Xanax is a benzodiazepine drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, resulting in a feeling of calmness and relaxation. It can be highly addictive and often abused, with signs of addiction including drug-seeking behavior, taking more than the prescribed dose, taking Xanax at inappropriate times, feeling dependent or addicted and isolating from friends and family. Withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, diarrhea, headaches or even seizures may occur when someone abruptly stops taking Xanax after prolonged abuse. Medical detoxification is available to help manage these symptoms while individuals learn effective coping techniques at The Pinelands Recovery Center in New Jersey.
According to Medical News Today, Xanax is a brand name for the drug alprazolam, which belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders and is the single most prescribed psychiatric medication in the United States.
Xanax works by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain to promote calmness and a relaxed feeling. This greatly helps people who suffer from anxiety disorders so that they are able to remain calmer in a particularly stressful situation, help curb panic attacks and calm their body’s overactivity. When taken as prescribed, Xanax can be a safe and effective medication. However, it all too often becomes abused.
There are many types of anxiety disorders that Xanax can help treat. According to Healthline, the side effects of anxiety that Xanax can help treat include:
- Excessive worry and irrational fears. This is the most common symptom of anxiety. Worrying excessively about things or fearing irrational things to the point where you cannot function normally could be a red flag for anxiety.
- Agitation or irritability. When someone is feeling anxious, it is very easy for them to become agitated or feel irritable. They are feeling uncomfortable and on edge, because their brain thinks it has senses danger.
- Difficulty concentrating. Anxiety can easily interrupt a memory or a train of thought.
Tense muscles. One of the many physical symptoms of anxiety, tense muscles can occur when someone is about to experience a panic attack.
- Trouble sleeping. Anxiety can often cause people such intense worry that they cannot sleep at night. When they finally find comfort in sleeping, they can sleep for many hours or become fatigued from being awake for so long.
- Panic attacks. The most debilitating symptom of anxiety, panic attacks can cause such intense fear or worry that the person experiences rapid heartbeat, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, chest tightness, nausea and fear of dying.
- Isolation. People who suffer from anxiety will try their best to avoid potentially triggering situations, which could lead to extreme isolation.
Addiction to Xanax
Unfortunately, one of the major downsides of Xanax is that it is a highly addictive medication. This is why it is extremely important to take it as prescribed and if you are starting to feel dependent or addicted to the medicine, let a medical professional know as soon as possible. There are other ways to treat anxiety and it’s symptoms without having to take Xanax, so make sure you do your best to get help without fear of anxiety returning.
Signs of Addiction to Xanax
If you feel as if you or a loved one might be becoming addicted to Xanax, pay attention to these major red flags of addiction:
- Drug-seeking behavior, such as having multiple prescriptions or multiple doctors
- Taking more Xanax than what is prescribed
- Taking Xanax at inappropriate times of the day, such as in the morning or at work
- Feeling like you cannot slow down or stop using
- Drinking alcohol or taking other drugs while taking Xanax
- Changes in eating patterns, sleeping patterns, hygiene or weight
- Isolating from friends or family in favor of taking Xanax
Withdrawal from Xanax
Xanax works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain that people who experience anxiety suffer from. As a Benzodiazepine, Xanax acts on the brain and central nervous system to produce a calming effect and ease anxiety symptoms. It is fast-acting, which is helpful for someone who is suddenly experiencing anxiety and needs relief quickly. However, this fast-acting euphoric effect can often become abused and addiction can occur.
When someone has been abusing Xanax for a period of time and suddenly stops taking it, the body can begin to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. This is because the brain and body have become chemically rewired to depend on the drug, so readjusting back to normality can be uncomfortable.
Some withdrawal symptoms from Xanax can include:
- Blurred vision
- Muscle pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Heart palpitations
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Loss of appetite
In an effort to comfortably stop taking Xanax and become sober, medical detox may be offered. This is the process of taking advantage of medications that will help curb withdrawal symptoms and cravings while allowing the body to comfortably readjust and rewire without Xanax. This also allows the opportunity for people to begin behavioral therapy more quickly and focus on it more clearly.
About Pinelands Recovery Center
It is possible to live a life free of anxiety without needing to rely on Xanax. If you or a loved one may be suffering from an addiction to Xanax, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is widely known as one of New Jersey’s finest, most respected addiction treatment facilities. With comfortable 30-bed accommodations and 24-hour professional staff, we can offer clients a serene, relaxing environment amid the lush piney woods. This stress-free setting with its sense of warmth and welcoming enables you to feel comfortable and confident about your clean and sober life ahead.
We will establish clear goals, both general in nature and specific to your needs. We continue to monitor those goals, to make sure that our clients are progressing and buying into their recovery plan. We thrive on assisting clients in feeling connected to the recovery community, share and demonstrate effective coping techniques, help clients to modify attitudes and patterns of behavior and everything else you will need to be happy and productive living a sober, healthy life.
We ensure that clients complete their planned concrete tasks, encourage hope, optimism and healthy living. Our recovery program is not a revolving door treatment program; it is a recovery model designed to help clients go on to lead productive, happy lives. For more information, visit pinelandsrecovery.com