Xanax has gained popularity in the last decade, overtaking valium as the anti-anxiety drug of choice.
Xanax is the trade name for the generic alprozolam, a short-acting drug from the benzodiazepine class. Xanax is used to treat moderate to severe anxiety disorders, panic attacks and depression, when it is combined with other medications. The drug possesses the properties of anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant.
Xanax is also known as alprazolam and is considered to be a Schedule IV controlled substance. On the street, the drug is known as Z-bars, bars, tabs and Upjohn. The drug is available as an immediate and extended release formula.
Abuses of Xanax
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has highlighted that Xanax abuse is on the rise in the United States. Abusers often either ingest the pills or inject or blow the drug into a body cavity after crushing the pill. As Xanax does not fully dissolve in water, it can cause severe damage to the arteries.
Xanax is considered one of the more toxic benzodiazepines. When the drug is combined with alcohol or other drugs, a fatal overdose is much more likely. Abuse is common among young, healthy people seeking to achieve a high. Known as “Xannie Poppers,” these individuals tend to be club-hopping, 20-somethings that are likely to use Xanax in combination with other stimulants.
Effects of Xanax
When taken under the care of a physician, Xanax can be a very effective medication for those suffering specific conditions, especially anxiety and panic attacks. Not everyone will develop a tolerance or an addiction to the drug, but for those that do, the impact can be life-changing.
Some, however, will develop a compulsion for the drug, and be unable to stop taking it. Others may develop a preoccupation with the drug, growing increasingly concerned with acquiring more Xanax. Still others may develop lifestyle changes, such as ignoring responsibilities or social engagements.
Symptoms associated with increased Xanax tolerance include memory impairment, constant drowsiness, slurred speech, loss of concentration or motor skills. Certain effects can take place, even if a tolerance has not been formed. These effects can include unusual risk-taking behavior, depressed mood, hyperactivity, agitation, hostility, hallucinations, fainting, feeling light-headed, muscle twitches, changes in urination and jaundice.
No matter what the reason for taking Xanax, if it is taken for an extended period of time, an abrupt cessation is likely to induce some uncomfortable and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with Xanax can include, but are not limited to:
- Rapid heartbeat and/or high blood pressure
- Loss of appetite
- Ringing in the ears
- Nightmares, psychoses or delusions
Treatment of Xanax Addiction
As Xanax withdrawal can cause potentially dangerous symptoms, it is important that Xanax addicts seek care from a board-certified physician and board-certified addiction psychiatrist. To ensure the individual rids their body of the drug completely and have a better chance of staying off the drug in the future, entering a center for 24/7 comfortable detox treatment is highly recommended.
Many quality centers use withdrawal medications during comfortable detox for those suffering with a Xanax addiction. This method is used to correct the chemical imbalances in the individual suffering from a Xanax addiction and should be combined with psychological evaluations and other medical care to address cravings for the drug. With this type of method, the center is able to identify the reason for the addiction and treat the whole person.