Xanax is the brand name of the benzodiazepine Alprazolam. It is a prescription depressant medication that is safe to use when taken as prescribed. However, many people misuse Xanax and Alprazolam, which can lead to addiction. Therefore, it is worthwhile to familiarize yourself with the symptoms and signs of Xanax addiction.
What Is Xanax?
The FDA classifies Xanax as a Schedule IV controlled substance used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax can also be used in certain situations to help people suffering from insomnia. Xanax is prescribed as a tablet in strengths ranging from 0.25 milligrams to 2 milligrams.
What Is a Schedule IV Controlled Substance?
Any drug the FDA classifies as a Schedule IV controlled substance is defined as having a low risk of developing dependence and a low risk of misuse. However, even with this classification, Xanax and Alprazolam are the most misused benzodiazepines (benzos).
Is Xanax Addictive?
Xanax increases the effects of GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for sending signals through the central nervous system. At elevated levels, GABA slows the transmission of these signals, resulting in a calming effect.
Another neurotransmitter that Xanax causes an increase in its release is dopamine. Dopamine causes chemical responses in the brain and body that make us feel good. In addition, dopamine reinforces pleasurable and rewarding behaviors. As a result, it can cause someone to want to experience the effects of Xanax repeatedly.
Therefore, continued long-term use of Xanax, even when prescribed and taken as directed, can result in dependence on the drug. For those that misuse Xanax, it is much easier to develop an addiction due to the effects one experiences when taking the drug.
Symptoms and Signs of Xanax Addiction
Some of the more common symptoms and signs of Xanax addiction include the following:
- Frequent Headaches. As the effects of Xanax wear off, one can experience headaches.
- Appearing Intoxicated. Large doses of Xanax can make it appear as though someone is intoxicated. As a result, they may slur their words, have problems focusing, and have balance and coordination problems.
- Mood Swings. Xanax can cause a person’s moods and personality to change when misused frequently. Someone can go from seeming normal to upset without notice.
- Engaging in Risky Behaviors. Someone addicted to Xanax will do things that might be considered risky, without worrying about the consequences.
- Loss of Interest in Hobbies and Activities. When someone no longer finds their hobbies enjoyable, it could indicate a Xanax use disorder.
- Hiding Xanax Misuse. It is common to conceal one’s Xanax use, or lie about having an addiction.
- Looking Forward to Using Xanax. When all one can think about is using Xanax, it indicates an addiction.
- Attempting to Get Multiple Prescriptions for Xanax. Some people will attempt to get multiple prescriptions for Xanax from different providers so they do not run out.
- Using Xanax in Ways It Was Not Prescribed. While Xanax is usually taken orally, those with an addiction to it may smash up the tablets and snort or mix with water and inject directly into their bloodstream.
- Engaging in Drug-Seeking Behaviors. Some people may offer sex in exchange for Xanax, steal money from friends and family, or exaggerate their symptoms to obtain the drug.
- Using Other Drugs with Xanax. Mixing Xanax and alcohol is a popular combination that people use to enhance the effects of both. Doing so increases the risk of overdose and death.
How Is Xanax Addiction Treated?
Medical professionals approach Xanax addiction like other substance use disorders. First, the addict goes through detox. Detox is the period where all traces of Xanax are purged from the body. During this time, the person can experience various withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- Muscle Spasms
- Weight Loss
- Panic Attacks
- Increased Anxiety
- Extreme Cravings for Xanax
Withdrawal symptoms vary, based on how long Xanax was misused and the frequency with which it is taken. Therefore, detoxing from Xanax at a medical detox center is a good idea. A medical detox center provides access to healthcare and addiction specialists, who oversee the detox and use various therapies and treatments to reduce the intensity and severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Xanax Detox Timeline
There are three stages of Xanax detox a person can experience, immediate withdrawal stage, acute withdrawal stage, and post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) stage. Immediate withdrawal usually occurs within a day or so of stopping Xanax.
During this time, withdrawal symptoms will be mild. However, they gradually increase in severity as one moves into the acute withdrawal stage over the next two to four days. The withdrawal symptoms will peak in about five days to two weeks after the last use.
After peaking, the withdrawal symptoms lessen until they fully subside. Although, some people can have psychological withdrawal symptoms that remain and will move into the PAWS stage. During PAWS, one can experience cravings for Xanax and other psychological-related withdrawal symptoms that can last for months before they go away.
Xanax Detox Treatment in Pompano Beach, FL
You can safely detox from Xanax at DCF and Joint Commission-accredited Retreat of Broward in Pompano Beach, FL. We offer medically supervised detox in a caring, safe, and supportive environment tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today to begin your recovery journey.