Young Adults and Xanax Abuse

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Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that are commonly prescribed to patients with anxiety, panic disorders and insomnia. They work by enhancing the effect of an inhibitory neurotransmitter known as GABA. GABA communicates calming messages between brain cells which alter the activity of the neurons that trigger stress and anxiety reactions. There are a variety of different benzodiazepines, all for different uses. They each differ in potency and in the rate at which the body absorbs them. The most common types include Valium, Klonopin, and Xanax. While Xanax is best known for its calming effects, it poses great risk for abuse.

Young Adults and Xanax Abuse

Among abusers, Xanax is one of the most common benzodiazepines due to its rapid onset. Xanax is most common among students and young adults beginning their professional careers due to its help in relieving feelings of worry and anxiety, preventing panic attacks, easing muscle tension and helping users achieve a good night’s sleep. However, young adults were the most likely to have used Xanax for non-medical purposes, in fact, more than ten percent of adolescents aging from eighteen to twenty-five abuse the drug.

Due to its extremely high potential for both physical and psychological dependence, Xanax should be used with caution. Even when prescribed by a doctor, a patient can easily become addicted.

Warning Signs of Xanax

Anyone can become addicted to Xanax due to its quick tolerance development. An individual does not have to intentionally abuse the drug to develop a dependency. The development of a tolerance and dependence can occur when Xanax has been prescribed for prolonged usage or in large doses. After short-term side effects are no longer noticeable, a tolerance has been built up and the individual will start to experience long-term side effects. 

Short-Term Side Effects Associated with Xanax Abuse

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Sluggishness
  • Poor concentration
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Lack of coordination
  • Slurred Speech
  • Slowed brain function
  • Slowed pulse and breathing

Long-Term Side Effects of Chronic Xanax Use

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Depression
  • Aggressive or impulsive behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Cognitive deficiency such as impaired memory, judgement and coordination
  • Delirious states

Withdrawal Symptoms

As users gain a higher tolerance and dependency, they will need to take higher or more frequent doses to experience the high. If they are not able to achieve the desired effects, they will start to struggle without its aid. Withdrawal symptoms related to Xanax can be very severe and can be life-threatening for tolerant users and can include:

  • Cravings for the drug
  • Increased anxiety or panic when the drug cannot be obtained
  • Insomnia
  • Body weakness
  • High body temperature
  • Nausea
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions

If your child is struggling with substance abuse, New Life House can offer help. Our family-focused community is here for struggling young men, as well as their families, find long-lasting success in recovery. We provide support and guidance to not only help these young men recover, but to also learn how to become happy, independent adults. To learn more about the New Life House sober living community, visit our website or contact us today.


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