Xanax® Addiction

What is Xanax?

Xanax Addiction Xanax® is one of the most commonly seen drugs in prescription drug abuse treatment. Xanax is classified as a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are sedatives or tranquilizers that depress the central nervous system. They are usually prescribed to treat anxiety disorders. Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin are other benzodiazepines. It is the brand name for alprazolam. It is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and insomnia. Because it is a central nervous system depressant it slows normal brain function. Unfortunately, its abuse leads easily to Xanax addiction. For cases of dependency one should seek an addiction treatment or drug rehab program.

Anxiety disorders are characterized by unrealistic worry and apprehension. Symptoms of anxiety disorders include restlessness, aches, trembling, shortness of breath, smothering sensation, palpitations, sweating, cold clammy hands, lightheadedness, flushing, exaggerated startle responses, problems concentrating, and insomnia. Panic attacks happen unexpectedly or are triggered in certain situations (such as while driving). Medications have shown a solid ability at treating problems of anxiety. These are typically central nervous system depressants, such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines and similar tranquilizers. Unfortunately, these medications also have a high risk of being misused and abuse.

Information on Xanax Addiction

Effects of Long-Term Xanax Use
  • Impaired Cognitive Function
  • Confusion
  • Slurred Speech
  • Weakness
  • Tolerance to Medication
  • Physical Dependence
  • Addiction
Xanax addiction occurs when taken in high doses over long periods of time. A person's body will develop a tolerance and more medication is required to achieve the same effect. A person with an addiction to this drug can go through withdrawal if its use is reduced or stopped. Its use creates both a physical and emotional dependence to having the medication in the system.

Young, healthy people often abuse Xanax. Similar to OxyContin and Ritalin, Xanax has found its way from pharmacies to drug dealers. Often a physical and emotional dependence occurs with the abuse of others drugs such as alcohol or cocaine. It is commonly abused to create a high similar to one created by alcohol. A higher dosage gives a feeling of euphoria and increased sociability. For a person with a dependence, it may be taken orally, chewed, crushed (then snorted like cocaine), or crushed (then dissolved in water and injected like heroin). A person addicted to Xanax may be taking 20-30 pills per day.

Xanax® is one of the most commonly found cases in prescription drug abuse treatment. For some, it is so easy to obtain. Three out of every four drugs used illegally in the U.S. are prescription drugs. According to the government, prescription drug addiction has doubled in the past 10 years. The latest research concluded that four million people were estimated to be abusing prescription drugs in 1999. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this number was exceeding 7 million. Estimates in the 2010 survey had 2.2 million people taking anti-anxiety drug for non-medical reasons.

Detox and Withdrawal from Xanax®

During the detoxification process, the dose must be gradually tapered off. A person in withdrawal from an addiction to benzodiazepine may experience insomnia, headaches, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness, sweating, anxiety, or fatigue. In severe cases of benzodiazepine withdrawal, seizures can occur. Klonopin is sometimes prescribed to help while a patient is being weaned off Xanax. Klonopin is also a benzodiazepine, but is less addictive. Because of physical and emotional dependence with benzodiazepines, individuals can experience episodes of withdrawal for weeks. Other prescription withdrawals to things like pain medications can peak in the first few days.

Treatment for Xanax

For individuals in need of addiction treatment, inpatient programs are typically recommended. Prescription drug abuse treatment involves cognitive-behavioral therapy as individual counseling. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps an individual to modify his thinking and behaviors and to increase his coping skills. Experiential therapy at Cirque Lodge involves outdoor activities such as hiking in the mountains, mountain biking, equine therapy, and indoor activities on the world's largest indoor ropes and challenge course.

Our program is founded on an individualized care approach. We treat every resident specifically to accomplish the most successful results possible. We are dedicated to meeting the specific needs of each resident during drug rehabilitation. This ensures the resident a quiet, comfortable, enjoyable, and effective stay. If you or someone close to you is struggling with Xanax and you don't know where to turn, call us at Cirque Lodge. We are more than glad to help.