develop healthy ways to relieve anxiety and reduce a person’s need for anti-anxiety medications. Detoxification, or detox, is the process of allowing a substance to leave the body while treating and mitigating any withdrawal symptoms. Some medical professionals believe that this trend indicates that benzodiazepines are being abused in riskier ways. Although the increase in filled benzodiazepine prescriptions leveled off around 2010, overdoses remained at alarmingly high rates. When someone takes a drug—as a prescription medication including opioids or Xanax—on a regular schedule, the medication will adjust the user’s brain chemistry.

There are several proposed explanations for why these groups may be at risk. Research shows that young adults who use Xanax tend to use it along with illegal drugs and are also more likely to have psychiatric conditions, which might be undiagnosed or untreated. However, even after the symptoms of a Xanax overdose wear off, the consequences to the body may persist, potentially with lasting effects. For example, pulmonary aspiration during a lethargic state can lead to aspiration pneumonia or permanent lung damage. Benzodiazepines (also known as “benzos”) are commonly referred to as sedatives, hypnotics, or minor tranquilizers. They work by increasing the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.

If a person is dependent on Xanax, it means that they require it to function and experience symptoms of withdrawal if they stop taking it. Being dependent on Xanax does not always mean that addiction is also present. If a person experiences any serious side effects when taking Xanax, they should seek immediate medical attention. Keep reading to learn more about Xanax addiction, how people can treat it, and how to reduce the risk of misusing the medication again in the future. Sometimes family and friends can help in encouraging you to seek help and in pointing out these issues to you.