Xanax® is one of the most well-known anxiety medications in the U.S. Yet, it also has addictive properties. When someone misuses this drug, they have a higher risk of developing an addiction.
If you have an issue with Xanax® misuse and addiction, let Gateway Foundation support you. Our Illinois Xanax® drug rehabilitation centers save lives every day.
WHAT IS XANAX®?
Also known as alprazolam, Xanax® belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs, which means it has a powerful sedative effect. Xanax®is also categorized as a tranquilizer or anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and can be prescribed to relieve the symptoms of anxiety, panic disorders or anxiety caused by depression.
Xanax® was first introduced in the United States in 1981. The drug immediately stood out from other benzodiazepines because of its ability to provide rapid symptom relief from anxiety disorders and panic attacks — usually within just one week of beginning treatment. Also, its effectiveness showed no decrease even when patients used it for several years.
Xanax®, like other benzodiazepines, is an addictive drug, especially when taken not as prescribed. This fact, along with its ability to produce euphoria when taken in larger doses, has led some people to misuse their Xanax® medication.
HOW XANAX® ADDICTION AFFECTS THE BRAIN
Many patients who receive a prescription for Xanax® are not aware of how this drug impacts the brain. Xanax® is a benzodiazepine. This class of drugs works by encouraging the release of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which inhibits the chemical signals in the brain that may lead to anxiety or panic. Yet, Xanax® also has the unique ability to trigger the brain’s reward system, much like other addictive substances like alcohol or opioids.
Even those who follow their doctor’s instructions and use their Xanax® properly may still develop a tolerance with long-term use. Tolerance to benzodiazepines can occur quickly and without you even being aware of it. Drug tolerance occurs when it takes a larger dose of Xanax® to feel the same effects you once felt.
Increased tolerance to Xanax® prompts some people to increase their dosage without their doctor’s knowledge, which can lead to dependency. Dependency is when your body needs Xanax® to feel normal. Your brain may be unable to produce GABA without Xanax®, making symptoms of anxiety or panic worsen when you attempt to quit. From there, Xanax® use can quickly spiral into addiction.
WHY XANAX® IS POPULAR AMONG MILLENIALS
In recent years, there’s been a spike in Xanax® use among the millenial generation. Millennials face their fair share of anxiety-ridden concerns, from financial instability to staggering school debt to job stagnation. As a result, many individuals in this age group are turning to is prescription drugs like Xanax® to cope.
Xanax® use has also increased among college students and adolescents. Its potency has made it popular as a recreational drug, adding to the rate of misuse and addiction among millennials and younger generations.
However, these individuals don’t usually go through doctors to obtain the drug. Many young people get it from friends or their parents’ medicine cabinets without realizing the adverse side effects of Xanax® use. Xanax® is also sold on the streets for those looking to sedate themselves or induce euphoria. In these situations, users often combine the drug with other substances like alcohol to heighten its effects. Sadly, this combination can be lethal.
RISKS OF MISUSING XANAX® AND OTHER BENZODIAZEPINES
As someone uses Xanax®, they can develop a dependence on the drug. When you become dependent on Xanax®, you have withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. Dependence can happen during normal use and does not cause immediate harm. However, it can contribute to addiction and make it more difficult to stop using Xanax®. Misuse increases the chance of dependence and puts you at a higher risk for addiction.
Xanax® also causes side effects as part of regular use and misuse, including:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Shortness of breath
- Concentration and memory issues
Since Xanax® impacts your coordination and thinking, it can also put you at a greater risk of physical harm. Xanax® can impair your ability to drive and makes car accidents more likely. It also raises your risk of falls and broken bones.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A XANAX® ADDICTION?
A person with a Xanax® addiction can have difficulty knowing if they have a problem. So, it’s essential to understand how to recognize the signs of Xanax® misuse. These red flags and symptoms may indicate that you or someone you know has an addiction to Xanax®:
- Taking more Xanax® than prescribed or taking it for a longer period than prescribed
- Performing dangerous behaviors to get more Xanax®
- Spending excessive amounts of time and money on Xanax® use
- Prioritizing Xanax® use over relationships, hobbies and obligations
- Psychological signs such as confusion, sudden mood changes or becoming more talkative
Illinois Xanax® drug addiction rehab centers can also provide screenings to help someone understand their symptoms. An addiction professional can make a definitive diagnosis and recommend the right treatment.
TREATMENTS AVAILABLE AT AN ILLINOIS XANAX® DRUG ADDICTION REHABILITATION CENTER
Modern Xanax® addiction treatment involves a comprehensive approach to care. Clinics aim to address all aspects of addiction through two broad categories of services:
- Medical services: Medications and medical treatments relieve the physical effects of Xanax® addiction. Your rehab center doctor will help you manage your withdrawal symptoms and any health conditions related to your addiction.
- Behavioral support: To handle the emotional symptoms of Xanax® addiction, clinics provide behavioral therapy. Group and individual counseling empower you to create healthy coping mechanisms.
Through medical and behavioral support, you can improve your well-being and plan a future without drugs.
TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE WITH A XANAX® DRUG REHAB TREATMENT CENTER
Treatment centers for Xanax® addiction provide the resources you need to change your life. Your care team will assist you with these aspects of recovery and more:
- Stabilizing your life at work, home or school
- Improving your physical and mental wellness
- Developing coping strategies for situations that make you want to use Xanax®
- Reconnecting with your loved ones, family and friends
When you enter a treatment program for prescription drug addiction, you become empowered to set and meet the goals you desire.
GATEWAY’S XANAX® DRUG ADDICTION TREATMENT CENTERS IN ILLINOIS
At Gateway, we take a patient-centered approach to care and developing a Xanax® addiction recovery plan. Initiatives like the following help our patients succeed in recovery:
- Personalized care plans: We work with every patient to develop a treatment plan that targets their needs. During an intake appointment, we welcome the patient’s input on their recovery.
- Patient community initiatives: Our team values the importance of connection in recovery. We help our patients feel understood with services such as group therapy, demographic groups and an alumni community.
- Multiple therapy models: Different patients respond well to different counseling approaches. Our counselors specialize in many types of therapy based on symptoms and past experiences.
Allow us to become your partner in recovery as you work toward a life free from Xanax® misuse.
Gateway provides comprehensive substance addiction treatment in the Chicago area. Our team uses more than 50 years of experience and a compassionate approach to support patients in recovery. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, contact us online today.