What is Xanax?
Xanax is a highly potent name-brand prescription benzodiazepine. It is most commonly used to treat severe anxiety and panic disorders. To this date, Xanax is the top prescribed psychiatric drug in America. It also accounts for some of the most prescription medication related hospitalizations. Xanax is commonly abused by young people, under the age of 17. More than half of the youth that develop a dependence or addiction to it report that they got it in their own family medicine cabinet.
Usually, Xanax is prescribed to be used as needed or for specific situations and circumstances such as panic attacks. Because it is so addictive, Xanax dependence can develop even when the medication is being used as prescribed. The body develops a tolerance to the drug very quickly, requiring the user to take more and more to receive any benefit from it. Discontinuing repeated and regular use of Xanax can be dangerous, and cause severe withdrawal effects. Combined abuse can also enhance and increase the dangerous side effects of opioids.
Effects of Xanax
Prescription Xanax is made in tablet format. On the street, it is usually referred to as “bars”. Because tolerance to the drug is quickly formed, a user with an addiction will typically take large quantities of it in a day. Usually, the negative side effects for overusing Xanax are short-lived as it exits the body fast. Longer term effects are usually only felt in the form of withdrawal – which, without professional assistance, can be extremely dangerous.
Short-Term Effects of Xanax Abuse include:
- Mental Impairment
- Amnesia, Memory Loss
- Rebounded Insomnia after Drug Wears Off
- Blurred Vision
- Dizziness and Confusion
- Birth Defects if Used During Pregnancy
- Lethal if Combined with Other Drugs and Alcohol
Should I Seek Treatment for Xanax Abuse?
While Xanax is a potent and great option for anxiety when used properly, abuse is very dangerous. About 40% of alcoholics regularly abuse Xanax, and it is not uncommon for meth or heroin users to also mix in Xanax to try and achieve a more intense high. Because Alcohol and Xanax are both depressants, the combination can lead to respiratory failure or death.
Because of the dangers of overdosing, or the threatening withdrawal side effects, it is important that if you are going to seek detox from Xanax, you see professional, medical support from an accredited facility such as Sound Recovery.
Usually, the signs of Xanax abuse can be identified early. Here are somethings to look for when deciding if you need help with Xanax use:
- Taking Multiple Pills at a Time
- Taking More than As Prescribed by Doctor
- Snorting or Injecting Xanax
- Combining Use with other Drugs or Alcohol
- Drug Seeking Behavior
Though it was used in the past, Xanax detoxification with another benzodiazepine or “benzo” is rarely used today. This is because there are concerns about using a different benzo for Xanax withdrawal:
- All benzos, like Xanax, are addictive drugs that are associated with potential grand mal seizures and death, just like alcohol.
- Using another benzo during Xanax withdrawal sends the addiction-replacement-message that it’s okay to substitute one benzo with another; similar to detoxing a scotch drinker with whiskey.
- Non-addictive detox medicines that also prevent seizures, are frequently used in place of addictive ones whenever possible (i.e. pregabalin in place of a non-Xanax benzo)
Pregabalin is a better option for medical detox because it:
- Is not addictive
- End the likelihood of a grand mal seizure
- Decreases craving
- Decreases Drug seeking behavior
- Decreases worry and increase relief
- Decreases agitation and increase calm
- Decreases restlessness and increase tranquility
- Decreases fatigue and increase ambition
- Improve concentration
- Decreases irritability and increase serenity
- Decreases muscle tension and increase comfort
- Decreases panic, anger, or hate attacks
- Decreases irrational fear and increase sustained endurance
Medications such as pregabalin and its relatives are used to assist Xanax addiction recovery during aftercare for coexisting conditions such as:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Social Phobia
Medically assisted detox and rehabilitation, without recovery-sensitive supportive therapy, is far from the ideal road to sobriety. Medical detoxification with a concurrent Xanax dependence recovery program is your ticket to sustained recovery. The medical staff at Sound Recovery is trained in understanding the appropriate ways to help our guests to safely end their dependence on benzos like Xanax. With the harsh withdrawal symptoms, it is important to get the help you need.
Like any addiction withdrawal can be extremely painful and dangerous. That is why medically assisted detox and 24 hour supervision is so important.
- Heart Palpitations
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle aches
- Panic, anger, or hate attacks
- Irrational fears
The more one uses Xanax, the more serious side effects associated with Xanax withdrawal can be felt. Many treatment professionals consider addiction to prescription and street Xanax to be the most difficult to overcome. In fact, unsupervised, abrupt withdrawal from Xanax can lead to seizures or toxic psychosis and sometimes death. The cold turkey approach could be as deadly as Valium or Alcohol.
What Happens After Medical Detox?
Following medically assisted detox at Sound Recovery, guests will begin a comprehensive, collaborative approach to addiction treatment designed to support physical, mental and spiritual wellness. We offer a variety of detox options for treating drug addiction beyond just benzos. Our program helps to promote a lasting, healthy lifestyle through sobriety and beyond. Our addiction specialists, from our therapists and case managers to our facility staff, are dedicated to providing the best in care and support for you or your loved ones. Our holistic, evidence-based approach to psychotherapy incorporates individual and group sessions. We use other holistic methods, such as art, music and animal therapy to help our guests to learn to express themselves and communicate.
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