Is someone you know addicted to Xanax? Learn how to recognize Xanax addiction signs
Early recognition of Xanax addiction signs may help you save a loved one from the long-term effects of Xanax abuse. Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication prescribed to treat anxiety, panic disorder, and insomnia. It is one of the most prescribed medications in the United States, with more than fifty million prescriptions filled each year. Xanax is also highly addictive and can cause long-term physical and psychological damage that can be difficult to overcome. Learning how to recognize Xanax addiction signs as soon as they appear is the best way to ensure those you love have a chance of achieving long-term recovery.
How Xanax addiction occurs
Benzodiazepines (also known as benzos) create a calm, relaxed feeling. They are supposed to be safe for patients to take on an extremely short-term basis, but addiction rapidly develops when patients take them for longer than two weeks, or take higher doses than prescribed. Xanax is a high-potency, fast action benzodiazepine, which means it has an enhanced potential for addiction. Xanax is 10-20 times stronger than Valium, it affects users within minutes of taking a dose, and it wears off more quickly than other drugs in its class, leaving users craving more. These factors lead users to become addicted to Xanax at an alarmingly fast pace, with many users showing Xanax addiction signs within the first two weeks of taking their first dose.
Side effects of Xanax abuse
Xanax addiction damages the physical and psychological well-being of users in many ways. The side effects of Xanax abuse appear quickly and can linger for years, long after users have stopped taking the drug. The short-term side effects of Xanax abuse can serve as an early warning system that a person needs addiction treatment before the long-term symptoms of Xanax addiction have a chance to develop. If you are wondering whether someone you know is becoming addicted to Xanax, look for these short-term side effects of Xanax abuse:
- slurred speech
- poor concentration
- lack of coordination
- problems with memory
- lowered blood pressure
Long-term effects of Xanax addiction
Over time, Xanax addiction causes significant damage that impairs the normal functioning of the addict’s brain. Emotions, thought processes, and memory are all affected, as well as the individual’s motor control. usrehysical problems such as These problems can persist for years, long after use of the drug has ceased. The long-term side effects of Xanax addiction can be seen in:
- Persistent amnesia
- Problems with memory formation
- Tremors, shakes, and muscle twitches
- Severe anxiety disorders
- Cognition difficulties
- Decreased appetite
- Lack of sexual desire
- Increased risk of heart attack
Withdrawal from Xanax can create serious and even life-threatening complications such as seizures, convulsions, coma and death. Patients can experience a wide range of withdrawal symptoms depending on the length and severity of their Xanax addiction. Xanax withdrawal symptoms can begin mere hours after taking the last dose. Within the first 1 to 4 days of withdrawal, patients may experience an intense rebounding of the initial symptoms for which they were prescribed Xanax. At the acute stage of withdrawal from Xanax, addicts can experience sensory distortions that include hallucinations, psychosis, delusions, and schizophrenia. They can become aggressive and experience intense rage, or become suicidal.
Xanax withdrawal should be accomplished in an inpatient rehab center under the care of experienced medical professionals. Xanax addicts can be switched to a longer-acting benzodiazepine then have the dose tapered down. This makes the withdrawal process safer, less intense, and much more bearable for patients in recovery. Quitting Xanax on this extended timetable can help addicts avoid protracted withdrawal syndrome (also known as PAWS), where recovering addicts continue experiencing a lowered level of withdrawal symptoms for months, or even years after detox.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.