Why is Xanax Dangerous?
First introduced to the US pharmaceutical markets in 1981, alprazolam—the generic form of Xanax—is used to treat a wide range of anxiety and panic disorders. Since its introduction, alprazolam is one of the most used psychiatric drugs in the United States with over 49 million prescriptions written nationwide in 2014. It is second only to hydrocodone.
Grouped with benzodiazepines, Xanax effectively provides users with treatment for symptoms stemming from mental health disorders. When used short-term, alprazolam gives rapid results by drastically reducing the overall level of brain activity, thus, effectively relieving its users of panic and ongoing anxiety. However, while activating GABA receptors, Xanax can suppress the overreaction of the central nervous system leaving users more relaxed and even sleepy. However, in large doses it can create an unrealistic feeling of euphoria, leading many Americans to misuse or abuse the prescription.
We’re taking a closer look at prescription alprazolam. In addition, AspenRidge Recovery continues to work to identify answers to the question: why is Xanax dangerous?
On the surface, the attributes of alprazolam may appear to be harmless and even beneficial for those suffering from anxiety disorders and mental health issues. As the most common mental illness in the U.S. anxiety affects more than 40 million adults in the United States. Treatment options, therefore, are critical in helping American’s to overcome their mental health. Xanax may be an effective short-term solution for many, but are there long term implications that may, ultimately, be detrimental to its users?
Healthline points out that Xanax doesn’t affect everyone the same way. How it makes the user feel depends on such factors as age, metabolism, weight, general health, frequency of use, and amount prescribed and taken.
The downside of Xanax
So why is Xanax dangerous? In the long-run, the short answer may be that the brain starts to forget how to operate effectively in the absence of the prescription. For example, studies indicate that Xanax dependency may control users:
- emotional responses
- thought processes
- muscular coordination
In interfering with GABA neurotransmitters, some may find it more difficult to calm nerve impulses without the support of prescription alprazolam.
Besides its popularity as a drug to treat psychiatric problems an Addiction Center survey noted that of the Xanax recreational users, over seventy percent who started its use as teenagers developed a Xanax addiction. Alarmingly, their first use was often from their parents’ or friends’ prescriptions. In fact, two-thirds of Americans who abuse prescription drugs note that they obtain prescription medications from someone other than themselves.
For many of these reasons, CBS News called Xanax-use an epidemic in the US. The report went on to note that Xanax was the eleventh most prescribed drug in America.
Vice contends that Xanax use has skyrocketed in US because of over-prescribing and casual use being touted as “trendy” with such products as “xanny bars.” Benzodiazepine prescriptions rose by almost seventy percent between 1996 and 2013. Its use had tripled by 2016 an American Journal of Public Health study noted.
What’s wrong with this?
Recent media reports show a high level of concern that Xanax and other drugs like it are being overused in Colorado. According to a 2018 report by the National Institute of Drug Abuse Colorado deaths related to benzodiazepines, like Xanax, have doubled in the years from 2003 to 2012. Xanax abuse is rapidly increasing.
Aside from increased prescriptions over the last decade, why is Xanax dangerous? As mentioned, Xanax works by interacting with a brain receptor. Emotions such as anxiety, stress, depression, and even pain are tempered. In addition, Xanax is fast-acting. The benefits of this tempering or mellowing are felt within an hour after use. Recreational users find ways to speed up and intensify the reaction by grinding up the pills to ingest, inject, or snort.
When used as directed Xanax effects last at least 6 hours. Active users likened the sensation to pouring cooling ointment on a burn or drinking ice water when you are parched.
In short, Xanax is highly addictive when it is not used as directed. Xanax addiction, further, knows no boundaries of age, gender, culture, ethnicity, lifestyle, career, geographic location, or socioeconomics. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Xanax misuse can result in high tolerance levels and addiction if it is taken in larger-than-prescribed quantities or over prolonged use. Parents are warned to watch for kids’ use of the drug.
More alarmingly, even if you are taking Xanax as prescribed, you can become addicted to it.
In 2011, the Drug Abuse Warning Network reported that nearly ten percent of all emergency department visits related to the abuse of prescription drugs of benzodiazepine families like Xanax.
How Do You Know You Need Help with Your Xanax Addiction?
Why is Xanax dangerous? After taking Xanax, peak effects happen within an hour or two. If users ground the tablets and snort, inject, or ingest the powdered version, effects are felt much faster. Xanax stays in your system for twelve to fifteen hours.
During that time, Xanax users may feel a calming, relaxed, quiet, or tired feeling. Drugs like cocaine or heroin produce “high” or euphoric feelings. Xanax users describe their feeling as mellow or carefree. Some Xanax users have reported blackouts, passing out, or falling asleep. Others have experienced memory losses of up to several hours.
If you think you or a family member may have a Xanax problem, these questions may bring light to a possible Xanax misuse, abuse, or addiction:
- Are you undependable and irresponsible at work, at home, or with your friends?
- Are preoccupied with getting your next supply?
- Do you have Xanax compulsions?
- Do you have memory lapses or memory loss?
- When you take Xanax, do you have some loss of motor skills?
- Do you have an increasingly high tolerance for Xanax?
- Does Xanax flatten feelings of anxiety, stress, pain, agitation?
- Has Xanax caused you to neglect personal hygiene?
- Are you disinterested in relationships?
- Does Xanax make you unconcerned about your career?
- Has your need for your next fix begun to dominate your life?
- Are you a compulsive Xanax user?
- Does it take increasing amounts of Xanax to give you that calming feeling?
- Are you totally preoccupied with your next Xanax?
- Do you stockpile Xanax?
- Is your Xanax use affecting your economic stability?
- Does your Xanax use cause you to do things like stealing and/or violent acts?
- Have you tried several times to kick your Xanax habit on your own?
If several of these questions describe you, then it may be time to consider treatment for a Xanax addiction.
Often, the effects of Xanax detox are so severe that many program therapists and clinicians suggest a gradual tapering. Be cautious when attempting to quit Xanax. You may experience hazardous withdrawal symptoms that could necessitate immediate medical attention.
Everyone experiences different symptoms and degrees of severity. Xanax withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Blurred vision
- Muscle pain
- Numb fingers
- Sensitivity to light, and/or smells, and/or sounds
- Loss of appetite
- Heart palpitations
After detox, programs deal with the psychological difficulties of Xanax addiction.
Because Xanax addiction comes with some serious health risks, it is advised that you not try to deal with a Xanax overuse problem yourself.
The good news is: With the right treatment for your needs, recovery from Xanax abuse is possible.
Why Choose AspenRidge Recovery for Xanax Addiction Treatment?
If you and/or a family member have made the decision to seek Xanax addiction treatment and rehabilitation, it’s important to find an experienced treatment center.
Our licensed experienced therapists and psychologists at AspenRidge Recovery are committed to compassionate care for those struggling to overcome Xanax substance abuse.
Our Colorado-based Xanax treatment, rehab, and recovery program is the best in the state. We understand why Xanax is so dangerous and we know the steps to take to help you free yourself of this substance.
We’re here to help you return to a substance-free life. You and your loved ones are in excellent hands at AspenRidge Recovery.
AspenRidge Addiction Treatment: What We Do
Many Xanax users often develop a drug dependence—even those following doctors’ orders. Your body becomes dependent on alprazolam or Xanax. If you are in a dependency stage, your body will experience withdrawal symptoms.
If you have become incapable physically, behaviorally, and mentally to stop using Xanax, you are not alone. Two in every five benzodiazepines users will develop an addiction to drugs like Xanax.
Our Xanax recovery program at AspenRidge is two-fold. First, we address the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. This is called medical detox. This period of treatment weans your body off Xanax. Only then can the real recovery begin.
Our commitment at AspenRidge is to provide the best treatment through supportive services, evidence-based treatment modalities, and a tailored assessment of client needs. Our three locations offer treatment options for Xanax addiction including:
- Day Partial Hospitalization (Day Program)
- Day Intensive Outpatient Program (5-Day IOP)
- AspenRidge AspenRidge Virtual Care Online 5-Day IOP
- 5-Day IOP for Professionals and Working Adults
- Outpatient Program
- Alumni & Aftercare Program
When you enter our Xanax addiction program, you and your family will meet with a trained counselor who will discuss your needs and the best treatment option for you. To talk to an admissions team member or to book a tour of our AspenRidge facilities, call us at (855) 281-5588.