Xanax is Commonly Prescribed and Carries Significant Risks
Xanax is the most frequently prescribed psychiatric drug in America because it offers patient’s quick relief of symptoms of anxiety and improved quality of sleep. While it has increased in popularity over the years, it does not come without serious risks, including addiction.
What is Xanax?
Xanax, which also goes by the generic name Alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine that’s frequently prescribed to treat anxiety, insomnia, and panic disorders. Xanax enhances the effects of GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain and, as a result, helps people feel relief from anxiety. Due to the potency of the medication, it is typically only prescribed for up to six weeks of use.
Risk of Misusing Xanax
Because of the potential for addiction and misuse of Xanax, the FDA has classified it as a controlled substance. Like many other drugs in this class, there are significant risks associated with Xanax so there are strict criteria patients and pharmacists must follow when refilling prescriptions for it.
As with any addiction, unhealed trauma and underlying mental health issues can put someone at increased risk of developing an addiction to Xanax. However, for some people, the effectiveness of the medication may be the driving force behind their addiction. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHA), college students and teens are at a particularly high risk of misusing Xanax because of their impulsive nature and having access to the medication through friends or family.
Symptoms of Xanax Dependence
Developing a dependency on Xanax can have detrimental long-term effects on the user. When tolerance is developed and more of the drug is required for the same effects, patients can experience:
- Mood swings and potentially violent outbursts
- Weight loss or binge eating
- Difficulties with speech and balance
- Trouble concentrating
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
- Hallucinations and paranoid thinking
- Although rare, seizure disorders may develop
- Memory or cognition problems
The Dangers of Mixing Xanax with Alcohol and Other Drugs
Mixing Xanax with drugs or alcohol is potentially fatal and should always be avoided. Like Xanax, alcohol is a depressant and activates GABA in the nervous system, contributing to an increased feeling of sedation. This can cause respiratory distress, unconsciousness, decreased heart rate, seizures, coma and even death. Overdose is another potential risk associated with Xanax misuse due to the sedative effects of both Xanax and Alcohol. SAMHA reports that roughly 26% of all Xanax overdose deaths had alcohol in their blood.
Treating Xanax Addiction at The Source
The Source Treatment Center in Ft. Lauderdale provides a welcoming compassionate environment to help you or a loved one work through Xanax addiction. Every client that enters The Source becomes part of our family and is fully supported through every stage of their recovery journey. Upon arrival, patients will undergo a thorough medical exam and psychosocial assessment so that a personalized comprehensive treatment plan can be developed. During the course of your treatment, you will participate in a variety of different therapies to help you work through unprocessed trauma and heal the underlying issues that are contributing to your addiction. Therapies include:
- Group therapy sessions
- Individual one-on-one counselling
- Art and music therapy
- Trauma therapies like Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
At The Source, we believe in treating patients holistically and we provide luxury amenities such as massage, yoga, and acupuncture. Whether you’re just starting out on your recovery or you need a little extra support years into it, we offer multiple levels of care to fit your unique needs. The Source is certified by the Florida Association of Recovery Residences for providing superior care to every patient. And we maintain the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission regulating body for healthcare providers. If you or a loved one would like more information on how The Source can help you overcome addiction, call our confidential hotline at (800) 204-0418.