Xanax is a widely-prescribed medication for anxiety and panic disorders. Millions of people across the country take Xanax to control anxiety disorders. When taken as prescribed, it helps users by producing a calming effect on the brain and central nervous system but when misused it can lead to addiction that requires an intensive outpatient program for xanax addiction.
What is Xanax Used For?
Xanax is part of a class of medications known as benzodiazepines or tranquilizers. According to medical statistics, there are over 2,000 different tranquilizers in existence, but the FDA has only approved 15 for medical use. Xanax and Valium are the most commonly prescribed medications in America. Tranquilizers are classified by their strength and how long their effects last in the body. Xanax is a short-acting tranquilizer, while Valium is long-acting. Since these drugs produce a state of sedation and relaxation, doctors often prescribe them for various medical conditions including:
* Muscle relaxation
* Sleep disorders and insomnia
* Seizure control
* Alcohol withdrawal
* Surgical anesthesia
Benzodiazepines are widely available by prescription and other sources, so abuse among these drugs is common. Chronic abuse and accidental or intentional overdose puts thousands of people in hospital emergency rooms each year. Benzodiazepine abuse rarely results in serious illness or death when taken alone, but it is often taken with other drugs and/or alcohol which can be a lethal combination.
Benzodiazepines are also known as “date rape” drugs because of their strong sedating effects. They impair cognitive and physical abilities that are necessary to resist physical aggression or sexual assault. These drugs are typically added to alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages in liquid or powder forms. Since they have no smell or strange taste, they are very hard to detect once dissolved in liquid.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Xanax Abuse
When taken as prescribed by a doctor, Xanax is well-tolerated by most people and works well to relieve anxiety. With normal doses, a person may experience drowsiness or dizziness. With higher or more frequent doses, side effects are much more serious and more easily recognized. Xanax abuse can create acute toxicity in the body with symptoms that include:
* Extreme drowsiness or dizziness
* Mental confusion
* Muscle weakness
* Lack of coordination
* Blurred vision
* Slurred speech
* Breathing problems
In adults, symptoms of Xanax abuse can be difficult to detect. They may include changes in behaviors and/or physical appearance, a decline in work performance, and relationship problems. In children, symptoms of Xanax abuse are more noticeable and often include abrupt mood or personality changes, as well as a decline in school attendance, grades, and school and social activities. Before prescribing Xanax to a child, parents must discuss the pros and cons with a doctor and fully understand the potential risks of abuse and addiction. Giving a child Xanax without medical supervision can result in serious, long-term health consequences.
Treatment for Xanax Abuse and Addiction
Xanax abuse and addiction requires professional help from a Xanax Addiction Recovery treatment center. Dependence on benzodiazepine drugs can result in seizures and serious withdrawal symptoms when drugs are stopped abruptly. The symptoms of withdrawal actually resemble the symptoms of anxiety and can be difficult to distinguish. Typically, withdrawal symptoms begin about three to four days after the last dosage, but can begin sooner with short-acting varieties like Xanax.
If overdose occurs and you end up in a hospital emergency room, you will be evaluated and likely placed on monitors that track your pulse rate, blood pressure, and heart rate. You will be given an IV, as well as oxygen if you are having difficulty breathing or show a low level of consciousness. A urine drug screening will be done to detect the exact drug and amount of drug that was taken. If you are a female of child-bearing age, drug screening is mandatory to test for pregnancy. If doctors or nurses suspect that you may have taken other drugs besides Xanax, blood samples, chest x-rays, and EEGs may be ordered.
If you are struggling with Xanax abuse or addiction, a professional treatment center can help you get rid of your dependence and improve your life. With an intensive outpatient program, you can remain in the comfort of your own home while you work through your drug problems with professional medical doctors, therapists, and personal case managers who will guide you to a healthier lifestyle that’s free from drug abuse and addiction. You don’t have to live addicted to Xanax.