Is Xanax Addictive? The Truth About Xanax Addiction

Xanax, also known as Alprazolam, is one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines in America. There are around 66 million Benzodiazepine prescriptions made every year in the U.S.

Xanax stands to be one of the most misused prescription drugs in America.

The big question is ‘is Xanax addictive’? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Xanax and some important truths behind this medication.

Keep reading to find out what you should know.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It works by attaching to the GABA-A receptor in the brain which creates a calming effect.

It acts as a tranquilizer and can be used to relieve the symptoms of anxiety within 5 to 10 minutes of taking the pill.

Is Xanax Addictive?

Xanax and most other Benzodiazepines are Schedule IV controlled substances. This means they are deemed as having a low potential for abuse. However, some statistics suggest otherwise. Xanax claims more ED visits related to drug misuse per prescription than any other Benzodiazepine.

Xanax causes addiction in much the same way as opiate drugs do. Xanax causes a surge of dopamine, which is associated with feeling good and relaxed. As your brain becomes accustomed to Xanax, the intensity of the ‘high’ lessens.

Xanax Addiction Symptoms

Xanax is usually prescribed for around 2-6 weeks to be taken only when necessary. This is to avoid building up a tolerance to the drug and developing dependency. Some of the most common symptoms of Xanax abuse include:

  • Lethargy and drowsiness
  • Impaired cognition and coordination
  • Delirium
  • Light-headedness
  • Requiring more of the drug to feel the effect
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Manic moods
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures during withdrawal

Most of these symptoms can occur from short-term abuse of Xanax. Long term abuse of Xanax can lead to:

  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Aggression
  • Impulsivity
  • Increased risk of dementia

The Dangers of Xanax

One of the biggest dangers of Xanax is that obtained without a prescription, just as one would obtain a controlled substance. This often leads to it being used in conjunction with alcohol and other drugs.

When the body is exposed to two nervous central system depressants at the same time it can lead to injury, respiratory failure and can even result in the user falling into a coma.

Many people obtain their Xanax on the street from drug dealers. There is no way to know the purity of these products. Several samples of Xanax seized from the streets have been shown to contain other substances such as Fentanyl and other synthetic drugs.

Beating Xanax Addiction

As with any Benzodiazepine addiction treatment, both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction need to be countered. This will involve a medical detox followed by rehabilitation. Due to the complexity of Benzodiazepine addiction, this is best done at a drug rehabilitation center.

You should first know what’s better for you when it comes to choosing between an out-patient and in-patient service.

Understand Xanax and Its Role in Addiction

The biggest danger with Xanax is when it is used in combination with other substances.

This increases the chances of negative, and even fatal, side effects. If you were wondering “is Xanax addictive?” then the answer is a definite yes. Xanax should only be used when prescribed for short amounts of time.

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