When you become a parent, your biggest worry is the safety and well-being of your child. And one of the most worrying topics today is the growing problem of Xanax addiction – also known as benzodiazepine, or “benzo”, addiction. In this article, we’ll explain what Xanax is, how it affects people, how to identify if someone is addicted to it, signs of Xanax overdose, and how to help them get the treatment they need.
What is Xanax?
Xanax (alprazolam) is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorders. It belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which work by calming the nervous system. Often, in their highest available dosage, Xanax pills are pressed in the shape of “bars”. Users can become addicted to Xanax bars and pills because this drug produces feelings of relaxation and euphoria when taken in high doses.
Drug addiction is a growing problem in the United States, and Xanax (alprazolam) is one of the most commonly abused substances. It is a prescription drug designed to treat anxiety and panic disorders, but it can quickly become addictive.
When taken as directed, a Xanax bar can be safe and effective. But when taken in high doses or combined with other substances like alcohol, it can lead to dangerous side effects.
How Does Xanax Affect People?
When taken as prescribed, Xanax (Alprazolam) can help relieve anxiety disorders. It works by increasing the activity of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Higher levels of GABA reduce nerve cell excitability, resulting in a sedative effect and calming feelings.
However, when taken in larger doses than prescribed or for reasons other than anxiety, Xanax can be habit-forming and lead to addiction. It has a powerful calming effect on the body, which is why it is popular among people looking to relieve stress or escape reality.
The effects of Xanax are felt quickly and can cause several side effects, such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, memory problems, and poor coordination. If taken in high doses or over a long period of time, these effects can become more intense and dangerous.
Signs of Xanax Bar Addiction
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to identify Xanax bar abuse. Some signs that someone may have an addiction include:
- Taking Xanax for longer than prescribed
- Taking higher doses than prescribed
- An inability to stop taking the drug despite wanting to
- Feeling a need to take Xanax bars or pills in order to feel good or function normally
- Neglecting obligations due to using a Xanax
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
- Spending money on Xanax bars or pills despite the financial implications
Xanax dependence can lead to physical, psychological, and emotional changes in a person’s life. Signs of benzo addiction include tolerance (needing more of the drug to achieve the same effect), withdrawal symptoms when not taking it, cravings for the drug, reduced ability to control the use, and compulsive use of the drug despite knowing its negative consequences.
What Happens During Xanax Withdrawal?
When someone is dependent on Xanax, abrupt cessation of use can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms include tremors, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, confusion, sweating, irritability, anxiety, and changes in appetite. In extreme cases, seizures may also occur.
Xanax withdrawal can be especially dangerous for individuals who have been taking high doses or using it for a long period of time. It is important for people who believe they are addicted to Xanax or a family member worried about addiction to seek professional help. A medical detox program can help manage Xanax withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse.
Signs of Xanax Bar Overdose
Xanax abuse has also been linked to an increased risk of overdose due to its rapid onset and powerful calming effect. When taken with other drugs (such as opiates or alcohol), the risk of an overdose increases significantly.
If someone has taken too much Xanax, they may experience several dangerous side effects, including:
- Slowed or shallow breathing
- Confusion and disorientation
- Extreme drowsiness
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Loss of coordination/motor control
If you suspect someone has overdosed on Xanax, seek medical attention immediately.
Treatment for Xanax Bar Addiction
It’s important to note that Xanax addiction is a serious condition and requires professional help in order to overcome it. Treatment typically involves medication-assisted therapy combined with behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and group counseling.
For those struggling with addiction to the effects of Xanax, there is hope. Medically-assisted detox and counseling are two of the most effective methods for treating benzodiazepine addiction. Note that managing withdrawal should always be done with medical supervision to ensure the best results from the substance abuse treatment options.
Medically-assisted detox involves taking medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings while under supervision in a hospital or rehab facility. This process can help make the transition off of Xanax safer, more comfortable, and less likely to lead to relapse.
In terms of medication, a doctor may prescribe an alternative benzodiazepine with a longer half-life (such as Valium or Librium) that can be tapered off over time. This allows the individual to slowly wean themselves off the drug while reducing their risk of withdrawal symptoms.
In addition, behavioral therapies can help individuals gain insight into the causes of their addiction and learn how to cope with cravings and triggers in a healthy manner. Group counseling is also beneficial as it provides support from other people who are going through the same experience. Counseling can help those with an addiction to Xanax identify the underlying issues that led to their substance abuse. Through therapy sessions and other forms of counseling, individuals can learn new coping skills and gain insight into what triggered their addiction in the first place.
Which Kinds of Xanax Pills Contain Fentanyl and Other Dangerous Fillers?
Unfortunately, there has been an increase in the number of counterfeit Xanax pills that contain fentanyl or other dangerous fillers. These counterfeit pills can be even more dangerous than the genuine drug as they are often laced with unknown and unregulated ingredients that may have serious consequences. Many people refer to counterfeit Xanax pills as “bars,” “xannies,” “xans,” “sticks,” “hulks,” “devils,” “busses,” or even “school busses.” Unfortunately, when these pills are bought on the street, they may contain deadly fillers such as fentanyl.
If you or someone you know is taking Xanax, it is imperative to be aware of these counterfeit pills and the potential risks associated with them. Do not take any prescription medication without consulting your doctor or pharmacist first. You should also avoid buying Xanax from online sources, as it is impossible to know if the drug you are taking is genuine. Furthermore, never mix benzodiazepines with other drugs, such as opioids, alcohol, or other depressants, as this can increase the risk of an overdose or other serious side effects.
Get Help with Xanax Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with Xanax abuse, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. Benzodiazepines can be highly addictive and can cause serious side effects or even death if used improperly. It is critical to seek professional assistance from a doctor or treatment center in order to safely treat the condition and avoid any long-term harm. With the right treatment plan, recovery is possible, and you can get back on the path to living a healthy life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with abusing Xanax bars or another benzodiazepine, don’t wait any longer to seek help. Make an appointment with New Life House today and take the necessary steps towards a healthier, happier life. Our team of experts can help you create an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs and provides the tools you need to achieve long-term sobriety. Our Los Angeles sober living program works closely with outpatient treatment centers. Not only this, but we provide a safe and structured living environment centered around 12-step recovery and peer accountability. New Life has over 35 years of experience helping young adults find long-term recovery from a myriad of substances, benzodiazepines being common. We are here for you every step of the way and will do our best to ensure your success in recovery. Contact us today!
Last Updated on December 15, 2022